Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Counseling and Human Development

Degree Program

Counseling and Personnel Services, PhD

Committee Chair

Leach, Mark

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Mitchell, Amanda

Committee Member

Mitchell, Amanda

Committee Member

Snyder, Kate

Committee Member

Choi, Namok

Author's Keywords

forgiveness; implicit theories; religious commitment; Islam; religiosity; identity offense


A recurrent finding in the literature on the relationship between religion and forgiveness is that religious people tend to describe themselves as forgiving while reporting less forgiveness in response to actual offenses (Davis, Worthington, Hook, & Hill, 2013; McCullough & Worthington, 1999). Scholars have suggested moderating factors may explain this discrepancy (Worthington et al., 2010), though the existing literature has been criticized as limited because much of the research is based on Christian samples (Carlisle & Tsang, 2013; Davis et al., 2013). Implicit theories, which have previously been found to be associated with forgiveness and theorized to be related to religion, were examined as a possible moderating variable in the relationship between forgiveness and religious commitment among a sample of Muslims who experienced a religious identity offense. An ethnically diverse sample of Muslims residing in the United States participated in an online survey that included measures of implicit theories, religious commitment, and forgiveness. Results showed that although religious commitment and implicit theories were associated with forgiveness, implicit theories did not moderate the relationship between religious commitment and forgiveness. Additionally, results from an exploratory factor analysis conducted on correlations of scores from the measure of forgiveness suggested the nature of the construct as operationalized by the measure may not be clear as the factor structure differed from that identified in the measure’s validation study.