Title of Abstract

Relationships with Parents Predict Willingness to Forgive Male and Female Transgressors

Poster Number

022

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

Abstract

We examined how relationships with their mothers and fathers predicted young adults’ willingness to forgive male and female offenders. We hypothesized that a higher quality of relationship with each gendered parent would relate to greater forgiveness of the same-gendered transgressor. Participants were young adults (n = 106; 78% women, 56% Caucasian) with a mean age of 19.87 (SD = 1.82). Participants imagined a serious offense by a female and by a male transgressor. After each situation, participants completed a forgiveness scale. Participants also responded to three scales (granted autonomy, warmth, and involvement) to assess their relationships with their mothers and fathers. In sum and in support of our hypothesis, higher relationship quality with fathers predicted greater willingness to forgive male offenders. Higher quality relationships with mothers predicted young adults’ greater willingness to forgive both male and female offenders. Religious adherence and parental modeling of forgiveness were linked to participants expressing positive attitudes toward forgiveness, but did not predict a greater forgiveness toward their transgressors. Young adults, especially women and African Americans, were more forgiving of female offenders, perhaps because the offenses participants reported coming from men (in open-ended responses) were more severe. These findings offer the first insight into how relationship quality with mothers and fathers differentially impact young adults’ forgiveness of male and female transgressors.

Course Assignment

PSYC 302 – Sleigh

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, Jacksonville, Florida, March 2019

Start Date

12-4-2019 12:00 PM

End Date

3-5-2019 12:00 AM

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Apr 12th, 12:00 PM May 3rd, 12:00 AM

Relationships with Parents Predict Willingness to Forgive Male and Female Transgressors

Rutledge Building

We examined how relationships with their mothers and fathers predicted young adults’ willingness to forgive male and female offenders. We hypothesized that a higher quality of relationship with each gendered parent would relate to greater forgiveness of the same-gendered transgressor. Participants were young adults (n = 106; 78% women, 56% Caucasian) with a mean age of 19.87 (SD = 1.82). Participants imagined a serious offense by a female and by a male transgressor. After each situation, participants completed a forgiveness scale. Participants also responded to three scales (granted autonomy, warmth, and involvement) to assess their relationships with their mothers and fathers. In sum and in support of our hypothesis, higher relationship quality with fathers predicted greater willingness to forgive male offenders. Higher quality relationships with mothers predicted young adults’ greater willingness to forgive both male and female offenders. Religious adherence and parental modeling of forgiveness were linked to participants expressing positive attitudes toward forgiveness, but did not predict a greater forgiveness toward their transgressors. Young adults, especially women and African Americans, were more forgiving of female offenders, perhaps because the offenses participants reported coming from men (in open-ended responses) were more severe. These findings offer the first insight into how relationship quality with mothers and fathers differentially impact young adults’ forgiveness of male and female transgressors.