Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)


A causal relationship model of self forgiveness among Thai youth offenders

Author(s): Phummaret Phupha, Arunya Tuicomepee

Self-forgiveness is the reduction of negative emotions that occurs when persons admit their wrongdoing and modify new thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Therefore, the objective of this research was to study the causal relationship model of self-forgiveness among youth offenders that consisted of seven important variables, namely blaming themselves and others, perceiving the severity of the offense, guilt, shame, empathy, conciliatory behaviors, and perceiving the forgiveness from the victims and those affected. The research sample group consisted of 1,031 juvenile offenders who were detained in juvenile detention and protection centers and training centers for children and youth with an average age of 17.42 +1.63 years. The results revealed that the causal model of self-forgiveness among juvenile offenders was consistent with the empirical data (Chi-square = 68.84, df = 53, p = 0.071, GFI = 0.992, AGFI = 0.979, RMR = 0.0257, RMSEA = 0.0170). All variables described the self-forgiveness variance for 41%. The factors that had the greatest overall influence on self-forgiveness were shame, empathetic understanding, and tendency to blame themselves and others, respectively. The shame and mutual understanding had direct influence on self-forgiveness. The tendency to blame oneself and others and to be guilty indirectly influenced the self-forgiveness. The findings suggested that self-forgiving youth offenders should focus on reducing feelings of shame, reducing the tendency to blame themselves and others. This included properly addressing guilt along with having a conscientious understanding of the victims and those affected leading to a “sincere apology”, showing responsible for wrongdoing until finally forgiving.

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