Although the ability to forgive offending peers may be crucial for maintaining long-term friendships in childhood, little is actually known about forgiveness among peers in childhood. In the present research, we examined whether forgiveness among children is related to enhanced psychological well-being. Importantly, we hypothesized that this association should be most pronounced when friendship is strong rather than weak. In a sample of 275 nine- to 13-year-olds who completed self-reported and behavioral measures of forgiveness and various indicators of psychological well-being, the present study revealed that forgiveness among peers was indeed associated with enhanced psychological well-being. In line with predictions, the association with psychological well-being was stronger when it concerned forgiveness toward friends rather than forgiveness toward nonfriends. Implications for the extant literature on forgiveness among children, and interpersonal relationships more broadly, are discussed.
van der Wal, Reine C.; Karremans, Johan C.; and Cillessen, Antonius H. N.
"Interpersonal forgiveness and psychological well-being in late childhood,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 62
, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol62/iss1/1