Moral Injury and Religiosity in US Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

Harold G. Koenig, Nagy Adel Youssef, Donna Ames, John P. Oliver, Ellen J. Teng, Kerry Haynes, Zachary D. Erickson, Irina Arnold, Joseph M. Currier, Keisha O'Garo, Michelle Pearce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Moral injury (MI) involves feelings of shame, grief, meaninglessness, and remorse from having violated core moral beliefs related to traumatic experiences. This multisite cross-sectional study examined the association between religious involvement (RI) and MI symptoms, mediators of the relationship, and the modifying effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) severity in 373 US veterans with PTSD symptoms who served in a combat theater. Assessed were demographic, military, religious, physical, social, behavioral, and psychological characteristics using standard measures of RI, MI symptoms, PTSD, depression, and anxiety. MI was widespread, with over 90% reporting high levels of at least one MI symptom and the majority reporting at least five symptoms or more. In the overall sample, religiosity was inversely related to MI in bivariate analyses (r =-0.25, p < 0.0001) and multivariate analyses (B =-0.40, p = 0.001); however, this relationship was present only among veterans with severe PTSD (B =-0.65, p = 0.0003). These findings have relevance for the care of veterans with PTSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume206
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2018

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Veterans
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Wounds and Injuries
Shame
Grief
Emotions
Multivariate Analysis
Anxiety
Cross-Sectional Studies
Demography
Depression
Psychology

Keywords

  • Religiosity
  • US veterans
  • inner conflict
  • moral injury
  • posttraumatic stress disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Moral Injury and Religiosity in US Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms. / Koenig, Harold G.; Youssef, Nagy Adel; Ames, Donna; Oliver, John P.; Teng, Ellen J.; Haynes, Kerry; Erickson, Zachary D.; Arnold, Irina; Currier, Joseph M.; O'Garo, Keisha; Pearce, Michelle.

In: Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol. 206, No. 5, 01.05.2018, p. 325-331.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Koenig, HG, Youssef, NA, Ames, D, Oliver, JP, Teng, EJ, Haynes, K, Erickson, ZD, Arnold, I, Currier, JM, O'Garo, K & Pearce, M 2018, 'Moral Injury and Religiosity in US Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms', Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, vol. 206, no. 5, pp. 325-331. https://doi.org/10.1097/NMD.0000000000000798
Koenig, Harold G. ; Youssef, Nagy Adel ; Ames, Donna ; Oliver, John P. ; Teng, Ellen J. ; Haynes, Kerry ; Erickson, Zachary D. ; Arnold, Irina ; Currier, Joseph M. ; O'Garo, Keisha ; Pearce, Michelle. / Moral Injury and Religiosity in US Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms. In: Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 2018 ; Vol. 206, No. 5. pp. 325-331.
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