Study Says That Forgiveness Leads To Lower Mental Health Risks


A study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that the more forgiving people are, the fewer symptoms of mental disorders they experience. The researchers suggest teaching forgiveness may be a valuable tool in early interventions for mental health.

The research team in California recruited 148 young adults from a Midwestern liberal arts college and had them complete surveys. The surveys focused on histories of physical and emotional stress and well-being and their tendencies to be "forgiving" towards themselves and others.

The findings showed that forgiveness may be a "strong, independent predictor of mental and physical health." No matter the severity of the stress levels reported, the more forgiving the person, the less likely negative symptoms resulted.

“[W]e found that lifetime stress severity was unrelated to mental health for persons who were highest in forgivingness, significantly associated with poorer mental health for persons exhibiting moderate levels of forgivingness, and most strongly related to poorer mental health for participants exhibiting the lowest levels of forgivingness,” wrote the researchers.

They research and results can be found this link.


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