Relations Among Apology, Forgiveness, and Communicative Responses to Hurtful Messages
Unformatted Document Text:
Forgiveness and Communication 13
H6: Forgiveness associates negatively with (a) de-escalation, (b) revenge, (c) distributive
communication, and (d) negative avoidance.
H7: Forgiveness mediates the associations between apology and destructive
communicative responses to hurtful events.
Participants and Procedures
A social network sampling technique was used to recruit respondents for this study.
Student recruiters were given written examples of hurtful events (e.g., partner cheated, lied,
insulted the other, or broke a promise) and were offered extra credit for distributing a
questionnaire to a person in their social network who had recently experienced such an event in
her or his dating relationship. Respondents needed to have been seriously dating the person who
engaged in a hurtful incident toward them, with “serious dating relationship” defined as a
committed, exclusive romantic relationship that had lasted at least two months. Respondents
completed questionnaires in the privacy of their homes and returned them in sealed envelopes to
the student recruiters, who returned them to the principal investigator. Respondents were
informed that their participation was voluntary and that their responses were anonymous.
Of the 272 packets that were originally returned, data from 263 participants (147 females,
116 males) were retained. Participants who described an event that occurred more than 14
months ago were eliminated due to concerns about accurate recall. Two respondents’ data were
discarded because they did not complete a majority of the questionnaire, two questionnaires were
eliminated because the respondents were married to the person who hurt them, and one other
participant who described an event that occurred the night before was eliminated because only a
limited pattern of communicative responses to the hurtful event was likely to have occurred after
such a short time. For the 263 remaining respondents, the average time since the hurtful event