According to a new study, people who show self-control during adolescence tend to be more forgiving as adults. Journal of Personality.
“I am interested in the predictive power of personality change. Research has consistently shown that personality traits such as conscientiousness or self-control predict important life outcomes, including academic, career and relationship success, well-being, health and longevity. Zürich
“Furthermore, there is considerable empirical evidence that personality traits can and do change, and that change varies across individuals. Therefore, it is interesting to examine whether changes in personality predict important life outcomes beyond the level of personality traits. I am also interested in the development of adult forgiveness.
“The tendency or willingness to forgive others, a trait-like behavior, is an important construct in the context of social relations and coexistence in society, because it is related to the maintenance of important relationships and personal and social well-being. We already know, but whether changes in self-control are associated with long-term forgiveness has not yet been investigated.
For their study, Allmand and his colleagues analyzed data from 1,350 participants from the German Lifetime Study.
Self-control during adolescence was assessed five times: at 12 years, 13 years, 14 years, 15 years, and 16 years. “Some teenagers have low scores on self-control and then show improvement. For others, self-control was highest in early adolescence and continued to increase as youth grew older. Finally, others changed little or showed a decrease in self-control,” Allemand said.
When the participants turned 45, they completed a series of assessments that included a measure of forgiveness.
The researchers found that self-control during adolescence was positively related to the tendency to forgive others in middle adulthood. In other words, who are the participants I don’t agree In adolescence, with statements such as “I feel very weak willed” and “I often give up at the first sign of trouble.” i agree At the age of 45, “When someone hurts my feelings, I start to break up quickly” and “When people wrong me, my approach is to forgive and forget” at the age of 45.
“We found that changes in self-control during adolescence are important for the tendency or willingness to forgive others in middle age,” Allmand told PsyPost. “Higher self-control in early adolescence and increased self-esteem during adolescence are associated with a greater willingness to forgive others. At the same time, lower grades and lower self-control are associated with lower willingness to forgive.
The researchers controlled for factors such as gender, socioeconomic status, and adolescence. But the study, like Al’s research, includes some limitations.
“Self-control during adolescence and forgiveness in midlife are assessed using only self-reports. Future research is needed, which uses a multi-method approach, such as self-control and self-forgiveness.
“Another limitation of our study is that forgiveness was assessed only in midlife but not earlier in life. That is, we have no information about the extent of differences in willingness to forgive during adolescence and how they develop during adolescence. However, the unique longitudinal design of the study spanned more than 30 years. Because, we cannot do a quick follow-up study with such a long duration and even more evaluation to replicate the results.
“However, the fundamental question of whether changes in personality can predict important outcomes across levels is important for future research,” Allmand continued. Although adolescence is an important developmental window for examining developmental processes that may influence adulthood, it is important to study the long-term effects of developmental processes in other life periods: How do personality changes in middle adulthood contribute? Successful aging? What are the benefits of active and healthy aging?”
The study “Self-control in adolescence predicts forgiveness in middle adulthood“Written by Matthias Allmand, Andrea E. Grunenfelder-Steiger, Helmut A. Fendt, and Patrick L. It’s Hill.