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Exploring Forgiveness: The Relationship Between Feeling Forgiven by God and Self-Forgiveness for an Interpersonal Offense

2008, Doctor of Philosophy, Case Western Reserve University, Psychology.
Recent literature shows that self-forgiveness may promote psychological health and well-being. Because of the potential benefits of self-forgiveness, researchers have attempted to identify factors that may facilitate the self-forgiveness process. One such facilitator may be the experience of feeling forgiven by God. Feeling forgiven by God, or the experience of divine forgiveness, has been linked with feelings of self-acceptance and other markers of well-being. Accordingly, the present study examined the relationship between divine forgiveness and self-forgiveness in two samples of participants: college students and a general sample of adults. Two hundred sixteen participants (n=108 per sample) wrote about an incident where they might have offended someone and completed questionnaires in an online format. Separate analyses were conducted for each sample of participants. Because the experience of divine forgiveness has not been studied extensively in psychological literature, as a first step the present study examined the structure of a scale that assesses people's experience of divine forgiveness. Factor analysis revealed that the experience of divine forgiveness as measured by the Divine Forgiveness Scale falls into two factors: having a positive experience of divine forgiveness versus seeing God's response as punitive. As predicted, the experience of divine forgiveness (both positive and punitive factors) predicted self-forgiveness over and above other predictors of self-forgiveness in both samples. Numerous spiritual, intrapersonal, and interpersonal factors were correlated with the experience of divine forgiveness. For example, having a positive experience of divine forgiveness was linked with greater indicators of religious commitment in both samples. Perceiving God's response as punitive was positively related to religious strain and negatively related to intrapersonal well-being in both samples.
Julie Exline (Advisor)
Norah Feeny (Committee Member)
TJ McCallum (Committee Member)
Timothy Beal (Committee Member)
73 p.

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Martin, A. (2008). Exploring Forgiveness: The Relationship Between Feeling Forgiven by God and Self-Forgiveness for an Interpersonal Offense. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Martin, Alyce. "Exploring Forgiveness: The Relationship Between Feeling Forgiven by God and Self-Forgiveness for an Interpersonal Offense." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Case Western Reserve University, 2008. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 21 Sep 2017.

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Martin, Alyce "Exploring Forgiveness: The Relationship Between Feeling Forgiven by God and Self-Forgiveness for an Interpersonal Offense." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Case Western Reserve University, 2008. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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