Contextual dimensions of moral injury: An interdisciplinary review

Tine Molendijk, Willemijn Verkoren, Annelieke Drogendijk, Martin Elands, Eric Hans Kramer, Annika Smit, Désirée Verweij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


The concept of moral injury, referring to the psychological impact of having one’s moral expectations and beliefs violated, is gaining a firm place in research on military trauma. Yet, although moral injury has the recognized potential to extend the understanding of trauma beyond the individualizing and pathologizing focus of the clinical realm, most studies nevertheless focus on clinical assessment, diagnosis and treatment. This review aims to contribute to a better understanding of contextual dimensions of moral injury. To this end, it complements current theory on moral injury with a systematic review of literature relevant to contextual factors in moral injury. It draws together insights from psychology, philosophy, theology and social sciences into spiritual/existential, organizational, political and societal dimensions of moral injury. Thus an interdisciplinary theoretical foundation is created for context-sensitive research and interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-753
Number of pages12
JournalMilitary Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Moral injury
  • PTSD
  • context
  • interdisciplinary
  • soldiers
  • trauma

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