Stress, social support, and health risk behaviours as mediators of the forgiveness-health relation /
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The mediating roles of stress, social support, and health risk behaviours in the relationships between dispositional forgiveness and mental and physical health were examined. Participants were 748 undergraduate students (554 women, 194 men) entering their first year of studies at Brock University. Participants, ranging in age from 17 to 25 years, completed the Brock University First Year Health Study and were provided monetary compensation. Dispositional forgiveness, stress, social support, health risk behaviours, mental health, and physical health were measured using self-report methods. The data were analyzed separately for women and men because there were significant mean differences on many of the study'S variables. Analyses revealed that the mediated relationships between dispositional forgiveness and health were generally stronger for women than men. Stress was the most robust mediator of the forgiveness-health relation for both women and men. The only health risk behaviour that mediated the forgivenesshealth relation was physical fitness and this result was found for women only. Social support mediated several of the relationships between forgiveness and health but not others. Results were discussed with reference to the literature on forgiveness and health. Several directions for future research were offered, such as conducting longitudinal research designs to assess the direction of causality better, investigating moderator variables of the forgiveness-health relation, and building models, which incorporate multiple mediators using structural equation modelling techniques.