Passmore, Nola L. and Rea, Vivienne C. and Fogarty, Bronwyn T. and Zelakiewicz, Pualani M. L. (2009) Parental bonding and religiosity as predictors of dispositional forgiveness. In: 44th Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference 2009, 30 Sept - 4 Oct 2009, Darwin, Australia.
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As part of a larger study, eighty-nine Christian adults from the general community were surveyed to determine the extent to which dispositional forgiveness could be predicted from religiosity and parental bonding variables (i.e., mother and father care and overprotection). Participants ranged in age from 18 to 66 years (M = 40.21 years). Care and overprotection were measured by the Parental Bonding Instrument (Parker, Tupling & Brown, 1979), dispositional forgiveness was measured by the Heartland Forgiveness Scale (Thompson et al., 2005), and religiosity was assessed via an item that tapped the extent to which participants‘ religious beliefs were important to them. Separate hierarchical regressions were used to predict forgiveness of self, others, and situations. Age and gender were entered at Step 1, religiosity at Step 2, and the four parental bonding variables at Step 3. Age and mother care were the strongest predictors of forgiveness of self, such that older participants who perceived their mothers as caring were more forgiving. The full model accounted for 22.1% of the variance in forgiveness of self. However,religiosity was important in predicting forgiveness of others and situations. For forgiveness of others, religiosity was the only variable that made a unique significant contribution to the prediction, with the full model explaining 28.8% of the variance. For forgiveness of situations, age and religiosity were the only variables that made unique significant contributions, with the full model explaining 24.9% of the variance.Mother care may have been more important than religiosity in predicting forgiveness of self due to the importance of mother care in the development of a healthy self-esteem. Religiosity may have beenimportant in predicting forgiveness of others and situations due to specific Christian beliefs regarding those aspects of forgiveness. These results have implications for counselling, particularly when dealing with different types of forgiveness. Due to the relatively small sample size, further replications are required in order to clarify and extend the current findings
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