Seeking Forgiveness: Theoretical Context and Initial Empirical Study

Volume 28
Spring 2000
Seeking Forgiveness: Theoretical Context and Initial Empirical Study

While research on granting forgiveness has exploded recently, no theoretical or empirical attention has been directed at seeking forgiveness. We lay a theoretical base for the study of seeking forgiveness and report our initial study bearing on the concept. We investigate the potential role of some personality and developmental factors that might promote seeking forgiveness. Students (N = 232) who indicated having transgressed against a partner in the past year completed questionnaires on religiosity, age, developmental level of reasoning about forgiveness, narcissism, self-monitoring, and the level to which they had sought forgiveness. Neither religiosity nor age significantly predicted seeking forgiveness. Developmental level of reasoning about forgiveness predicted seeking forgiveness beyond religiosity and age. Narcissism and self-monitoring significantly predicted seeking forgiveness. We outline limitations of the study and implications for future research, clinical practice, and integration.

Dr. S.J. Sandage, Dr. E.L., Jr. Worthington, T.L. Hight and Dr. J.W. Berry
21 - 35
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