Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2015

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Christopher Barry

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Gilbert Parra

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Bradley Green

Committee Member 3 Department



This study examined whether there was an association between lack of forgiveness for adverse events/circumstances perpetrated by parents and intimate partner violence (IPV) in emerging adulthood. Participants were 208 (85.6% female) 18- and 19-year-old undergraduate students. Participants were asked to describe events/circumstances in which they felt hurt by their parents when they were growing up. They then answered questions related to the most hurtful event including items pertaining to forgiveness. Participants also answered questions about the perpetration and victimization of IPV in the past year. The forgiveness-IPV relation was observed primarily for physical injury. Findings indicated that revenge seeking and benevolence were associated with the perpetration and victimization of physical injury, whereas ruminating about the event/circumstance perpetrated by a parent was predictive of physical assault and injury victimization. Our findings provide some support for an association between forgiveness of parents and IPV. Directions for future research and potential clinical implications are discussed