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H. Luke Shaefer

Trajectories of change in dimensions of forgiveness among older adults and their association with religious commitment

Publication Abstract

Hayward, R. David, and Neal Krause. 2013. "Trajectories of change in dimensions of forgiveness among older adults and their association with religious commitment." Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 16(6): 643-659.

Forgiveness is a complex construct with an important role in religious traditions worldwide, and is associated with mental and physical health outcomes. This seven-year longitudinal study examined changes within individuals during, and differences based on birth cohort, in forgiveness during late life. Growth curve analysis was used to analyse the general pattern of change across the course of older adulthood in eight dimensions related to forgiveness. Increases over time were observed in forgiveness of others, conditionality of forgiveness of others, forgiveness of self, feelings of being forgiven by God, and feelings of being forgiven by others. Decreases over time were observed in difficulty forgiving oneself, and perceptions of conditionality in God's forgiveness. Religious commitment was related to reporting more a more forgiving attitude on seven of these dimensions, but also to more perceived conditionality in God's forgiveness. Finally, differences in mean levels of forgiveness emerged between birth cohorts.

DOI:10.1080/13674676.2012.712955 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3811966. (Pub Med Central)

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