Communication, forgiveness and morbidity in young adults involved in a romantic relationship

M. Graça Pereira*, Liliana Fontes, Margarida Vilaça, Frank Fincham, Eleonora Costa, José C. Machado, Ebru Taysi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the direct and indirect effects of communication patterns and forgiveness on physical and psychological morbidity, among young adults involved in a romantic relationship. Participants were 298 students, currently involved in a heterosexual romantic relationship, from a large university in the United States, who completed the Tendency to Forgive Scale, the Communication Patterns Questionnaire, and the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist. Physical morbidity was directly predicted by mutuality communication. Destructive communication had an indirect effect on physical and psychological morbidity, via forgiveness. However, the indirect connection between destructive communication and psychological morbidity was only significant for female partners. Teaching constructive communication skills may be a key factor for interventions addressed to young adults in romantic relationships, in order to promote forgiveness, due to its potential positive influence in physical and psychological well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-175
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Communication patterns
  • Forgiveness
  • Morbidity
  • Romantic relationships


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