Study examining role of moral injury and religious coping in American law enforcement seeks responses

Responses from the survey will be used to design more effective first responder mental health treatment options or approaches.


By Police1 Staff

Liberty University researchers, including a currently serving Texas peace officer and a former Virginia police officer, seek to examine the role and nature of moral injury and religious coping in the American law enforcement population.

Moral Injury has been shown to be related to suicide and PTSD symptoms in other populations, while religious coping has been suggested as a potential means of coping with the stressors of the law enforcement profession and any moral injury that may be experienced.

Sworn LEOs (or those honorably retired from such positions) with the legal authority to arrest and/or use force, who are serving (or did serve) in positions within the United States, or its territories or possessions, are asked to complete an online survey, which should take approximately 15-20 minutes.

The survey is open to all experience levels, positions/assignments, ranks and religious affiliations (or lack thereof). All responses are completely anonymous and the study has been granted approval by the Liberty University Institutional Review Board (Study Number: FY20-21-130).

Responses will be used to both establish the nature and degree of moral injury in the law enforcement population, examine whether any certain positions or assignments are at higher risk for experiencing moral injury, and to inform future research on the topic, while also informing potentially more effective first responder mental health treatment options or approaches.

Dr. Michal Takacs, assistant professor in the School of Behavioral Sciences at Liberty University, and/or Boston Ross, a Liberty University doctoral candidate, can be contacted via email for further information about the study or if anyone is interested in the results of the study.

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