Honors Program

Honors in Psychology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

John R. Webb

Thesis Professor Department



Research has shown that spirituality can play a role in addiction and recovery. However, little work in this area has focused on adults who have grown up with parents who have had alcohol and/or drug problems. Cross-sectional data was collected from college students from a regional university in southern Appalachia. Multiple dimensions and aspects of forgiveness and mental health were examined among undergraduates, including differences based upon participants’ likelihood of being an adult child of an alcoholic (ACOA). Individuals likely to be an ACOA had poorer levels of the forgiveness and mental health related variables. Among ACOAs forgiveness of others was associated with psychological distress and somatic symptoms in a deleterious fashion. Forgiveness of situations was associated with mental health status, psychological distress, and dysfunctional behaviors associated with being an ACOA in a salutary fashion. The process of forgiveness intervention may be an added benefit during the recovery process associated with growing up as a child in an alcoholic family.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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