A Longitudinal Analysis of the Forgiveness Process in Romantic Relationships




Volkmann, Jeffrey R.

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The present study examined the effects of romantic relationship transgressions on victims’ thoughts and feelings about their relationship over a two week period. The 157 participants experienced the transgression an average of 8.96 days (SD = 3.77) prior to the collection of baseline data and 25.18 days (SD = 6.31) prior to the collection of the follow-up data. The study examined the precursors of victims’ forgiveness motivations following transgressions and the subsequent effects forgiveness has on the victims’ relationship cognitions and emotions. Path analyses models found apology sincerity, responsibility attributions and empathy to independently predict concurrent forgiveness. In addition, forgiveness was an important predictor of relationship closeness, commitment and termination cognitions following a transgression. The implications of the results on transgression and forgiveness research are discussed along with future research directions



Forgiveness, Romantic relationships, Relationship closeness, Transgressions, Apology, Relationship commitment