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J Fam Psychol. 2004 Jun;18(2):331-8.

Predicting the intentions of women in domestic violence shelters to return to partners: does forgiveness play a role?

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Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, 37996-0900, USA.


Recent findings indicate that college women's forgiveness of hypothetical dating violence was predictive of their hypothetical decisions to stay in the relationship. This study was designed to evaluate the role of forgiveness in women's intentions to return to their partners from a domestic violence shelter. A sample of 121 women residing in both urban and rural domestic violence shelters filled out a series of questionnaires evaluating demographic information, severity of violence, attributions for violence, psychological constraints (or investment), and forgiveness of the partner. Forgiveness was found to predict intention to return to partner over and above the other variables studied. These findings suggest that the degree to which women are willing to "move on" from the abuse and to let go of their anger toward their partners may play a significant role in their intention to remain in a relationship with their partners.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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