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Children’s and Adolescents’ Peer Relationships as Contexts for Forgiveness and Nonforgiveness


Children’s and Adolescents’ Peer Relationships as Contexts for Forgiveness and Nonforgiveness

Faulconbridge, Olivia (2016) Children’s and Adolescents’ Peer Relationships as Contexts for Forgiveness and Nonforgiveness. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This study investigated how children and adolescents describe forgiveness and nonforgiveness experiences within the context of their relationships with peers. Specifically, we examined (1) the types of relationships youth described in their narrative accounts of forgiveness and nonforgiveness, (2) how youth described changes in the nature of their relationships following forgiveness and nonforgiveness, and (3) the circumstances in which youth ultimately described forgiving or not forgiving their close friends for transgressions. A total of 100 children and adolescents (7-, 11- and 16-years-old) described two experiences in which they forgave or did not forgive a peer who had hurt them. At all ages, youth described friends more frequently in forgiveness narratives, and disliked peers more frequently in nonforgiveness narratives. Further, adolescents differentiated more between friends and good friends than 7-year-olds. Youth overall described more positive consequences in their relationships following forgiveness than nonforgiveness, but these effects were qualified by the manner in which youth described their experience of forgiveness. In particular, negative consequences for relationships were more often described following a lack of intrapersonal forgiveness (i.e., describing unresolved emotions persisting into the present). Last, a qualitative analysis of youths’ forgiveness and nonforgiveness experiences with good friends suggested that the type of harm, intentionality, and offender’s response following the harm influenced youths’ willingness to forgive a best friend. These findings provide new insight into the ways in which youth describe relationships as contexts for forgiveness and nonforgiveness experiences and changes in their peer relationships following experiences.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Faulconbridge, Olivia
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:December 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Recchia, Holly
Keywords:Forgiveness, Peer Relationships
ID Code:982116
Deposited On:05 Jun 2017 15:59
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:54
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