Forgiveness linked to spinal cord injury rehab

Study shows that forgivness helps in medical rehabilitation of spinal cord injury patients. Forgiveness was found to improve health in those patients. Patients who were more forgiving of themselves and of others reported more satisfaction with their lives. They rated their own health status higher and were also more likely to perform healthy behaviors.

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.

1) Understand the relevance of forgiveness in medical rehabilitation,
2) Examine the role of forgiveness in the direct promotion of health and well-being among people with spinal cord injury
3) Examine the relationship between forgiveness and health behavior in the promotion of health and well-being among people with spinal cord injury.

Motor vehicle accidents and violence cause 63% of spinal cord injury (SCI) sustained in America, thereby increasing the risk for negative emotion, stress, and dysfunctional behavior among people with SCI which, in turn, can lead to diminished physical and mental health. Forgiveness, largely unexamined in the rehabilitation process, is highly relevant to coping with aggressive and accidental trauma. Its effect in promoting health may be both direct and indirect through health behavior. We present preliminary findings from an ongoing self-report survey-based longitudinal study examining the role of forgiveness in promoting health and well-being among people with SCI. As such, we expected to find significant and positive relationships between forgiveness of self (FS) and others (FO) and health-status (H), health-behaviors (HB), and life-satisfaction (LS). A community-based sample of 140 adults (age at injury (AI): 16+; 90% Caucasian, 6% African-American0; 75% male; 79% high school education/above) with SCI (52/48% paraplegia/tetraple

Contact: Vicki Robb
John Templeton Foundation

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