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Dr. Abraham Sagi-Schwartz

Phyllis Greenberg Heideman and Richard D. Heideman Fellow
"Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust: A Human Development Perspective across Generations."

Professional Background

Dr. Abraham Sagi-Schwartz is a Full Professor of Psychology, University of Haifa (Israel). He received his Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Work from the University of Michigan, USA. Dr. Sagi-Schwartz has enjoyed a long and productive career pursuing his primary research interests, which focus on socioemotional development across the life span and diversified socio-cultural contexts, early child care; socioemotional development and adaptation under extreme life circumstances and experiences, especially the effects of the Holocaust and chronic exposure to war experiences and political violence as they relate to the well-being of children and their families; and transforming developmental science knowledge to social, public, and foreign policy as well as the legal system.

Dr. Sagi-Schwartz is the Associate Editor of Early Childhood Research Quarterly and serves on numerous editorial and advisory boards and is a program member and consulting reviewer for several scientific foundations. He has taught various developmental psychology courses and supervised over 100 graduate and post doc students.

Dr. Sagi-Schwartz has hundreds of publications to his credit. His most recent ones include: Fridman, A., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., Sagi-Schwartz, A., & Van IJzendoorn, M.H. (2012). Genetic Moderation of Cortisol Secretion in Holocaust Survivors: The Role of ADRA2B. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 36, 79 – 84; Sagi-Schwartz, A. (2012). Children of war and peace: A human development perspective. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 56, 933-951; Van IJzendoorn, M. H., Fridman, A., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., Sagi-Schwartz, A., (2013). Holocaust survivors’ dissociation moderates offspring level of cortisol. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 18, 64-80.

Fellowship Research

Dr. Sagi-Schwartz is the recipient of the 2007 Society for Research in Child Development Award for Distinguished International Contributions to Child Development. For his Phyllis Greenberg Heideman and Richard D. Heideman Fellowship, Dr. Sagi-Schwartz worked on synthesizing and integrating his programmatic work over the past two decades on the effects of the Holocaust upon the survivors, their children, and grandchildren through his project, “Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust: A Human Development Perspective across Generations.” His research examined various layers of exposure to trauma by focusing on three generations, and by taking a multidimensional perspective and a multidisciplinary standpoint. He hopes to integrate his findings into a more global picture and into a publication that will address issues of long-term and intergenerational effects of traumatic experiences and develop insights into the fate of survivors and offspring of other genocidal catastrophes.

Dr. Abraham Sagi-Schwartz was in residence at the Center from April 1 to September 30, 2013.