Moral stress and coping: relationship with long-term positive reactions and PTSD indication in military personnel
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This study investigates the relationship between moral stress reactions and resulting coping efforts in severely morally challenging situations. Long-term positive reactions and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) indicators fol-lowing morally challenging situations are also studied. The sample consisted of cadets and officers (n = 332) from Norway and Sweden. Long-term positive reactions were found to be associated with limited moral stress reactions during the challenging episode and frequent use of acceptance and positive reappraisal coping strategies. Long-term high scores on a PTSD indicator scale covaried with high scores on Openness, a strong moral stress reaction, and frequent use of instrumental coping strategies. The main conclusion is that the immediate moral stress reaction and coping strategies following morally challenging situations appear to be related to both positive long- term reactions and to indicators of PTSD.