It has repeatedly been demonstrated that personality traits like conscientiousness and trait self-control predict significant life outcomes like success in relationships, education, and the workplace, as well as happiness, health, and longevity.
There is evidence that personality traits may and do alter throughout time, and that each person experiences these changes differently. Finding out whether personality changes can anticipate significant life events outside of personality attributes would therefore be a good idea. I’m also curious about how people mature and develop their capacity for forgiveness.
When it comes to getting along with others in social circumstances and in society as a whole, the trait-like propensity or desire to forgive others is crucial. It contributes to the maintenance of crucial relationships and is connected to both social and individual wellbeing. According to research, exercising more self-control and being able to forgive others go hand in hand. However, no one has previously examined the relationship between forgiveness and improved long-term self-control.
The current study.
In order to conduct their analysis, Mathias Allemand, the study’s author and his team analysed data from 1,350 participants in the German LifE-Study.
Self-control was assessed five times during adolescence: at ages 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16.
At the age of 45, the participants did a follow-up assessment using a forgiveness scale.
Researchers discovered a connection between the capacity for self-control as an adolescent and the capacity for forgiveness as a middle-aged adult. People were more likely to agree at age 45 if they had disagreed as teenagers with statements like “When someone hurts my feelings, I tend to get over it quickly” and “When others do me wrong, I prefer to forgive and forget.”
They discovered that changes in self-control during childhood determine whether or not a person can forgive in midlife.
The ability to forgive others was found to be correlated with self-control levels, which increase during adolescence. The ability to forgive also went down when people had lower scores and less self-control.
Teenage behaviour issues, social status, and gender were included as research variables. The study does, however, have significant flaws, as does every piece of research.
Future studies should employ a range of techniques, according to Allemand, including comments from observers regarding self-control and observations of how people behave when they desire to forgive others. Because forgiveness in middle age and self-control in youth were only evaluated based on self-reports, she explained.
Another flaw in the research was the fact that it only examined forgivingness in midlife. In other words, we don’t know how much teens’ perspectives on forgiveness vary from one another or how these perspectives alter as they mature. Researchers can’t just do another study with a longer time period and additional tests to achieve the same results because of the study’s unique longitudinal character, which spans more than 30 years.
The primary concern, according to Allemand, is whether personality changes could be an indication of significant consequences above and beyond the level.
Future studies can still benefit from this information.
It’s important to consider how people develop and evolve over the course of their lives. For instance, may personality changes that occur in middle adulthood aid in healthy ageing? The teenage years are a crucial period for researching developmental processes that could have long-term consequences for adults.
Story Source: Original press release by PsyPost. Note: Content may be edited for style and length by Scible News.
Allemand, M., Grünenfelder-Steiger, A. E., Fend, H. A., & Hill, P. L. (2022). Self-control in adolescence predicts forgivingness in middle adulthood. Journal of Personality, 00, 1– 13. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12735