Emotional reactions to infidelity: Examining the roles of self-compassion, forgiveness, rumination and cognitive appraisal

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2019




This study tested a model that includes the interrelationship (direct and indirect relationships) among offended partners’ self-compassion, forgiveness, rumination, cognitive appraisal and emotional reactions to infidelity. Moreover, the nature of the gender differences in reactions to infidelity was searched by testing the proposed model with invariance across gender. The participants of the study were 431 offended partners in their dating relationship that were reached by a purposive sampling method. Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, The Stress Appraisal Measure, Ruminative Response Scale, Forgiveness Scale, Self-Compassion Scale and demographic information form were utilized in the present study. SEM results showed that offended partners who had a higher level of forgiveness, feel a lower level of negative emotions. On the other hand, when they ruminate more and perceive the situation as a threat, their negative emotions are stronger. Moreover, when they perceive the situation as controllable by themselves and perceive the situation as a situation that cannot be controlled by anyone, they show a higher level of negative reactions. Self-compassion was not directly related to negative reactions, but it was found to be related to them through other variables. The model was found different across the gender. The findings of the study were discussed, and implications and recommendations for further studies were presented.