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Moral Injury is when an individual has either perpetrated, witnessed or failed to prevent an event that violates their beliefs and values (Litz et al., 2009). Jonathan Shay (2010) introduced the concept of Moral Injury to the field of psychotherapy with combat veterans by describing these events occurring during combat experience. The purpose of this study is to understand perceived cognitions and emotions of combat veterans related to these morally injurious events. This study, while it’s in its preliminary stage, will assess Moral Injury through qualitative and quantitative survey methodology. The Moral Injury Questionnaire (Roseman & Hill, 2016) asks participants to write about a morally injurious combat related event that has caused them distress upon reintegration in their community. The qualitative information will be coded for themes that could show potential patterns that may be of use for therapeutic approaches. According to Litz, et al. (2009), the events may cause long-term psychological, behavioral, emotional, spiritual, and social difficulties for returning veterans. Therefore, quantitative components of the questionnaire assess cognitive and emotional appraisals of veterans around their experiences with atrocities and the potential mental health problems. The emotions surrounding Moral Injury have been defined as a constellation of symptoms including guilt, shame, and anger all banded together (Harris, Park, Currier, Usset, & Voecks, 2015). Once this portion of the study is established, further analysis will be conducted to distinguish between guilt and shame, anger and contempt, and disgust and frustration. These distinctions will add to understanding emotional strategies necessary for healing.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Psychological Science

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event date
    • 25 March 2016

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. Michelle Hill