Benefits of moral elevation in veterans with PTSD and moral injury: A proposed theoretical framework and pilot study


Given the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and moral injury in veterans and limitations to current treatments, novel approaches are needed to target both PTSD and moral injury and directly impact psychosocial growth. One potential way to address this need is through moral elevation—a positive emotional state described as feeling uplifted and inspired by others’ virtuous actions. This article proposes a theoretical framework for understanding how elevation could benefit veterans and presents preliminary findings from a pilot study, which provides the first known indication that elevation could be linked with psychological health and social functioning in veterans with significant trauma-related distress.

Military Behavioral Health
Adam P. McGuire
Adam P. McGuire
Assistant Professor of Psychology