Longitudinal relationship between Forgiveness of Self and Forgiveness of Others among individuals with alcohol use disorders

Amy R Krentzman, Jon R. Webb, Jennifer M. Jester, J. Irene Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Previous research has suggested that forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others might function differently over the course of addiction recovery. However, we know little about the longitudinal process of these dimensions of forgiveness for individuals addressing alcohol-use disorders. Increased knowledge would inform the content and sequencing of intervention strategies. Three-hundred and sixty four individuals managing alcohol dependence participated in a 30-month longitudinal study, reporting their capacity to forgive self and to forgive others every 6 months. Findings indicated that (a) participants were more forgiving of others than themselves; (b) both types of forgiveness increased over time; (c) forgiveness of self increased more rapidly than forgiveness of others; and (d) while increases in both types of forgiveness predicted increases in the other type, the effect of forgiveness of others on forgiveness of self was twice as strong as the reverse effect. Implications for facilitating forgiveness in treatment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-137
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology of Religion and Spirituality
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Grants R01 AA014442 and R21 AA019723 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, and partially by Grant DA035882 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. This material is based upon work supported in part by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, and the Office of Research and Development. The contents of this publication do not represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Psychological Association.


  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Forgiveness of others
  • Forgiveness of self
  • Spirituality


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