Moral Disengagement, Hope and Spirituality: Including an empirical exploration of combat veterans
Mensch, Kirk Gregory
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Albert Bandura’s construct of moral disengagement has been recognized as theoretically useful for the study of self-destructive behaviors and moral disengagement, and to provide a unique criterion for empirical investigation of United States combat veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The purpose of this project is to better understand predictors related to the disengagement of moral self-sanctions in order that self-destructive behaviors related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, such as drug and alcohol abuse, and the ultimate self-destructive behavior of suicide, might be mitigated. Charles Snyder’s hope construct, Harold Koenig and Arndt Büssing’s concept of intrinsic religiosity and Corey Keyes’ notion of psychological flourishing are chosen as viable predictor variables. Hope and intrinsic religiosity are found to be significant and to be correlated with moral disengagement. Inferences regarding the results are postulated and suggestions are made for research regarding other possible predictors of moral disengagement. Agentive moral reinforcement is discussed and proposals offered related to increasing psychological resilience and decreasing the agent’s risk associated with moral disengagement.
PhD in Theology and Religion