Piloting forgiveness education: A comparison of the impact of two brief forgiveness education programmes among Chinese college students

Mingxia JI, Linjin TAO, Tingting ZHU

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2 Citations (Scopus)


With the development of the theory of positive psychology, forgiveness has been understood to constitute a psychological strength that may facilitate personal and relational health. This study involved two brief (four sessions) forgiveness education programmes based on the Enright Psycho-social Model and Chinese cultural values, respectively, to examine the effectiveness of the forgiveness programmes among Chinese college students. Twenty-four participants who attended three or more sessions formed the participants, and their data were used for data analysis. All of the participants were aged from 18 to 21 years. The effect of the two programmes on the participants’ decision and emotion to forgive and empathy toward the offenders were measured by the decisional forgiveness scale, emotional forgiveness scale, Batson’s empathy adjectives, one-item forgiveness scale, and one-item relationship scale. The effect of the programmes on participants’ psychological well-being was measured by the satisfaction with life scale. Qualitative feedback regarding the programme was collected from open questions in the post-test. The results suggested that both groups changed at almost the same rate on the variables, while the Chinese Value-oriented group had a slightly stronger effect in decreasing negative decisional forgiveness and negative emotional forgiveness. The analysis of the pretest and post-test scores indicated that both the Enright Psycho-social Programme and the Chinese Value-oriented Programme had positive effects on improving participants’ general emotional forgiveness, decreasing their negative emotions toward the offender, and improving life satisfaction. These findings need to be interpreted with caution, however, due to the small sample size involved. Further study may also consider integrating the two types of forgiveness education programmes and adopting an experiential approach with a longer duration. Copyright © 2016 De La Salle University.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-492
JournalThe Asia-Pacific Education Researcher
Issue number3
Early online dateJan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016



Ji, M., Tao, L., & Zhu, T. (2016). Piloting forgiveness education: A comparison of the impact of two brief forgiveness education programmes among Chinese college students. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 25(3), 483-492.


  • Forgiveness intervention
  • Psychological well-being
  • Chinese cultural values
  • Positive education