The Effectiveness of a Forgiveness Training Program on the Academic Hope of Students Who Have Been Victims of Bullying

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Education al Sciences and and Psychology, University of Tabriz,, Tabriz, Iran

2 Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Education al Sciences and and Psychology, University of Tabriz,, Tabriz, Iran.

3 PhD Student in Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education Sciences and Psychology,University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a forgiveness training program on the academic hope of students who have been victims of bullying. This study was an applied and semi-experimental study with pretest/posttest and a control group with one-month follow-up. A sample of 32 male students who were victims of bullying was selected from the high school students of Tabriz in the academic year 2019-2020 using the one-stage cluster sampling method and randomly divided into two groups of 16. The experimental group received ten sessions of the forgiveness training. After the training, the posttest results were obtained and analyzed using multivariate covariance. Research instruments included the Bullying Victims Scale (BVS), Academic Hope Scale (AHS), and the Forgiveness Training Package. Data were analyzed using multivariate analysis of covariance in SPSS20 software. The results showed that forgiveness training has a positive and significant effect on the components of academic hope in students who are victims of bullying, P <0.01. Based on the results, it can be said that forgiveness training can be a useful coping strategy for bullying victims so that they can use forgiveness to overcome the trauma of past experiences or traumatic events and improve their hope by creating positive emotions. In practice, forgiveness training can be used by educators as a potentially effective approach to improve school hope and prevent victimization.


بدری گرگری، ر.، حسینی، س. ع.، هاشمی، ت.، و میرنسب، م. م. (1397). طراحی برنامۀ آموزشی ضدقلدری تلفیقی و تعیین اثربخشی آن بر کاهش قربانی‌شدن دانش‌آموزان دورۀ اول متوسطه. نشریۀ علمی آموزش و ارزشیابی. 11(41)، 81-55.‌
خرمائی، ف.، و کمری، س. (1396). ساخت و بررسی ویژگی‌های روان‌سنجی مقیاس امید به تحصیل. دوفصلنامۀ راهبردهای شناختی در یادگیری5(8)، 37-15.‌
رضاپور، م.، سوری، ح.، و خداکریم، س. (1392). روان‌سنجی نسخۀ فارسی مقیاس ارتکاب زورگویی و قربانی‌شدن پرسشنامۀ زورگویی الوئوس در مدارس راهنمایی. مجلۀ ارتقای ایمنی و پیشگیری از مصدومیت‌ها. 1(4)، 221-212.
Akhtar, S., & Barlow, J. (2018). Forgiveness therapy for the promotion of mental well-being: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse19(1), 107-122.
Barcaccia, B., Pallini, S., Baiocco, R., Salvati, M., Saliani, A. M., & Schneider, B. H. (2018). Forgiveness and friendship protect adolescent victims of bullying from emotional maladjustment. Psicothema30(4), 427-433.
Blake, J., Yaghmaian, R., Brooks, J., Fais, C., & Chan, F. (2018). Attachment, hope, and participation: Testing an expanded model of Snyder’s hope theory for prediction of participation for individuals with spinal cord injury. Rehabilitation Psychology, 63(2), 230- 239.
Bollmer, J. M., Harris, M. J., & Milich, R. (2006). Reactions to bullying and peer victimization: Narratives, physiological arousal, and personality. Journal of Research in Personality, 40(5), 803-828.
Cheavens, J. S., & Ritschel, L. A. (2014). Hope theory. Handbook of positive emotions, 396-410. Guilford.
Chen, J., Huebner, E. S., & Tian, L. (2020). Longitudinal relations between hope and academic achievement in elementary school students: Behavioral engagement as a mediator. Learning and Individual Differences78(2), 101824.1- 10.
Chu, X. W., Fan, C. Y., Liu, Q. Q., & Zhou, Z. K. (2018). Cyberbullying victimization and symptoms of depression and anxiety among Chinese adolescents: Examining hopelessness as a mediator and self-compassion as a moderator. Computers in Human Behavior86(9), 377-386.
Chung, J. Y., Sun, M. S., & Kim, H. J. (2018). What makes bullies and victims in Korean elementary schools? Children and Youth Services Review94(11), 132-139.
Davis, D. E., Worthington Jr, E. L., Hook, J. N., & Hill, P. C. (2013). Research on religion/spirituality and forgiveness: A meta-analytic review. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality5(4), 233- 241.
Dixson, D. D., Worrell, F. C., & Mello, Z. (2017). Profiles of hope: How clusters of hope relate to school variables. Learning and Individual Differences59(10), 55-64.
Dodge, K. A. (2006). Translational science in action: Hostile attributional style and the development of aggressive behavior problems. Development and Psychopathology18(3), 791-814.
