Willingness to forgive among young adolescents: A comparison between two groups of different cultural origins living in France

  • Eve G
  • Mullet E
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Abstract

Willingness to forgive depending on circumstances was as- sessed in a sample of 203 15- and 16-year-old adolescents from two different cultures: Western Europe and Maghreb. The material consisted of 48 cards depicting a fight between adolescents. Each story contained five items of in- formation: (a) the origin of the offender (Christian surname versus Muslim surname), (b) the origin of the victim (Christian surname versus Muslim sur- name), (c) the degree of intent in the act (clear intent versus no intent), (d) apologies / contrition for the act (apologies versus no apologies), and (e) the degree of cancellation of consequences. The overall level of willingness to for- give was clearly different from zero, but was not very high: among adoles- cents, forgiveness is far from being unconditional. The apology factor ap- peared to be extremely important: when remorse and apologies are present, it is much easier to forgive. Willingness to forgive extends to the members of the “other” group. All these results hold true, irrespective of the respondent’s origin.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Forgiveness
  • France
  • Maghrbi
  • adolescents
  • apology

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