Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas A. Widiger


The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a five factor model (FFM) measure of forgiveness. Participants were 545 undergraduates currently enrolled in introductory and experimental psychology courses at the University of Kentucky (272 used for item construction, 273 for scale validation). Items were selected on the basis of convergent validity with five-factor model personality scales and forgiveness scales. Participants in the validation stage were administered the resulting Five Factor Forgiveness Inventory (FFFI), as well as the International Personality Item Pool-NEO (IPIP-NEO) and seven other existing forgiveness measures. Significant convergent validity was obtained for the vast majority of the seven FFFI subscales with their corresponding IPIP-NEO facet scales. Discriminant validity was good to excellent for all subscales, as well. FFFI subscales were all significantly correlated with the seven existing forgiveness measures, and the FFFI total score obtained significant incremental validity over all seven other forgiveness scales. Finally, multiple regression analyses revealed that FFFI scales accounted for additional variance in predicting results on existing forgiveness measures. The initial construction and validation of this measure provides a foundation for assessing forgiveness from the perspective of the FFM, thus providing a more comprehensive, nuanced understanding of the disposition to forgive.