The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of the variables guilt, conciliatory behavior, and perceived forgiveness from the victim on event self-forgiveness. Self-forgiveness is defined as "a willingness to abandon self-resentment in the face of one's own acknowledged objective wrong, while fostering compassion, generosity, and love toward oneself (Enright, 1996)." Dispositional self-forgiveness was controlled for in the study. A theoretical model based on emotion regulation was proposed.
The following relationships were hypothesized. There would be a direct relationship between state guilt, perceived forgiveness, and state conciliatory behavior on event self-forgiveness. State guilt would be significantly negatively correlated with perceived forgiveness, and would have an indirect effect on event self-forgiveness through perceived forgiveness. State guilt would have a significantly negative correlation with state conciliatory behavior, and would have an indirect effect on event self-forgiveness through state conciliatory behavior.
One hundred and fifty five undergraduates from Hofstra University wrote about a severe offense that they believed they had perpetrated on someone with whom they have a close relationship. It was required that the individual took full responsibility for committing the wrongful behavior, and that the event must have occurred at least six months prior to the date of their participation. The protocol for the participants consisted of a consent form and questionnaires that were uploaded on the Hofstra University online Sona System. Multiple linear regression and path analysis were used for analysis. Hierarchical regression was run controlling for dispositional self-forgiveness.
The following hypotheses were supported: 1) state guilt was significantly negatively correlated with event self-forgiveness and was the most powerful predictor, 2) perceived forgiveness was significantly positively correlated with event self-forgiveness, 3) state guilt was significantly negatively correlated with perceived forgiveness, and had an indirect effect on event self-forgiveness through perceived forgiveness. The hypothesis that stated conciliatory behavior would have a direct effect on event self-forgiveness was not supported. The hypothesis that state guilt would be significantly negatively correlated with state conciliatory behavior was not supported. The results were discussed in terms of emotion regulation theory and the potential clinical relevance of the variables studied.
|Advisor:||Scardapane, Joseph R.|
|Commitee:||McVey-Noble, Merry, Ohr, Phyllis S., Sanderson, William C., Schare, Mitchell L.|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Conciliatory behavior, Emotion, Guilt, Offense, Perceived forgiveness, Self-forgiveness|
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