Forgiving the Self and Physical and Mental Health Correlates: A Meta-Analytic Review

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Abstract

Self-forgiveness has been conceptualized as a coping strategy that may improve health and well-being. To better understand the functions of self-forgiveness, this meta-analysis examines the correlates of self-forgiveness associated with physical and mental health. For physical health, across 18 samples and 5,653 participants, the correlation was .32. For psychological well-being, across 65 samples and 17,939 participants, the correlation was .45. To augment this primary focus on physical and mental health correlates, we estimated the relationships between self-forgiveness and specific mental health constructs and relationship outcomes. Implications for future basic and applied research on self-forgiveness are discussed.

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