An Alternative Model of Self-Forgiveness

  • John M. McConnell Ball State University
  • David N. Dixon Ball State University
  • W. Holmes Finch Ball State University


To date there has been no holistic confirmation of Hall and Fincham’s (2005 and 2008) models of self-forgiveness. We review interrelationships among Hall and Fincham’s (2005) proposed antecedents (i.e., attributions, severity of transgressions, empathy, guilt, shame, conciliatory behaviors, and perceived forgiveness), and ultimately how they contribute to self-forgiveness. The current study compared Hall and Fincham’s (2005 and 2008) models with an a priori alternative model via structural equation modeling. Our alternative model was the best fitting model, eliciting adequate to good model fit with all estimated parameters significant at the .001 level. Nonetheless, significant multivariate non-normality might have decreased its appropriateness and thus, it may actually approximate a better fit than results seemed to indicate. We also discuss research and therapeutic implications.


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