Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Psychol. 2011 Sep;67(9):896-906. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20812. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Forgiveness, depression, and suicidal behavior among a diverse sample of college students.

Author information

Department ofPsychology, East Tennessee State University, 420 Rogers Stout Hall, Box 70649, Johnson City, TN 37614,


Depression and suicide are significant public health concerns for college-age young adults. Meaning-based characteristics, such as forgiveness, a voluntary coping process involving offering, feeling, or seeking a change from negative to positive cognitions, behaviors, and affect toward a transgressor, may buffer such poor mental health outcomes. Utilizing mediation analyses, we examined cross-sectional associations between forgiveness, depression, and suicidal behavior in a diverse student sample reporting mild to severe depressive symptoms. The effect of self-forgiveness on suicidal behavior was fully mediated by depression; self-forgiveness was associated with depression and, in turn, with suicidal behavior. Forgiveness of others was directly associated with suicidal behavior. Prospective research is needed, yet self and other-forgiveness may be appropriate targets for promotion in suicide prevention efforts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center