The development of intergroup forgiveness in Northern Ireland
McLernon F., Cairns E., Hewstone M., Smith R.
As societies like Northern Ireland, Israel, and South Africa strive to resolve social conflict, there is growing theoretical and empirical interest in the role of intergroup forgiveness. This study examined intergroup forgiveness among 340 young adults in Northern Ireland. A short form of the Enright Forgiveness Inventory explored possible influences on propensity to forgive. All participants were Catholic and female (mean age 17.36 years), and had experienced verbal or physical injury or bereavement due to the Northern Irish political violence. Overall forgiveness levels were low in comparison with previous studies of interpersonal forgiveness but similar to previous studies of intergroup forgiveness in Northern Ireland. The strongest (negative) predictor of forgiveness was the perceived degree of hurt caused by the injury. © 2004 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.