Interpersonal mindfulness and forgiveness: Examining the mediating roles of anger rumination and state anger

Aggress Behav. 2022 Sep;48(5):466-474. doi: 10.1002/ab.22031. Epub 2022 Apr 19.


Measuring mindfulness without accounting for specific contexts may lead to controversial results. This study attempted to examine whether the newly proposed construct of interpersonal mindfulness, mindfulness as it happens within the interpersonal context, was connected to forgiveness and the mechanisms behind this connection. Data were collected from 312 participants using measures of interpersonal mindfulness, trait mindfulness, anger rumination, state anger, self-reported forgiveness, and forgiving behavior. Results showed that interpersonal mindfulness was significantly associated with both self-reported forgiveness and forgiving behavior even while accounting for trait mindfulness. Mediation analysis revealed that anger rumination and state anger could mediate this link separately and sequentially, but only when trait mindfulness was uncontrolled. When controlling for trait mindfulness, the mediating role of state anger remained significant, but neither anger rumination nor the serial combination did. An alternative model was also supported, showing that after controlling for interpersonal mindfulness, trait mindfulness was indirectly associated with forgiveness through anger rumination and the serial mediating effect of anger rumination and state anger, but not state anger. These findings suggest that interpersonal mindfulness is more suitable for predicting interpersonal forgiveness than trait mindfulness. State anger may operate as a proximal mechanism in explaining how mindfulness relates to interpersonal forgiveness, whereas anger rumination may operate at a more distal level.

Keywords: anger rumination; forgiveness; interpersonal mindfulness; state anger; trait mindfulness.

MeSH terms

  • Anger
  • Forgiveness*
  • Humans
  • Mindfulness*
  • Self Report