Forgiveness, Attachment to God, and Mental Health Outcomes in Older U.S. Adults: A Longitudinal Study.Res Aging 2018; 40(5):456-479RA
We analyze a sample of older U.S. adults with religious backgrounds in order to examine the relationships among two types of divine forgiveness and three indicators of psychological well-being (PWB) as well as the moderating role of attachment to God. Results suggest that (a) feeling forgiven by God and transactional forgiveness from God are not associated with changes in PWB over time, (b) secure attachment to God at baseline is associated with increased optimism and self-esteem, (c) feeling forgiven by God and transactional forgiveness from God are more strongly associated with increased PWB among the securely attached, and (d) among the avoidantly attached, PWB is associated with consistency in one's beliefs, that is, a decreased emphasis on forgiveness from God. Findings underscore the importance of subjective beliefs about God in the lives of many older adults in the United States.