Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología
Print version ISSN 0120-0534
This study had two goals: 1) to analyze the ability to forgive as a function of age and sex, and 2) to investigate two aspects related to forgiveness, its definition and the circumstances or reasons that facilitate it. The methodology of the study is descriptive and comparative. The sample is made up of 140 participants, 70 sons and daughters and 70 parents, of both sexes and aged between 17-25 and 45-60 years, respectively. The younger participants were recruited from educational institutions from the pais Vasco (Spain). Two instruments were used to measure the dependent variables: CAPER, a scale to assess the ability to forgive, and ESPER, a scale of forgiveness and facilitating factors. The results indicate that parents are more capable of forgiving than their children and women capable more than men. With respect to the definition of forgiveness, parents and children appear to hold similar conception of forgiveness: "lack of resentment, reconciliation and comprehension-empathy"; however, there are differences between men and women, although for both of them, the "lack of resentment" is the first feature that defines forgiveness. Regarding the reasons that facilitate forgiveness, differences as a function of age and sex were observed; despite the differences, the weightiest arguments were "the other person should feel sorry about what he or she did and should apologize" and "justice should be carried out through the law". Implications are discussed.
Keywords : forgiveness; lack of resentment; reconciliation; comprehension; empathy.