Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Communication Studies

Department or School/College

Department of Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Stephen Yoshimura

Commitee Members

Alan Sillars, John Sommers-Flanagan


Children, Emotions, Family relationships, Forgiveness communication, Parents, Physical Health, Politeness


University of Montana


Upon experiencing conflict in a relationship, individuals have a variety of response options. While one can seek revenge or avoid that person, another option – forgiveness – can repair the relationship and foster health for both relationship partners. In coming together to confront the conflict and move beyond it, relational partners negotiate forgiveness in interpersonal interactions to accommodate face needs. In doing so, individuals must communicate by seeking forgiveness from and granting it to their relational partners. While much research has pointed to the health benefits associated with forgiving, little has explored the role communicating specifically plays in later received health. In an effort to expand upon previous research, this study was conducted to confirm the presence of forgiveness communication strategies found in romantic relationships by Kelley and Waldron (2005) and Waldron and Kelley (2005) in forgiveness interactions experienced between parents and children. One-hundred-forty-eight young adult-children completed self-report surveys measuring forgiveness communication behaviors used in forgiveness interactions with their parents. All of the strategies evident in previous research were present in the current study. However, the specific way of communicating forgiveness had little to no association with later health. Conclusions are drawn based on an evaluation of the forgiveness communication strategies and facework.



© Copyright 2007 Jennifer Lynn Geist