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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 May;84(5):1011-26.

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

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Department of Social Psychology, Free University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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