Department

Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work

7-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

Jean Birbilis, J. Irene Harris

Abstract

This study examines correlations of moral injury symptomatology and the Five Factor Model (FFM) personality traits, in a sample of 14 Veterans (Mean age =36, SD = 4.64; 85.7% male) who were asked to complete several self-report questionnaires regarding symptoms of moral injury, which include guilt, shame, sadness, anger, and self-handicapping behaviors and personality traits. A morally injurious event is an act that transgresses one’s closely held moral beliefs or ethical values. This dissertation seeks to better understand the differences between internalized and externalized symptom expressions of moral injury. This dissertation stated five hypotheses. First and second, greater adherence to the FFM personality traits of Extraversion and Openness will predict greater symptomatology of externalized moral injury (e.g., anger and shame). Third and fourth, greater adherence to the FFM personality traits of Neuroticism and Conscientiousness will predict greater symptomatology of internalized moral injury (e.g., guilt and negative views of the world). Fifth, greater adherence to the FFM personality trait of Agreeableness will predict either externalized or internalized moral injury symptomatology dependent upon greater adherence to other FFM personality traits (i.e., an individual with greater adherence to Agreeableness and Openness may express greater symptomatology of externalized moral injury, and an individual with greater adherence to Agreeableness and Conscientiousness will exhibit greater symptomatology of internalized moral injury). At present, there has been no research examining personality traits and moral injury symptomatology. By more thoroughly distinguishing the association between internalized and externalized personality traits and moral injury symptoms, it is hoped we can continue to develop appropriate treatments for moral injury and better understand how individuals may engage in those treatments.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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