Year of Publication

2005

Document Type

Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Richard Milich

Second Advisor

Monica J. Harris

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine whether women who have been victimized can have a decrease in their negative affect by being exposed to the suggestion of one of two dimensions of forgiveness. The study also examined the moderating effect of several personality variables on participants reactions to the intervention. Seventy-nine women were given several personality and affect questionnaires before and after they listened to instructions for either granting forgiveness (interpersonal), letting go of their negative affect (intrapsychic), or relaxation (control). Results indicated that focusing on granting forgiveness was associated with more negative affect than the other two interventions. Main effects and moderating effects were found for certain personality characteristics such as self esteem and self efficacy. These findings provide conflicting support for the use of forgiveness therapy with victimized women by suggesting that some benefits may be gained, but personality characteristics should be considered before beginning this type of therapy.

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