Forgiveness and subjective well-being: Discussing mechanisms, contexts, and rationales

Patrick L. Hill*, Marie E. Heffernan, Mathias Allemand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


Forgiveness often is discussed as a release of negative emotions or intentions for revenge against a transgressor. Given this focus, some may forget the profound benefits that forgiveness may hold for personal well-being. The current chapter reviews the literature on forgiveness and subjective well-being, in order to help motivate a new model that advances our understanding of why forgiveness can prove beneficial to the self. Our model focuses on how forgiveness helps to scaffold one’s social systems and self-concept, which then may portend greater subjective well-being. Given the relative paucity of extant work, compared to the literature on how forgiveness attenuates the “bad,” we discuss a number of future directions for the field emanating from our proposed model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationForgiveness and Health
Subtitle of host publicationScientific Evidence and Theories Relating Forgiveness to Better Health
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789401799935
ISBN (Print)9789401799928
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Adaptive identity development
  • Forgiveness
  • Happiness
  • Mechanism
  • Mediation
  • Positive psychology
  • Relationship harmony
  • Relationship mastery/maintenance
  • Scaffolding self and social systems
  • Self worth
  • Self-acceptance
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Forgiveness and subjective well-being: Discussing mechanisms, contexts, and rationales'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this