Tagged: “Enright Forgiveness Process Model”
Published this month in Child Development1 (Volume 93, Issue 2, March/April 2022), the critique analyzed 20 randomized intervention studies of forgiveness education programs that were implemented during school years 1996 through 2021. These studies spanned demographically diverse geographic areas including North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
The research, “A meta‐analysis of forgiveness education interventions’ effects on forgiveness and anger in children and adolescents,” was conducted by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers Hannah Rapp and Jiahe Wang Xu (both graduate students in the Dept. of Educational Psychology), and Dr. Robert Enright, educational psychology professor and co-founder of the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI).
Other significant observations and findings in the just-published report include:
- Children and adolescents inexplicably experience hurt and conflict in their interpersonal relationships and can “benefit from learning more about what forgiveness is and the process of how to forgive.”
- Forgiveness education interventions “are effective regardless of whether participants have experienced severe or mild offenses or attend schools in economically disadvantaged areas.”
- Programs of both short and long durations “can lead to significant positive change in anger and forgiveness outcomes.”
- Children who forgive are more accepted by their peers.
- Positive results for students “echoed findings from previous reviews of forgiveness interventions with primarily adult populations.”
- Forgiveness education interventions are “significantly effective” whether they are facilitated by schoolteachers or by researchers.
- The forgiveness education curriculum and process developed by Dr. Enright2 and the IFI “yielded significant effects.”
Overall, the analysis presents strong evidence that “children and adolescents can benefit from forgiveness education interventions.” Read the full meta-analysis report.
1 Child Development is a 92-year-old bimonthly scientific journal published by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). It is a vital source of information not only for researchers and theoreticians, but for a broad range of psychiatrists and psychologists, educators, and social workers in more than 60 countries around the world.
2 The Forgiveness Education curricula developed by Dr. Enright and the IFI for pre-k through 12th grade students is based on children’s story books. Those stories teach about forgiveness and other moral virtues and equip children with the knowledge of how to forgive a specific person who offends if they choose to do so. Lessons begin by educating participants about the five concepts that underlay forgiveness: inherent worth, kindness, respect, generosity, and agape love. During the program, participants read and discuss several age and culture-appropriate stories that display forgiveness between characters such as in The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo and in Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss.
My partner and I have different political views. I try to be respectful of his views, but he definitely is not respectful of my views or of me in particular. Help! How can I forgive him and start a productive dialogue about this?
I think you need to talk with your partner about what it means to be a person. Are people more than their political positions? If so, what is this “more” that goes beyond the political? Does he see these other important qualities in you? I think he needs to broaden his perspective that human beings, in their importance, transcend politics. This is not easy to learn and so he and you will have to work on this more transcendent perspective. As you forgive, try to see these larger human qualities in your partner. Such a wider perspective likely will help you in the forgiveness process.
What if I think that a person does not deserve to be forgiven? Should I then not go ahead with forgiveness?
There is a difference between your belief that a person does not deserve forgiveness and your willingness to go ahead or not with forgiving. I would say that all people are worthy of being forgiven because all people possess inherent worth. All people are special, unique, and irreplaceable. Yet, forgiveness can take time and so if you are not ready to forgive, this is your choice. I would say that your not going ahead with forgiving has more to do with your own inner world (your willingness to forgive) than it has to do with who this other person is as a person, worthy of forgiveness.
Which of your books, Forgiveness Is a Choice, The Forgiving Life, or 8 Keys to Forgiveness, present the deepest view of forgiveness in your opinion?
I would say that The Forgiving Life is the deepest in a philosophical sense. It is a Socratic dialogue between two women, one of whom is just discovering the importance of forgiveness and an older, wiser person who has much experience with forgiveness. In this book, I make the case for forgiveness as unconditional love given to the one who offends.
It depends on what you mean by “too soon.” Do you mean that the offended person is still angry and not ready to offer forgiveness, but uses the words, “I forgive you”? If the words are sincere, then this is a kind of promise of more forgiveness to come, such as a change of heart that is more compassionate. If the words, in contrast, are insincere and therefore are meant to deceive the other for some kind of advantage (such as to butter-up the boss), then, yes, the words are being spoken too soon. When deeply hurt by others, most of us need time to work through the process of forgiveness.