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This article presents the quantitative portion of a mixed methods study of moral injury among professionals in K–12 public education. Using a cross-sectional correlational survey design, 218 licensed K–12 professionals from 68 schools in one urban school district in the Midwest completed an on-line survey that included measures of moral injury and emotional and behavioral correlates. The K–12 professionals exhibited levels of moral injury similar to those experienced by military veterans. Correlational analyses found that experiences of moral injury were associated with feelings of guilt, troubled conscience, burnout, and the intention to leave one’s job. Linear regression analyses demonstrated that professionals working in high-poverty, racially segregated schools were significantly more likely to endorse experiences of moral injury. These findings reinforce the significance of the intersectionality of race and class in reproducing oppressive and immoral educational practices and outcomes. A deeper understanding of and greater attention to potential sources of moral injury is critical in order to foster a more just and ethical education system.


The final version of this paper was published in the American Educational Research Journal in May 2019. The published version can be found at https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.3102/0002831219848690