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Br J Soc Psychol. 2011 Jun;50(Pt 2):354-64. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8309.2010.02010.x. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

A dark side to self-forgiveness: forgiving the self and its association with chronic unhealthy behaviour.

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Carleton University, Ontario, Canada.


Contrary to conventional wisdom and extant empirical work, forgiving the self may have deleterious consequences, especially if self-forgiveness is granted for chronic unhealthy behaviours such as smoking. Among 181 smokers, it was predicted and found that increased self-forgiveness for smoking was associated with a decreased likelihood of advancing through the stages of behavioural change towards action. Moreover, forgiving the self, mediated the relationship between movements from the pre-contemplation to contemplation stage of change and perceived smoking cons as well as experiential processes. An expanded understanding of the benefits and costs of self-forgiveness is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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