The association of forgiveness and 12-month prevalence of major depressive episode

Gender differences in a probability sample of U.S. adults

Loren Toussaint, David Williams, Marc Musick, Susan Everson-Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research suggests that gender differences in interpersonal orientations may differentially predispose women and men to depression. While women tend to be more interdependent and show interpersonal depressive styles, men are more independent and show self-critical styles. Forgiveness is one religious/spiritual, interpersonal variable that has received very little attention in the literature on depression. Hence, the purpose of this study was to examine forgiveness as a multidimensional, inter-relational variable that may have differential associations with depression in women and men. We measured multiple forms of forgiveness and assessed 12-month prevalence of major depressive episode using a screening version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. We controlled for religiousness/spirituality and demographic in our analyses, and used data from a nationally representative, probability sample of 1,423 adults, ages 18 years and older. Women reported higher levels of religiousness/spirituality and forgiveness than men. Among women, forgiveness of others, forgiveness of self, and feeling forgiven by God were associated with decreased odds of depression (p < 0.05), whereas seeking forgiveness was associated with increased odds (p < 0.05). For men, only forgiveness of oneself was significantly associated with decreased odds of depression (p < 0.05).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-500
Number of pages16
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

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Forgiveness
Sampling Studies
Depression
Spirituality
Emotions
Demography
Interviews

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The association of forgiveness and 12-month prevalence of major depressive episode : Gender differences in a probability sample of U.S. adults. / Toussaint, Loren; Williams, David; Musick, Marc; Everson-Rose, Susan.

In: Mental Health, Religion and Culture, Vol. 11, No. 5, 01.07.2008, p. 485-500.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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