Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jon R. Webb, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Ginni Blackhart, Ph.D., William T. Dalton III, Ph.D., Chris S. Dula, Ph.D.


Motor-Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and young adults. Research and public interventions have primarily examined the impact of external factors related to driving; however, less work has examined internal factors. Limited research has shown a negative association between trait forgiveness of others and both driving anger and driving aggression. The current study replicates previous findings and expands to include multiple dimensions of forgiveness and adverse driving outcomes as a dependent variable. It was predicted that multiple dimensions of forgiveness would be directly and indirectly related to adverse driving outcomes through the mediators of anger rumination, stress, and dangerous driving. Undergraduate students (N=759) at a regional university completed a series of self-report questionnaires online examining driving anger, driving aggression, multiple dimensions of forgiveness, adverse driving outcomes, anger rumination, stress, and dangerous driving behaviors. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to replicate previous findings (analysis 1) and multiple serial mediations as expansion (analysis 2). In replication, trait forgiveness of others was shown to have a negative bivariate correlation with driving anger and driving aggression and to be a significant predictor of driving aggression above that of driving anger (analysis 1). Multiple serial mediation demonstrated an indirect only effect of multiple dimensions of forgiveness on adverse driving outcomes through the various mediators (analysis 2); however, varied relationships were observed. As a result, forgiveness of self and of uncontrollable situations demonstrated a significant negative effect on adverse driving outcomes through the various mediators. However, although, forgiveness of others was found to have a significant negative effect through anger rumination and dangerous driving behaviors in serial, it demonstrated a positive effect with stress as a mediator. The results support and replicate previous research and demonstrate a significant indirect only effect of multiple dimensions of forgiveness on adverse driving outcomes through the current mediators. The relationships were varied, however. Therefore, multiple dimensions of forgiveness continue to be meaningful variables related to driving anger, driving aggression, and adverse driving outcomes.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Psychology Commons