Previous research suggests that relationship commitment can promote forgiveness. However, the converse might also be true, especially after severe transgressions wherein forgiveness requires much investment. The present longitudinal research examined commitment-change as a function of both forgiveness and transgression severity. Study 1 (N = 75) assessed commitment at two time-points, and forgiveness for a transgression that had occurred in the interim. Transgression severity was associated with decreased commitment; however, forgiveness mediated this relation such that greater forgiveness diminished commitment loss. Study 2 (N = 80) replicated these results and ruled out several other potential mediators. The role of forgiveness in relationship maintenance is discussed.

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Keywords Commitment, Forgiveness, Interpersonal relationships, Investment model, Longitudinal
Persistent URL
Journal Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science
Ysseldyk, R, & Wohl, M. (2012). I forgive therefore I'm committed: A longitudinal examination of commitment after a romantic relationship transgression. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 44(4), 257–263. doi:10.1037/a0025463