Forgiveness linked to health

October 09, 2003

  • New scientific findings on forgiveness and low blood pressure, tool for spinal cord rehab, less back pain, other
  • World's Top Scientists on forgiving present findings at Conference on Forgiveness October 24-25

    Over 40 of the top scientists in the world who study forgiveness are reporting on their research at a conference in Atlanta October 24-25 at the Westin, Peachtree Plaza Hotel. Spanning the globe from South Africa to Northern Ireland, some of the top researchers include Franz duWaal (Director of the Yerkes Primate Center), Ming Tsuang (Harvard psychiatrist), and Lyndon Eaves (geneticist, second most cited geneticist in world).

    The conference is hosted by A Campaign for Forgiveness Research, a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating research for personal health, maintaining relationships, peace among nations and biological connections with primates. The research is funded by grants from the John Templeton Foundation, the Fetzer Institute and donations to the Campaign from individuals and family foundations. The Campaign is directed by Everett L. Worthington, Jr. Professor and Chair of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, and author of "Five Steps to Forgiveness" (Crown Publishers).

    For complimentary registration information for journalists or to arrange interviews, please visit our website or contact Vicki Robb at 703-329-3356.

    Keynote speakers include Martin Luther King III, civil rights activist and head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Martin Seligman, past president of the American Psychological Association; and Les Parrott, relationship expert and author of Love the Life You Live.

    The scientific presentations include the power of forgiving as it affects marriages, health, women, Blacks, religion, businesses, relationships, criminals and victims, substance abusers, and others. The first study to examine brain imaging when making judgments about forgiveness is also presented.

    Health studies include the following. See www.forgiving.org for full abstracts of all studies.

    Can forgiveness become medicine's newest tool in the rehabilitation process? One study of the medical rehabilitation of spinal cord patients says yes. Forgiveness was found to improve health and those more forgiving of themselves and of others reported more life satisfaction.

    Forgiveness is a factor in low blood pressure, especially in poorer Blacks. Forgiveness linked to low blood pressure and, first study connecting forgiveness and health to survey racially and socio-economically diverse individuals shows that, for low socio-economic status Blacks, forgiveness is linked to low blood pressure and low levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

    Forgiveness is linked to less back pain and depression. New study demonstrates that among people who have chronic back pain, those who have forgiven others experience lower levels of pain and less associated psychological problems like anger and depression than those who have not forgiven.
    -end-
    Additional Contact
    Louisa Mattozzi, 703-476-0742

    John Templeton Foundation

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