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Hazel Atuel

Research Associate Professor

Hazel Atuel is a social psychologist whose research interests include social identity and self; intergroup relationships (especially majority-minority group relations); stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination; veteran identity and transition; military/veteran radicalization; and, moral injury.

Media Contact
Hazel Atuel
Email:  atuel@usc.edu
Phone:  +1 213.7403135
Rank:  Research Faculty
Department:  Adult Mental Health and Wellness

Hazel Atuel

Research Associate Professor

Hazel Atuel is a social psychologist whose research interests include social identity and self; intergroup relationships (especially majority-minority group relations); stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination; veteran identity and transition; military/veteran radicalization; and, moral injury.

Media Contact

Education

Claremont Graduate University: Ph.D.
Claremont Graduate University: M.A.
Point Loma Nazarene University: B.A.

Area of Expertise

  • Stereotyping, Prejudice, Discrimination
  • Majority-Minority Group Relationships
  • Social Psychology of Hate
  • Moral Injury
  • Veteran Identity

Research Interests

  • Social Identity and Self-Concept
  • Veteran Identity and Military-Civilian Transition
  • Virtue, Character and Identity-Based Moral Injury
  • Military/Veteran Radicalization

Industry Experience

  • Research
  • Education/Learning

Articles & Publications

Exploring Homegrown Violent Extremism Among Military Veterans and Civilians | The Military Psychologist, Fall 2021

 
Homegrown violent extremism (HVE) is a "terrorist act within the context of ideologically motivated violence or plots, perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, residents or visitors, who have embraced their legitimizing extremist ideology within the United States" (Southers, 2013, p.16). This definition of HVE encompasses a more robust behavioral component that includes actively planning or conspiring to commit a violent act, as well as engaging in various forms of violence ranging from verbal and physical assaults to stabbing people to detonating a bomb. What sets apart this act of violence is its rootedness in an ideology that can be political, religious, or cultural. People move from holding extremist ideas (cognitive radicalization) to utilizing extremist methods (violent radicalization) (Vidino, 2010). In HVE, the ideology provides the justification to commit violence (Southers, 2013).

 

Understanding Moral Injury From a Character Domain Perspective | Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, April 2021

 
Within the past decade, the emerging field of moral injury has focused mostly on the clinical dimension of a traumatic event (Griffin et al., Journal of Traumatic Stress, 2019, 32, p. 350). This article will present a character dimension of moral injury and briefly introduce a dual pathway model of moral injury reflecting clinical and character dimensions. The investigation of the character domain borrows from the theoretical and empirical bases of moral philosophy, moral psychology, character psychology, and social psychology. Hence, this multidisciplinary understanding of moral injury encompasses: (a) moral failure, or the failure to adhere to a virtue as prescribed by a group or institution, (b) suffering or death as a direct result of moral failure, (c) unethical marking on a person’s character, and (d) experience of identity negotiation between the real self and the undesired self. This character framework attempts to advance a broader theoretical foundation for moral injury that has wider applicability to the varieties of human experience, and reflects a deeper understanding of the self-concept that is not defined by and does not necessarily reflect clinical impairments..

 

Exploring Moral Injury: Theory, Measurement, and Applications | Military Behavioral Health, April 2020

 
This research brief summarizes and highlights presentations on moral injury related to theory, measurement, and applications. The overall was to identify current gaps and propose next steps to advance the science of moral injury.

 

Military Transition Process and Veteran Identity | Chapter, December 2018

 
The transition from military to civilian life, from the veteran perspective, is a dynamic state that, in some cases, is characterized as a period of uncertainty, disruption, or chaos (Stouffer et al., 1949). Military-civilian transition does not refer to a simple cross over from the military world to the civilian world, or an end to military life and the beginning of a civilian life. From the civilian perspective, generally speaking, perhaps this is how the military-civilian transition seemingly transpires. However, the issues surrounding military-civilian transition represent the full spectrum of daily living that includes housing, employment, education, health care, and finances. Like their civilian counterpart, veterans are preoccupied with meeting the basic necessities and engaged in activities that allow them to lead a meaningful life. Unlike their civilian counterpart, the military-civilian transition compels veterans to ask, "Who am I in this civilian world?"
One of the fundamental issues in the military-civilian transition is that of veteran identity. When military recruits go through basic training, the process itself aims to transform civilians into soldiers, sailors, airmen, or marines. That is, basic training infuses the military identity into the recruits. At the end of their military service or career, when service members are reintegrated back into civilian communities, they embark on a journey of redefining who they are as veterans.

 

Military Cultural Competence | Clinical Social Work Journal, June 2018

 
This article offers a new definition of military cultural competence based on a review of the literature. As a starting point, the defining characteristics of military culture is discussed and includes the chain of command, military norms, and military identity. Having laid this groundwork, the multidimensionality of military cultural competence—attitudinal, cognitive, behavior—is discussed. Clinical applications of these various competencies are provided.