The Psychological Consequences of the Holodomor in Ukraine

Authors

  • Viktoriia Gorbunova Zhytomyr Ivan Franko State University
  • Vitalii Klymchuk Institute for Social and Political Psychology of National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21226/ewjus609

Abstract

The Holodomor (derived from the Ukrainian words “to kill by starvation”) (1932-33) was the largest famine in Ukrainian history. This article presents the results of a psychological study of personal attitudes to Holodomor events and of worldviews and behavioural strategies connected to famine exposure in the family histories of the survey participants. The results of a survey of 721 respondents showed (1) close connections between a respondent’s pattern of keeping silent about traumatic events that occurred during the Holodomor and the extent of suffering that the respondent’s family experienced during the Holodomor, and (2) close connections between the avoidance of Holodomor-related storytelling and a denial and devaluation of Holodomor events within families. The most common family behavioural strategies of descendants of Holodomor victims showed proper feeding, substantial food storage, and regular health check-in. The most common respondent attitudes comprised a distrust of authority, disappointment with the government, and a priority of family needs over community needs.

Author Biographies

Viktoriia Gorbunova, Zhytomyr Ivan Franko State University

Senior Developer of the “Mental Health. Solutions” Project and Professor at Zhytomyr State University, Ukraine.

Vitalii Klymchuk, Institute for Social and Political Psychology of National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine

Director of the “Mental Health. Solutions” Project and Senior Researcher at the Institute of Social and Political Psychology (Kyiv, Ukraine).

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Published

2020-10-26