Forgiving the Unforgivable: Forgiveness in the Context of LGBT Partner Violence

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Intimate partner violence (IPV) in sexual and gender minority relationships is an underexplored and misunderstood phenomenon. Much of what has been investigated has explored IPV from a heterosexual lens, without taking into account the complexities of these relationship dynamics. Further, outcomes of IPV traditionally focus on negative sequelae, such as depression or anxiety. In this study, we examined the propensity to forgive partner abuse as a means of adaptively coping with the trauma. Further, we looked at resilience as a possible factor in the process of forgiveness. We hypothesized that psychological resilience significantly moderates the forgiveness process in sexual and ... continued below

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88 pages

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Lopez, Eliot Jay August 2015.

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  • Lopez, Eliot Jay

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Intimate partner violence (IPV) in sexual and gender minority relationships is an underexplored and misunderstood phenomenon. Much of what has been investigated has explored IPV from a heterosexual lens, without taking into account the complexities of these relationship dynamics. Further, outcomes of IPV traditionally focus on negative sequelae, such as depression or anxiety. In this study, we examined the propensity to forgive partner abuse as a means of adaptively coping with the trauma. Further, we looked at resilience as a possible factor in the process of forgiveness. We hypothesized that psychological resilience significantly moderates the forgiveness process in sexual and gender minorities who have experienced IPV. Our sample of 77 gender- and sexual-minority participants completed measures of psychological and physical IPV, resilience, and forgiveness. A regression analysis found our model accounted for 36% of the variance in forgiveness of self (adj. R2=.36, F (4, 72) = 10.34, p < .01) and 20% of forgiveness of others (adj. R2=.20, F (4, 72) = 5.01, p < .01). However, there was no significant moderating effect, nor was IPV a significant contributor to forgiveness. Results suggest trauma does not influence one’s likelihood to forgive, though some personal trait, such as resilience, is more likely to contribute to the forgiveness process. Implications are discussed.

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88 pages

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  • August 2015

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  • March 4, 2016, 4:14 p.m.

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  • May 10, 2017, 11:45 a.m.

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Lopez, Eliot Jay. Forgiving the Unforgivable: Forgiveness in the Context of LGBT Partner Violence, dissertation, August 2015; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804837/: accessed November 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .