Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Forgiveness Boosts Health; Effect Varies with Age
Reuters Health via Yahoo ^ | 12-28-01 | Anon

Posted on 12/31/2001 6:41:21 AM PST by Pharmboy

Friday December 28 5:26 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - To err is human and to forgive divine, according to the old adage, but humans who forgive are known to experience significant physical and mental health benefits from doing so. Now researchers report that these beneficial health effects appear to vary by age, along with the willingness to forgive others, the willingness to forgive oneself and the feeling of being forgiven by God.

``Taken together, our findings emphasize that forgiveness is a multidimensional phenomenon,'' write study lead author Dr. Loren L. Toussaint of the University of Michigan and colleagues. ``There are age differences in some forms of forgiveness and in their relationship to health.''

Their conclusions are based on survey responses from more than 1,400 adults during a 5-month study period.

In general, young adults (18-44 years) reported that they were less likely to forgive others than middle-aged (45-64) and older adults (65 and older). They were also less likely than older adults to believe that they had been forgiven by God, the investigators report in the Journal of Adult Development.

Among survey participants of all ages, however, reports of forgiveness of themselves and others were associated with decreased psychological distress, including feelings of restlessness, hopelessness and nervousness.

Further, young adults who reported high levels of self-forgiveness were more likely to be satisfied with their lives, whereas middle age and older adults who reported high levels of forgiveness of others were more likely to report increased life satisfaction.

But not all foregiving is immediately beneficial, the findings suggest. Proactive forgiveness-asking for forgiveness, rather than granting it--was associated with increased psychological distress among all study participants. Other acts of proactive forgiveness would include asking God's forgiveness for hurting someone or praying for someone who has hurt them.

The researchers speculate that this may be because such proactive individuals are ``'taking the first step' in the process of forgiveness,'' which may lead to heightened stress.

In other findings, attendance at religious services was associated with decreased psychological distress, particularly among young and middle-aged adults, and increased life satisfaction among young and old adults. Service attendance was also associated with higher self-rated health among all age groups.

The study was partly supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.

SOURCE: Journal of Adult Development 2001;8:249-257.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
In other findings, attendance at religious services was associated with decreased psychological distress, particularly among young and middle-aged adults, and increased life satisfaction among young and old adults. Service attendance was also associated with higher self-rated health among all age groups.

Hey--what has happened to separation church and state? /sarcasm

1 posted on 12/31/2001 6:41:21 AM PST by Pharmboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
Anybody feel like singing a few bars of Don Henley?

You gotta put it all behind you, cause life goes on. You keep carrying that anger, it'll eat you up inside.

2 posted on 12/31/2001 7:38:46 AM PST by Mr170IQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr170IQ
Yep--it always feels good to do the right thing; only sometimes we don't know exactly what it is.
3 posted on 12/31/2001 8:10:48 AM PST by Pharmboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson