Title

How does forgiveness work to improve mental health?

Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Many people are consumed with anger, depression, and/or anxiety as a result of harboring feelings of resentment towards an individual who has offended them. Refusing to forgive holds deleterious mental health consequences for the victim; however, forgiveness yields reductions in anger, depression, and anxiety. But, little is known regarding how forgiveness works to improve mental health. Rumination, repetitive and intrusive thoughts about the offense or emotions elicited by the offense, may exacerbate and maintain the negative emotions educed by the offense. Consequently, this study evaluated rumination as a mediator between forgiveness and mental health, hypothesizing that forgiveness works to improve mental health through first eliminating rumination. The results of this study support the conclusion that one mechanism through which forgiveness works to improve mental health is through first reducing rumination. Specifically, interpersonal rumination, ruminating on future interpersonal failure, was found to mediate the relationship between forgiveness and anger, depression, and anxiety. However, forgiveness was also found to hold a direct effect on mental health. Forgiveness predicts decreases in anger, depression, and anxiety over and above the effect of interpersonal rumination.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2005 .S39. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 44-03, page: 1517. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2005.