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Relations Among Apology, Forgiveness, and Communicative Responses to Hurtful Messages
Unformatted Document Text:  Forgiveness and Communication 11 questionnaire. Thus the 51 items analyzed by X (cite omitted) all referenced nonredundant responses. Some items were also modified slightly to reflect the context of generally hurtful events. Seven clean factors emerged, representing distinctly different ways of responding to hurtful events. Three of these seven responses have been described as constructive, conciliatory forms of communication that, according to McCullough et al.’s (1997, 1998) model, should associate positively with forgiveness. The first of these, relational repair tactics, constitute prosocial behaviors designed to repair the relationship through actions such as being affectionate, romantic, and complimentary toward the partner. The second constructive factor, integrative communication, involves disclosing one’s feelings in a non-threatening way and attempting to get the partner to talk about the problem to reach a solution. The final constructive factor, loyalty, is fully consistent with Rusbult’s (1983, 1987) measure of the same name and includes behaviors such as patiently waiting for the situation to improve. According to Rusbult, loyalty behaviors are constructive, indirect ways for people to show their commitment and faithfulness to the relationship. Based on McCullough’s model of interpersonal forgiveness, these three behaviors should associate positively with both apology and forgiveness, with forgiveness acting as a mediating variable. Therefore, the following three related hypotheses are advanced: H2: Apology associates positively with (a) relational repair tactics, (b) integrative communication, and (c) loyalty. H3: Forgiveness associates positively with (a) relational repair tactics, (b) integrative communication, and (c) loyalty. H4: Forgiveness mediates the associations between apology and constructive communicative responses to hurtful events.

Authors: Bachman, Guy. and Guerrero, Laura.
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Forgiveness and Communication 11
questionnaire. Thus the 51 items analyzed by X (cite omitted) all referenced nonredundant
responses. Some items were also modified slightly to reflect the context of generally hurtful
events. Seven clean factors emerged, representing distinctly different ways of responding to
hurtful events.
Three of these seven responses have been described as constructive, conciliatory forms of
communication that, according to McCullough et al.’s (1997, 1998) model, should associate
positively with forgiveness. The first of these, relational repair tactics, constitute prosocial
behaviors designed to repair the relationship through actions such as being affectionate,
romantic, and complimentary toward the partner. The second constructive factor, integrative
communication, involves disclosing one’s feelings in a non-threatening way and attempting to
get the partner to talk about the problem to reach a solution. The final constructive factor,
loyalty, is fully consistent with Rusbult’s (1983, 1987) measure of the same name and includes
behaviors such as patiently waiting for the situation to improve. According to Rusbult, loyalty
behaviors are constructive, indirect ways for people to show their commitment and faithfulness
to the relationship. Based on McCullough’s model of interpersonal forgiveness, these three
behaviors should associate positively with both apology and forgiveness, with forgiveness acting
as a mediating variable. Therefore, the following three related hypotheses are advanced:
H2: Apology associates positively with (a) relational repair tactics, (b) integrative
communication, and (c) loyalty.
H3: Forgiveness associates positively with (a) relational repair tactics, (b) integrative
communication, and (c) loyalty.
H4: Forgiveness mediates the associations between apology and constructive
communicative responses to hurtful events.


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