Forgiveness a factor in blood pressure

Forgiveness is linked to low blood pressure and, first study connecting forgiveness and health to survey racially and socio-economically diverse individuals shows that, for low socio-economic status Blacks, forgiveness is linked to low blood pressure and low levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

The findings will be presented at the Conference on Forgiveness in Atlanta October 24-25. To register, log on to the Press Room at http://Forgiving.org.

Physiological correlates of forgiveness: Findings from a radically and socio-economically diverse sample of community residents.

1. Interesting associations between forgiveness and physiological outcomes exist but careful attention should be paid to sample characteristics
2. Forgiveness is associated with lower resting diastolic blood pressure
3. Forgiveness is associated with lower resting diastolic blood pressure and lower levels of cortisol in black individuals of low socio-econokic status

The study of forgiveness and health is beginning to receive attention but two limitations exist in the literature. First, the overwhelming majority of samples continue to be drawn from college student populations. There is little diversity in terms of race, socio-economic status, and gender. Second, only a few studies have attempted to examine forgiveness and physiological markers of cardiovascular and endocrine system function. The purpose of the present investigation was to examine forgiveness and blood pressure and cortisol levels in a racially and socio-economically diverse sample of community residents.

Method Participants
Quota sampling was used to recruit 98 participants from low and moderate income neighborhoods from Ypsilanti, Michigan with equal numbers of blacks and whites and males and females. Participants were 25-55 years of age (M = 40.2).


Contact: Vicki Robb
John Templeton Foundation

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