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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

1
Department ofPsychology, East Tennessee State University, 420 Rogers Stout Hall, Box 70649, Johnson City, TN 37614, USA.hirsch@etsu.edu

Abstract

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.

PMID:
21633957
DOI:
10.1002/jclp.20812
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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