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Forgiving and Feeling Forgiven in Late Adulthood

Publication Abstract

Torges, Cynthia, Berit Ingersoll-Dayton, and Neal Krause. 2013. "Forgiving and Feeling Forgiven in Late Adulthood." International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 76(1): 29-54.

Enright and colleagues (1996) emphasized the beneficial effect of experiencing forgiveness across multiple domains. We build upon their conceptualization of forgiveness by adding a domain-forgiveness by God-to create global forgiveness. In the current study, we use data from a nationally representative study, the Religion, Aging and Health Survey, which utilizes the responses of 1208 Blacks and Whites. The results from a latent variable model indicated that both Blacks and women were more likely to participate in organized religion, and this participation was associated with feeling closer to God. In turn, feeling closer to God corresponded to higher levels of global forgiveness but was not directly associated with improved well-being. Instead, it was global forgiveness that mediated the relationship between closeness to God and improved well-being.

DOI:10.2190/AG.76.1.b (Full Text)

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