First Advisor

Dr. Mark Basham

Thesis Committee Member(s)

Dr. Howe, Dr. Kleier


Dr. Rona McCall


Regis College

Degree Name


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

52 pages


Roughly 70% of adults face a traumatic event once in their lives, and of these individuals, around 20% develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One of the challenging components of diagnosing and treating PTSD is that it does not affect everyone who faces a traumatic experience. This thesis argues that the determining factor between trauma and PTSD acquisition is moral injury, which is a violation of expectation. Current military training is inadequate in preparing members of the armed forces for the realities of military life due to a lack of simulations and transparency. As a result, combat, war, and even assimilating into a new base can act as chronic unpredictable stress, which ultimately leads to adverse health effects. The expectation that training properly lays the foundation for competency in military life is then violated. Additionally, military training encourages a culture of hypermasculinity. Consequently, personnel feel apprehensive and ashamed at admitting the need for help. Therefore, a cognitive dissonance and ultimately a violation of expectation occurs in which members of the armed forces are told how tough and invincible they are, but their emotional and mental health says otherwise. Combined, the military people are stressed but refusing to ask for help. Together, these factors contribute to moral injury and subsequently PTSD.

Date of Award

Spring 2019

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.