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Forgiveness, Religiousness, Spirituality, and Health in People with Physical Challenges: A Review and a Model

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Chapter Summary

Research shows that lowering depression, anxiety, and hostility is beneficial for physical health, and some evidence suggests that forgiveness, religiousness, and spirituality function as potential mechanisms of the reciprocal connection between mental and physical health. In recent years, scholars examined the forgiveness-health relationship specifically in people who face chronic physical health challenges. This chapter presents a stress-and-coping model to explain the effects of forgiveness, religiousness, and spirituality on health among various patient populations. It concludes that investigating religious coping, especially forgiveness, in rehabilitation settings is a welcome progression and recommends that future research examine potential mediators of the forgiveness-health relationship, including self-forgiveness and feeling forgiven by God.

Keywords:forgiveness; God; mental health; religiousness; spirituality; stress-and-coping model



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