Background: Many studies have shown that victimisation by bullies is linked with psychopathology. Research has also demonstrated that forgiveness is associated with the mental health of victims of bullying. Method: Our objective was to explore the multiple components of forgiveness (i.e., benevolence, decreased avoidance of the perpetrator and diminished desire for revenge) as mediators of the negative mental health effects of bullying in Italian adolescents. Our hypothesis was that those who forgive their bullies would show lower levels of depression, state anger, and behaviour problems than those who did not forgive. Participants were 319 students ages 14 to 22 from two schools in Southern Italy who completed five self-report questionnaires measuring levels of victimisation, forgiveness, depression, anger, and total behaviour problems. Results: The results varied according to the components of forgiveness: although benevolence toward the victim was not a significant correlate of outcome, harbouring a desire for revenge and avoiding the perpetrator emerged as very maladaptive. Conclusions: Our study indicates that is it important for those working with adolescents to help victims of bullying overcome the negative mental health effects of the victimisation by letting go of un-forgiveness.
Barcaccia, B., Schneider, B.H., Pallini, S., Baiocco, R. (2017). Bullying and the detrimental role of un-forgiveness in adolescents’ wellbeing Acoso escolar y el papel perjudicial del no-perdón en el bienestar de los adolescentes. PSICOTHEMA, 29(2), 217-222 [10.7334/psicothema2016.251].