Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychological Science



First Reader/Committee Chair

Hassija, Christina


While there is considerable research linking trauma to psychological distress, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among military populations, some service members may develop other variants of psychological difficulties following exposure to traumatic life events. For example, moral injury, a more recently studied outcome within the field of trauma, is conceptualized to occur when a person perceives their response to a morally challenging situation as a transgression that may lead to an incongruence with their morals producing moral emotions (i.e., shame, guilt, and anxiety; Litz et al., 2009). The current study investigated the role of self-compassion in the relationship between moral injury and psychological distress (i.e., PTSD and depression) among a sample of 216 military veterans recruited from TurkPrime online panels. Among these military veterans, a conditional process analysis of our moderated mediation model suggests an indirect effect of moral injury predicting depression symptoms through guilt, Index = 1.469, SE = .460, 95% CI [.602, 2.409] and shame, Index = -.803, SE = .346, 95% CI [-1.552, -.161] was conditioned on different levels of self-compassion. Findings are expected to have important implications for treatment conceptualization for military populations.