When forgiving enhances psychological well-being: The role of interpersonal commitment

J.C.T.M. Karremans, P.A.M. van Lange, J.W. Ouwerkerk, E.S. Kluwer

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    Abstract

    The present research addresses the question of when and why forgiving might enhance psychological well-being. The authors predict that forgiving is associated with enhanced well-being but that this association should be more pronounced in relationships of strong rather than weak commitment. This hypothesis received good support in Studies 1-3. Studies 2 and 3 addressed the issue of why forgiving might be associated with psychological well-being, revealing that this association was reduced after controlling for psychological tension (i.e., a psychological state of discomfort due to conflicting cognitions and feelings). Study 4 revealed that in the context of marital relationships, tendencies toward forgiving one's spouse exhibited a more pronounced association with psychological well-being than did tendencies to forgive others in general.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1011-1026
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
    Volume84
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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