Pers Soc Psychol Bull 2008 Feb 6;34(2):182-95. Epub 2007 Dec 6.
Department of Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124-0751, USA.
In two studies, the authors investigated the associations between interpersonal forgiveness and psychological well-being. Cross-sectional and prospective multilevel analyses demonstrated that increases in forgiveness (measured as fluctuations in individuals' avoidance, revenge, and benevolence motivations toward their transgressors) were related to within-persons increases in psychological well-being (measured as more satisfaction with life, more positive mood, less negative mood, and fewer physical symptoms). Moreover, forgiveness was more strongly linked to well-being for people who reported being closer and more committed to their partners before the transgression and for people who reported that their partners apologized and made amends for the transgression. Evidence for the reverse causal model, that increases in well-being were related to increases in forgiveness, was also found. However, changes in feelings of closeness toward the partner appeared to account for the associations of forgiveness with well-being, but not vice versa.