Drysdale, M. T., & McBeath, M. (2014). Exploring hope, self-efficacy, procrastination, and study skills between cooperative and non-cooperative education students. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education15(1), 69-79.
Egan, L. A., & Todorov, N. (2009). Forgiveness as a coping strategy to allow school students to deal with the effects of being bullied: Theoretical and empirical discussion. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology28(2), 198-222.
Enright, R. D. (2012). The anti-bullying forgiveness program: Reducing the fury within those who bully. Madison: International Forgiveness Institute.
Enright, R. D., Knutson, J. A., Holter, A. C., Baskin, T., & Knutson, C. (2007). Waging peace through forgiveness in Belfast, Northern Ireland II: Educational programs for mental health improvement of children. Journal of Research in Education17(1), 63-78.
Fehr, R., Gelfand, M. J., & Nag, M. (2010). The road to forgiveness: A meta-analytic synthesis of its situational and dispositional correlates. Psychological Bulletin136(5),894 -914.
Fincham, F. D., Beach, S. R., & Davila, J. (2007). Longitudinal relations between forgiveness and conflict resolution in marriage. Journal of Family Psychology21(3), 542- 545.
Fleming, L. C., & Jacobsen, K. H. (2010). Bullying among middle-school students in low and middle income countries. Health Promotion International25(1), 73-84.
Freedman, S. (2018). Forgiveness as an educational goal with at-risk adolescents. Journal of Moral Education47(4), 415-431.
Gallagher, M. W., Marques, S. C., & Lopez, S. J. (2017). Hope and the academic trajectory of college students. Journal of Happiness Studies18(2), 341-352.
Gambaro, M. E., Enright, R. D., Baskin, T. A., & Klatt, J. (2008). Can school-based forgiveness counseling improve conduct and academic achievement in academically at-risk adolescents. Journal of Research in Education18, 16-27.
Graham, S. (2016). Victims of bullying in schools. Theory into Practice55(2), 136-144.
Hansen, M. J. (2013). Academic hope theory implications for promoting academic success.Council on Retention and Graduation (GRG).
Hansen, M. J., Trujillo, D. J., Boland, D. L., & MaCkinnon, J. L. (2014). Overcoming obstacles and academic hope: An examination of factors promoting effective academic success strategies. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice16(1), 49-71.
Hartanto, D., Kartadinata, S., Ahman, & Ilfiandra. (2019). The uniqueness of students’ academic hope in Indonesia. International Journal of Scientific and Technology Research, 8(4), 107-112.
Hui, E. K., & Chau, T. S. (2009). The impact of a forgiveness intervention with Hong Kong Chinese children hurt in interpersonal relationships. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling37(2), 141-156.
Hui, E. K., & Ho, D. K. (2004). Forgiveness in the context of developmental guidance: Implementation and evaluation. British Journal of Guidance & Counsellin, 32(4), 477-492.
Hui, E. K., Tsang, S. K., & Law, B. C. (2012). Combating school bullying through developmental guidance for positive youth development and promoting harmonious school culture. International Journal of Child Health and Human Development5(1), 2266- 2277.
Hutson, E. (2018). Integrative review of qualitative research on the emotional experience of bullying victimization in youth. The Journal of School Nursing34(1), 51-59.
Hymel, S., & Swearer, S. M. (2015). Four decades of research on school bullying: An introduction. American Psychologist70(4), 293- 299.
Idan, O., & Margalit, M. (2013). Hope theory in education systems. Psychology of Hope (chapter). 139-160.
Jankowski, P. J., & Sandage, S. J. (2011). Meditative prayer, hope, adult attachment, and forgiveness: A proposed model. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality3(2),115- 131.
Kato, T. (2016). Effects of partner forgiveness on romantic break-ups in dating relationships: A longitudinal study. Personality and Individual Differences95(6), 185-189.
Låftman, S. B., Alm, S., Sandahl, J., & Modin, B. (2018). Future orientation among students exposed to school bullying and cyberbullying victimization. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health15(4), 1- 12.
Lawler-Row, K. A., & Piferi, R. L. (2006). The forgiving personality: Describing a life well lived?Personality and Individual Differences41(6), 1009-1020.
Lee, Y. R., & Enright, R. D. (2014). A forgiveness intervention for women with fibromyalgia who were abused in childhood: A pilot study. Spirituality in Clinical Practice1(3), 203- 217.
Marques, S. C., Gallagher, M. W., & Lopez, S. J. (2017). Hope-and academic-related outcomes: A meta-analysis. School Mental Health9(3), 250-262.
May, L. N., & Jones, W. H. (2007). Does hurt linger? Exploring the nature of hurt feelings over time. Current Psychology: Developmental Learning Personality Social25(4), 245-256.
