The conceptualisation of forgiveness among Turkish children and adolescents

Ebru Taysi, Fatih Orcan
Published Online:
14 Dec 2015
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 52 Issue 6

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This study examined (a) how Turkish children and adolescents define forgiveness, (b) the association between self‐reported forgiveness and the concepts participants hold and (c) the association between self‐reported forgiveness and age. Three hundred and sixty‐seven Turkish children in primary (N = 220) and secondary schools (N = 147) were involved in the study. Participants were asked to define forgiveness, and the study used the Enright Forgiveness Inventory for Children (EFI‐C). Participants' conceptions of forgiveness were categorised into four groups: conditional forgiveness, reconciliation, ignoring the hurtful event and affective reactions. Half of all the participants in the study were found to be in the conditional forgiveness category. Turkish children were found to be mostly in the category of conditional forgiveness, reconciliation and affective reactions compared with adolescents. Adolescents were mainly found to be in the ignoring the hurtful event category. The highest self‐reported forgiveness mean was in the affective reactions category. Participants were commonly offended by friends, siblings, teachers and fathers. No correlation was found between self‐reported forgiveness and age. The present results expand the literature of forgiveness by presenting evidence that Turkish children's and adolescents' understanding of forgiveness moderately relates to theoretical definitions.

© 2015 International Union of Psychological Science