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J Behav Med. 2012 Aug;35(4):375-86. doi: 10.1007/s10865-011-9362-4. Epub 2011 Jun 25.

Forgive to live: forgiveness, health, and longevity.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Luther College, Decorah, IA 52101, USA. touslo01@luther.edu

Abstract

This study examined multiple types of forgiveness as predictors of mortality and potential psychosocial, spiritual, and health mechanisms of the effects of forgiveness on longevity. Data from a nationally representative sample of United States adults ages 66 and older assessed forgiveness, health, religiousness/spirituality, and socio-demographics (N = 1,232). God's unconditional forgiveness and conditional forgiveness of others initially emerged as statistically significant predictors of mortality risk. However, only conditional forgiveness of others remained a significant predictor of mortality after controlling for religious, socio-demographic, and health behavior variables. Mediators of the association between conditional forgiveness of others and mortality were examined, and a statistically significant indirect effect was identified involving physical health. These findings suggest that conditional forgiveness of others is associated with risk for all-cause mortality, and that the mortality risk of conditional forgiveness may be conferred by its influences on physical health.

PMID:
21706213
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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