Verbal Emotional Disclosure of Moral Injury in Holodomor Survivors
Objectives. The purpose of the current research is to define and operationalize moral injury based on moral standards, moral judgements, moral reasoning, moral emotions, moral behaviour, and moral consequences; to explore verbal emotional disclosure of moral injury in Holodomor survivors’ narratives.
Materials & Methods. The study applies traumatic narratives of 42 survivors of the Holodomor of 1932–1933 in Ukraine. Main themes aligned with morality structure were captured, using software tool NVivo.12. The study uses LIWC2015 to search for psychological meaningful categories, notably anxiety, anger, sadness, and insights (deep comprehension). The research uses the cross-sectional design utilizing the independent variables of anxiety, anger, insights and dependent variable of moral emotions represented in narratives for multiple linear regression analysis and correlations (2-tailed Pearson r) between components of morality, anxiety, sadness and insights, SPSS. 26.
Results. There is a high frequency of moral judgements and a low frequency of moral emotions and moral consequences in the narratives. A significant positive correlation was found between moral standards and other components of morality, in particular moral judgements, moral reasoning, moral consequences, anxiety, sadness and insight. There was a significant positive correlation between moral emotions and anger, and insight. Anxiety, insights and anger taken together are significant predictors of moral emotions, however, only anger is a robust significant independent predictor of moral emotions.
Conclusions. Verbal emotional disclosure of traumatic experience relates to expressing righteous anger, contempt, disgust, decreased empathy, and embarrassment, which substitute other moral emotions, notably shame and guilt. The study contributes to our understanding of anxiety, anger, insights (deep comprehension) taken together as robust predictors of moral emotions. Finally, we captured that there are difficulties in verbal emotional disclosure of experience and moral consequences of the Holodomor, since Holodomor survivors predominantly focus on moral judgements and moral standards.
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