Latent profile analysis exploring potential moral injury and posttraumatic stress disorder among military veterans


Objectives: Theoretical support for the moral injury (MI) construct is mounting, yet empirical support has lagged behind. A conceptual model has been proposed, but studies have not yet explored the constellation of symptoms within treatment-seeking Veterans. Methods: Veterans (N = 212) seeking trauma recovery services completed measures of potential MI symptoms that functioned as indicators in person-centered Latent Profile Analysis. Differences in exposure to potentially morally injurious experiences (pMIEs) were compared across profiles using logistic regression. Results: Three profiles emerged that varied by symptom severity, levels of trauma-related guilt, and levels of dispositional forgiveness. Exposure to pMIEs predicted membership in a class consistent with proposed MI symptomatology. Conclusions: Person-centered approaches are useful for identifying a distinct group of veterans whose trauma recovery may benefit from specifically targeting moral emotions, consistent with the emerging construct of MI.

Publication Title

Journal of Clinical Psychology