Date of Conferral
Both meaning in life and forgiveness have been shown to separately contribute to better mental health. However, no prior research examined the linkage between meaning in life and forgiveness. This quantitative study was therefore to identify if there was a relationship between meaning in life, as measured by the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ), and overall dispositional forgiveness, dispositional forgiveness of self, dispositional forgiveness of others, and dispositional forgiveness of situations, as measured by the Heartland Forgiveness Scale (HFS). Survey data were gathered from 250 college students in Western Canada, and multiple linear regression controlling for sociodemographic factors was used. The results showed a relationship between meaning in life and 3 out of the 4 variables. A significant relationship was found between meaning in life and dispositional forgiveness, dispositional forgiveness of situations, and overall dispositional forgiveness. There was no relationship found between meaning in life and dispositional forgiveness of others. These findings may be explained by extant literature suggesting differences in both cognitions and emotions between self forgiveness, other forgiveness, and overall forgiveness. Mental health professionals applying therapeutic intervention options that incorporate these 2 constructs may help to precipitate social change in terms of the treatment and management of mental health, especially with respect to the potential to improve treatment options for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and anger. Improved treatment interventions and options for individuals can potentially lead to increased employability, reduction in crime, better school attendance and performance, and overall improved physical health across the lifespan.