Journal of Happiness Studies

, 10:635 | Cite as

Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Affect and Beliefs

  • Loren ToussaintEmail author
  • Philip Friedman
Research Paper


Forgiveness and gratitude are positive psychological characteristics that are connected to well-being. This study examined these connections in an understudied population of psychotherapy outpatients and examined the extent to which affect and beliefs mediated these relationships. Participants were 72 outpatients who completed a battery of assessments as part of a standard intake protocol. Results showed that forgiveness and gratitude were both positively and strongly associated with well-being and largely, though not completely, mediated by affect and belief. Forgiveness and gratitude may have an important place in the positive psychologist’s repertoire of well-being enhancing techniques and exercises in general, and may be particularly powerful with a clinical psychotherapy population.


Forgiveness Gratitude Happiness Life-satisfaction Mediators Well-being 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLuther CollegeDecorahIAUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Transpersonal PsychologyPalo AltoUSA
  3. 3.Foundation for Well-Being, Plymouth MeetingPhiladelphiaUSA

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