Forgiveness a factor in blood pressure

giveness was assessed using a three-item forgiveness subscale of the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality. This subscale contains two items assessing forgiveness of oneself and others and one item assessing feeling forgiven by God. The total score and each individual item are examined in the analyses. Physiological markers of cardiovascular and endocrine system function included: 1) resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, 2) pulse, and 3) salivary cortisol. Measures were taken once a week for three weeks.

Results and Discussion
The association between forgiveness and physiology was complex. First, forgiveness total score was associated with lower resting diastolic blood pressure in the total sample. This was due in large part to marginal associations between resting diastolic blood pressure and items tapping forgiveness of oneself and others. Second, when examining only low SES blacks, forgiveness total score and the forgiven others item were significantly associated with lower resting diastolic blood pressure and lower cortisol at moderate to large effect sizes (rs -.34 to -.56). Toussaint is Assistant Professor, Idaho State University (2001-present) Psychology Department


Contact: Vicki Robb
John Templeton Foundation

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