Forgiveness, feeling connected to others, and well-being: Two longitudinal studies

Giacomo Bono, Michael E. McCullough, Lindsey M. Root

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

152 Scopus citations


In two studies, the authors investigated the associations between interpersonal forgiveness and psychological well-being. Cross-sectional and prospective multilevel analyses demonstrated that increases in forgiveness (measured as fluctuations in individuals' avoidance, revenge, and benevolence motivations toward their transgressors) were related to within-persons increases in psychological well-being (measured as more satisfaction with life, more positive mood, less negative mood, and fewer physical symptoms). Moreover, forgiveness was more strongly linked to well-being for people who reported being closer and more committed to their partners before the transgression and for people who reported that their partners apologized and made amends for the transgression. Evidence for the reverse causal model, that increases in well-being were related to increases in forgiveness, was also found. However, changes in feelings of closeness toward the partner appeared to account for the associations of forgiveness with well-being, but not vice versa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-195
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Apology
  • Closeness
  • Forgiveness
  • Longitudinal
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology


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