Learning Forgiveness: The Influence of Interparental Conflict on Child Forgiveness




Shewark, Elizabeth A.

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The research conducted on forgiveness has mostly focused on an adult population. In the current thesis, I examined the influence of child age, gender, and maternal judgment of forgivability of self and others on child judgment of forgivability of self and others. In addition, I investigated the effect of interparental conflict and resolution strategies to assist in discerning how mothers communicate forgiveness practices to their children. Eighty-four children and their mothers were administered a series of questionnaires, to assess both the child's propensity to forgive and the maternal influence on the development of forgiveness. Results indicated that age, maternal judgment of forgivability, and child perception of interparental conflict were significant predictors of child judgment of forgivability of self and others. Future research should further investigate the role parents play in child forgiveness. The development of forgiveness in children is important, so they may benefit from forgiveness’ positive effects.



Forgiveness, Emotional Development, Interparental Conflict, Social Learning, Parental Modeling