Statement of the Problem
Post transgression forgiveness psychoeducation/interventions abound in literature (McCullogh, Pargament & Thorsesen, 2000; Wade, Johnson, & Meyer, 2008). For instance, investigators have examined the motives, dispositional/situational relational aspects, and the health benefits of forgiveness (Bono, McCullough & Root, 2008; Cox, Bennett, Fincham, Hall & Beach, 2005; McNulty, 2010; Fincham & Beach, 2007; Ysseldyk & Wohl, 2012). The religious origins of forgiveness are also an important variable in understanding forgiveness (Braithwaite, Selby & Fincham, 2011; Jankowski & Sandage, 2011; Lawler-Row, 2010; Paleari, Regalia, & Fincham, 2009; Vasiliauskas & McMinn, 2012). Nonetheless, there appears to be an absence of data identifying and explaining what specific behaviors were initially learned, repeated and are still present in the lives of older adults. Hence, the constructs of Social Learning Theory (SLT), that is, live (model), verbal, and symbolic characteristics may help explain SLT construct processes of forgiveness in older adults, thus bringing a more accurate understanding of the subject matter. Moreover, the vast data of SLT constructs in literature may provide insight to this problem because research is clear that a great deal of learning is modeled (Slep & O'Leary, 2012; Sincero, 2011; Fritz, Slep & O'Leary, 2012; Kuppens, Laurent, Heyvaert & Onghena, 2012). Theorists continue to employ the constructs of SLT and Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) in their quest to understand human behavior at all developmental stages (Samek, & Rueter, 2011; Subiaul, Anderson, Brandt, & Elkins, 2012). Therefore, the constructs of SLT and its fellow theory Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) may provide insights to how constructs of forgiveness are passed from one generation to another via live modeling, verbal instruction, and symbolic methods (Careernz, 2013; Merrill, Read & Barnett, 2013; Miller et al., 2009).
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore forgiveness traits/behaviors that older adults learned from their parents and to thoroughly examine how those traits/behaviors were replicated throughout the lifespan of older adults. Moreover, this present study seeks to identify and measure traits/behaviors of forgiveness that are most prevalent in older adults lives. Older adults will be recruited from atheistic and theistic religious communities. The measures of study will include forgiveness, religiosity/spirituality, soci-demographics, and general cognitive screening. The means for collecting data will be via survey and one single open ended questionnaire.
In the context of family ecology, children learn a variety of behaviors according to social learning theorist. Scholars suggest that some of these learned behaviors are verbal, non-verbal (model) and symbolic. Thus, children learn forgiveness traits and behaviors from their parents and/or authority figures that they...