Intergenerational Trauma: A Scoping Review of Cross-Cultural Applications from 1999 to 2019




It has been over 20 years since the publication of Danieli’s (1998) International Handbook of Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma, a seminal cross-cultural compilation examining the generational effects of mass trauma and intergenerational trauma (IGT). In the years since this book appeared, research on IGT has continued to be applied to many cultural groups, including those who have survived the Indian Residential Schools, the Khmer Rouge regime, or the Rwandan genocide. Previous reviews of IGT research have focused mainly on survivors of the Holocaust, which limits the cross-cultural application of this field of study. The purpose of this article is to provide a scoping review of scholarship published between 1999 and 2019 that aims to understand how IGT has been studied in cross-cultural applications. Overall, 29 articles were identified and reviewed. In light of the fact that cross-cultural perspectives on IGT are still emerging (Sirikantraporn & Green, 2016), the methodology and the cultural considerations described in this review can inform future cross-cultural IGT research.

Author Biographies

Fred Chou, University of Victoria

Fred Chou is an assistant professor of counselling psychology at the University of Victoria. His research and clinical interests are in intergenerational trauma, narrative approaches to psychotherapy and research, and Asian mental health in Canada. He is also a registered psychologist in the province of British Columbia.

Marla J. Buchanan, University of British Columbia

Marla J. Buchanan is a professor of counselling psychology in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests are in the field of traumatic stress studies, with a focus on childhood trauma, refugee trauma, and intergenerational trauma.




How to Cite

Chou, F., & Buchanan, M. J. (2021). Intergenerational Trauma: A Scoping Review of Cross-Cultural Applications from 1999 to 2019. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 55(3), 363–395.



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