Age differences in forgivingness: The role of transgression frequency and intensity

Marianne Steiner, Mathias Allemand, Michael E. McCullough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The present study examined age differences in the disposition to forgive others and the role of interpersonal transgression frequency and intensity. Data from a representative cross-sectional sample of Swiss adults (N=451, age: 20-83. years) were used. Participants completed a self-report measure of forgivingness and indicated whether and how intense they have experienced different types of interpersonal transgressions during the past 12. months. Results indicate that older adults were, on average, more willing to forgive others than younger adults. Frequency and intensity of transgressions were negatively related with age. Moreover, the results show that transgression frequency and intensity explained, in part, age differences in forgivingness. Future directions concerning the meaning of age differences in forgivingness are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-678
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Age differences
  • Forgivingness
  • Interpersonal problems
  • Transgression frequency
  • Transgression intensity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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