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Forgiveness in Marriage: Implications for Psychological Aggression and Constructive Communication

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Two studies examined whether forgiveness in married couples predicted partner reports of psychological aggression and constructive communication. Study 1 found that forgiveness of hypothetical acts of psychological aggression predicted partner reports of psychological aggression. Study 2 examined actual transgressions and found two underlying dimensions of forgiveness (positive and negative). The negative dimension predicted partner reports of psychological aggression, and, for husbands, the positive dimension predicted partner reports of constructive communication. All findings were independent of both spouses’ marital satisfaction. The implications for understanding marital interaction and future research on forgiveness are discussed.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: University at Buffalo, 2: University at Georgia

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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