Munoz, R. T., Quinton, K. A., Worley, J. A., & Hellman, C. M. (2019). Locus of hope: External hope in parents/guardians as an antecedent of adolescents’ internal hope and life satisfaction. Child Indicators Research12(3), 1107-1124.
Neng Lin, W., Enright, R., & Klatt, J. (2011). Forgiveness as character education for children and adolescents. Journal of Moral Education40(2), 237-253.
Park, J. H., Enright, R. D., Essex, M. J., Zahn-Waxler, C., & Klatt, J. S. (2013). Forgiveness intervention for female South Korean adolescent aggressive victims. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology34(6), 268-276.
Poteat, V. P., Rivers, I., & Vecho, O. (2020). Membership experiences in gender-sexuality alliances (GSAs) predict increased hope and attenuate the effects of victimization. Journal of School Psychology79(4), 16-30.
Quintana-Orts, C., Rey, L., & Worthington Jr, E. L. (2019). The relationship between forgiveness, bullying, and cyberbullying in adolescence: A systematic review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 22(3), 588-604.
Radliff, K. M., Wang, C., & Swearer, S. M. (2016). Bullying and peer victimization: An examination of cognitive and psychosocial constructs. Journal of Interpersonal Violence31(11), 1983-2005.
Rand, K. L. (2009). Hope and optimism: Latent structures and influences on grade expectancy and academic performance. Journal of Personality77(1), 231-260.
Reijntjes, A., Kamphuis, J. H., Prinzie, P., & Telch, M. J. (2010). Peer victimization and internalizing problems in children: A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Child Abuse &Neglect34(4), 244-252.
Shorey, H. S., & Snyder, C. R. (2004). Development and validation of the domain hope scale-revised. Unpublished Manuscript, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas.
Smith, P. K., López-Castro, L., Robinson, S., & Görzig, A. (2019). Consistency of gender differences in bullying in cross-cultural surveys. Aggression and Violent Behavior45(4), 33-40.
Sohrabi Shegefti, N., & Samani, S. (2011). Psychometric properties of the academic hope scale: Persian form. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences30(12), 1133-1136.
Stackhouse, M. R. (2019). Trait forgiveness as a predictor of state forgiveness and positive work outcomes after victimization. Personality and Individual Differences149(10), 209-213.
Takizawa, R., Maughan, B., & Arseneault, L. (2014). Adult health outcomes of childhood bullying victimization: Evidence from a five-decade longitudinal British birth cohort. American Journal of Psychiatry171(7), 777-784.
Taysi, E., & Vural, D. (2016). Forgiveness education for fourth grade students in Turkey. Child Indicators Research9(4), 1095-1115.
Taysi, E., Curun, F., & Orcan, F. (2015). Hope, anger, and depression as mediators for forgiveness and social behavior in Turkish children. The Journal of Psychology149(4), 378-393.
Telef, B. B. (2020). Hope and life satisfaction in elementary school students: Mediation role of affective experiences. Journal of Positive School Psychology4(2), 176-186.
Valdebenito, S., Ttofi, M., & Eisner, M. (2015). Prevalence rates of drug use among school bullies and victims: A systematic review and meta-analysis of cross-sectional studies. Aggression and Violent Behavior23(8), 137-146.
Van Ryzin, M. J. (2011). Protective factors at school: Reciprocal effects among adolescents’ perceptions of the school environment, engagement in learning, and hope. Journal of Youth and Adolescence40(12), 1568-1580.
Wade, N. G., Hoyt, W. T., Kidwell, J. E., & Worthington Jr, E. L. (2014). Efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions to promote forgiveness: A meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology82(1),154- 170.
Watson, H., Rapee, R., & Todorov, N. (2017). Forgiveness reduces anger in a school bullying context. Journal of Interpersonal Violence32(11), 1642-1657.
Wenzel, M., Anvari, F., de Vel-Palumbo, M., & Bury, S. M. (2017). Collective apology, hope, and forgiveness. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology72(9), 75-87.
Yalçın, İ., & Malkoç, A. (2015). The relationship between meaning in life and subjective well-being: Forgiveness and hope as mediators. Journal of Happiness Studies16(4), 915-929.
Zhang, H., Chi, P., Long, H., & Ren, X. (2019). Bullying victimization and depression among left-behind children in rural China: Roles of self-compassion and hope. Child Abuse & Neglect96(10), 1040721- 8.
Ziv, Y., Leibovich, I., & Shechtman, Z. (2013). Bullying and victimization in early adolescence: Relations to social information processing patterns. Aggressive Behavior39(6), 482-492.