Responses to interpersonal transgressions in families: Forgivingness, forgivability, and relationship-specific effects

William T. Hoyt, Michael E. McCullough, Frank D. Fincham, Gregory Maio, Joanne Davila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Scopus citations


Social relations analyses examined the relative importance of forgivingness (disposition to forgive others), forgivability (tendency to obtain forgiveness from others), and relationship effects in determining family members' transgression-related interpersonal motivations (TRIMs) and their perceptions of others' TRIMs toward them (PTRIMs). In 2 studies, the individual and dyadic predictors of these components and their relative importance differed by family role (father, mother, or early adolescent child). Dispositional tendencies accounted for the most variance in father and child forgiveness, whereas mothers' TRIMs and PTRIMs were more strongly determined by relationship and partner effects. Personality correlates of forgivingness and forgivability were moderated by family role. The findings point to the need to embed the study of forgiveness in more complex psychosocial contexts. The theoretical, methodological, and applied implications of this conclusion are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-394
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005



  • Family roles
  • Forgiveness
  • Social relations model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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