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Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2012;3. doi: 10.3402/ejpt.v3i0.15785. Epub 2012 Apr 9.

Construction of a questionnaire for readiness to reconcile in victims of human rights violations.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Free University Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Berlin Center for Torture Victims, Berlin, Germany.



Post-conflict reconciliation is supposed to have a positive impact on survivors of war and conflict. However, knowledge is limited as validated questionnaires to assess individual readiness to reconcile in the context of human rights violations are still missing.


This study aimed to develop and pilot-test a questionnaire to assess individual readiness to reconcile in victims of human rights violations.


The questionnaire was developed and pilot-tested in a sample of 60 adult Kurdish refugees from Turkey. In addition to the questionnaire, trauma exposure, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, perceived emotional closeness to the Kurdish people as well as the participants' ability to differentiate between perpetrators and the people in general were assessed in structured interviews, and their associations with readiness to reconcile were analyzed.


Factor and item analysis resulted in an 18-item questionnaire with three subscales (openness to interactions; absence of feelings of revenge; openness to conflict resolution). Cronbach's α for the subscales ranged from 0.74 to 0.90, explaining 61% of the total variance. The ability to differentiate between perpetrators and people in general and perceived emotional closeness were the best predictors for readiness to reconcile. The level of trauma exposure was not linked to readiness to reconcile. Although readiness to reconcile was negatively related to PTSD, depression and anxiety, none of these associations reached statistical significance.


The questionnaire appears to be a reliable measure with good psychometric properties. Further validations in different samples are needed.


conflict; forgiveness; questionnaire; survivors; trauma

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