Killing as Trauma


Grossman, D. (1995). On killing: The psychological cost of learning to kill in war and society. Boston: Little,
Brown and Company.

Written by an army officer, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman illustrates from his own interviews and historical and contemporary
sources dealing primarily with combat veterans.  

MacNair, R. M. (2002). Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress: The psychological consequences of killing.
Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Pulling together the evidence, including case studies and studies of large numbers of people, for a wide range of
groups: combat veterans, those who carry out executions, the historical case of the Nazis, police who shoot in the line
of duty, criminal homicide, etc.

Trudeau, G. B. (2006). The war within: One more step at a time. A Doonesbury book. Kansas City, MO:
Andrews McNeel Publishing.  

An artistic rendition of the experience through the use of cartoons, as the long-standing character B.D.suffers through
the implications.  

Research Articles & Chapters

MacNair, R. M. (2001). Psychological reverberations for the killers: Preliminary historical evidence for Perpetration-
Induced Traumatic Stress.
Genocide Research, 3, 273-282.

MacNair, R. M. (2002). Brief report: Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress in combat veterans.
Peace and Conflict:
Journal of Peace Psychology, 8,

MacNair, R. M. (2002). The effects of violence on perpetrators.
Peace Review: A Transnational Quarterly, 14, 67-72

MacNair, R. M. (2004). Killing as trauma: The religious implications of Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress.
Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 15, pp. 17-39.

Rohlf, V. & Bennett, P. (2005). Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress in persons who euthanize nonhuman animals in
surgeries, animal shelters, and laboratories.
Society & Animals, 13, 201-219.

MacNair, R. M. (2006). Violence begets violence: The consequences of violence become causation. In M. Fitzduff & C.
Stout (Eds.),  
The psychology of war, conflict resolution, and peace. Westport, CT: Praeger,  vol. 2, pp. 191-210

MacNair, R. M. (2007). Killing as trauma.  In E. K. Carll (Ed.),
Trauma psychology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Praeger .
vol. 1, pp. 147-162.

Dillard, Jennifer, (2009). A slaughterhouse nightmare: Psychological harm suffered by slaughterhouse employees and
the possibility of redress through legal reform.
Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy, 15, 391-408.

Maguen, S., Metzler, T. J., Litz, B. T., Seal, K. H., Knight, S. J., & Marmar, C. R. (2009). The impact of killing in war on
mental health symptoms and related functioning.
Journal of Traumatic Stress, 22, 435-443.

MacNair, R.M. (2010). Killing as Etiological Stressor and the DSM-V definition of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Trauma Psychology, Division 56 American Psychology Association Newsletter, 5, 12-15.

Maguen S., Lucenko B., Reger M.A., Gahm G., Litz B., Seal K., Knight S., Marmar C.R. (2010). The impact of reported
direct and indirect killing on mental health symptoms in Iraq war veterans.
Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23, 86-90.

Dissertation: Baalbaki, Zenobia S. (2010) Perpetration in combat, trauma, and the social psychology of killing: An
integrative review of clinical and social psychology literature with implications for treatment.
Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, Vol 70(10-B), 2010, 6537.

Dissertation: Jawed, Naheed. (2014). The Relationship of Guilt and Shame to Posttraumatic Stress among
Instrumental and Reactive Offenders.

Popular Media

(partial list)

Baum, Dan. (2004). The price of valor: We train our soldiers to kill for us. Afterward, they’re on their own. The New
, July 12 and 19.

Fair, Eric. (2007).
An Iraq Interrogator's Nightmare. Washington Post, February 9, p. A19

Dateline NBC, May 25, 2008, "Coming Home" with Keith Morrison

Web Page Overviews                 basic information             examples from world literature    expressions from personal stories           notes on therapy

For comments or questions, or to add other sources, please contact Rachel MacNair at