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Previous research suggests that college-aged students, especially first-year college students, are particularly prone to experience relational conflict. Interpersonal forgiveness has been well-documented as a variable that can reduce relational conflict among young adults. However, limited empirical research to date has explored the motivation and ability of college-aged students to engage in forgiveness granting behaviors when they are the victim of an interpersonal conflict; this lack of empirical research is especially noteworthy when considering the perpetrator’s perspective and why (motivation) and how (ability) perpetrators engage in forgiveness seeking behaviors following conflict. The current research assessed forgiveness granting and seeking behaviors for victims and perpetrators of an interpersonal transgression, respectively. Using behavior change models as a theoretical guide, we exposed young adults to a message pertaining to reasons/motivations for why they should engage in forgiveness behaviors as well as two techniques (i.e., mindfulness or implementation planning) that may promote the ability to express granting/seeking forgiveness. Sampling from 144 young adults, results indicate that participants exposed to reasons/motives for forgiveness as well as a mindfulness or implementation planning technique were more likely to engage in forgiveness grating/seeking behaviors than participants who were not exposed to this information. Participants’ mood and attitudes toward forgiveness granting/seeking were enhanced by receiving both a message and a technique. These results were especially pronounced for victims of an interpersonal transgression who practiced mindfulness. Overall, mindfulness appeared to be the most promising technique in promoting forgiveness.
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- The Effect of Mindfulness and Implementation Planning on the Process of Granting and Seeking Forgiveness Among Young Adults
Whitney K. Jeter
Laura A. Brannon
- Springer US