Forgiving communication as a response to relational transgressions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Researchers and therapists have argued that forgiveness is essential to the process of relationship reconciliation. This project describes five types of forgiving communication reported by 187 adult members of romantic relationships. We labeled these forms of forgiving communication conditional, minimizing, discussion, nonverbal display, and explicit. As expected, forgivers recalled using more conditional and less minimizing types of communication when relational transgressions were severe. In addition, variations in reported forgiving communication were associated with relational outcomes. Partners who reported using conditional forms of communication also indicated that they experienced relationship deterioration after the forgiveness episode. In contrast, reported explicit and nonverbal forgiveness strategies were positively associated with relationship strengthening. The results are interpreted as further evidence that the role of communication behavior should be expanded in conceptual models of forgiveness and relationship reconciliation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-742
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005

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Forgiveness
Communication
communication
reconciliation
communication behavior
therapist
Deterioration
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evidence

Keywords

  • Apology
  • Communication
  • Forgiveness
  • Reconciliation
  • Relationship outcomes
  • Transgressions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Forgiving communication as a response to relational transgressions. / Waldron, Vincent; Kelley, Douglas.

In: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Vol. 22, No. 6, 12.2005, p. 723-742.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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