Affordable Access

Further validation of the Forgiveness of Self (FOS) and Forgiveness of Others (FOO) scales and development of the Potential Barriers to Forgiveness scale

Purdue University
Publication Date
  • Sociology
  • Theory And Methods|Psychology
  • Clinical|Sociology
  • Individual And Family Studies|Psychology
  • Psychometrics
  • Design


The purpose of this study was to further validate two existing measures of forgiveness, the Forgiveness of Self (FOS) and Forgiveness of Others (FOO) scales, and to develop a scale designed to measure barriers to forgiveness, specifically false forgiveness. Literature relating to forgiveness, and scale construction was reviewed in detail, providing a rationale for the study. Subjects (N = 227) recruited from a large midwestern university completed a questionnaire in which forgiving attitudes toward self, forgiving attitudes toward others, false forgiveness, age, relationship satisfaction and fear of intimacy were measured.^ Results indicate that the FOO and FOS scales have adequate reliability and validity, but that the FOO scale may be biased with false forgiveness. A new scale was developed, which has been named the Potential Barriers to Forgiveness (PBF) scale. The scale consists of two orthogonal subscales, "Attitudes Leading to Non-Forgiveness" (ALNOF) and "False Forgiveness" (FF). These subscales appear to have good psychometric properties. The "Attitudes Leading to Non-Forgiveness" (ALNOF) scale has high reliability (a =.89) as does the "False Forgiveness" (FF) scale (a =.80). These scales were used in several analyses to further investigate their validity. Scores on the first subscale (ALNOF) were found to relate positively to fear of intimacy (r =.30, p $<$.01), while scores on the second subscale (FF) were not correlated with fear of intimacy (r = $-$.07). The ALNOF subscale was negatively related to relationship satisfaction (r = $-$.22, p $<$.01), while the FF subscale was not significantly correlated with relationship satisfaction (r =.02). The correlations between the two subscales and age revealed no significant relationships. The ALNOF subscale was positively correlated with social desirability (r =.35; p $<$.01), whereas the FF subscale did not significantly correlate with social desirability (r = $-$.11; p $>$.10). Implications for future research in this area are discussed. ^

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.