Gratitude When It Is Needed Most: Social Functions of Gratitude in Women With Metastatic Breast Cancer
ABSTRACT Theory and evidence suggest that everyday positive emotions may be potent factors in resilience during periods of chronic stress, yet the body of evidence is scant. Even less research focuses on the adaptive functions of specific positive emotions in this critical context. In the current research, 54 women with metastatic breast cancer provided information about their emotional responses to benefits received to test hypotheses regarding the social functions of gratitude. One set of analyses provide support for the hypothesized role of ego-transcendence in feeling gratitude upon receipt of a benefit from another person. As predicted, in a second set of analyses, grateful responding to received benefits predicted an increase in perceived social support over three months only for women low in ambivalence over emotional expression. These findings add to evidence regarding the social causes and consequences of gratitude, supporting a view of gratitude as an other-focused positive emotion that functions to promote high-quality relationships. Discussion focuses on the chronically stressful context as an important testing ground for theory on gratitude and other positive emotions.
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- ") and are generally adaptive across contexts (Algoe and Stanton, 2011; Papa and Bonanno, 2008; Tugade and Fredrickson, 2002). "
ABSTRACT: Emotion context sensitivity is the ability to respond emotionally in a manner that is functionally appropriate for the context in which the emotion arises. This study examined the relationship between emotion context sensitivity and treatment adherence in adults with the chronic illness Thalassemia. Emotional responses were measured by examining the frequency of positive and negative emotional words used to answer two interview questions that created two different emotional contexts. Consistent with previous research on adaptive and contextually appropriate emotions, negative emotion words were related to adherence in the context of the disease itself, while positive emotion words were related to adherence in the context of coping.Journal of Health Psychology 05/2014; DOI:10.1177/1359105314532152 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Striving towards goals is associated with higher levels of subjective well-being; however, many potential roadblocks to goal achievement exist. The current study extends the understanding of goal regulation processes in its examination of the relationships between dispositional and situational goal adjustment to a profound stressor and their associations with psychological adjustment. METHODS: Women (n = 103; M age = 57.2 years; 82% Caucasian) with metastatic breast cancer completed semi-structured interviews and self-report measures at study entry and three months later. RESULTS: Measures of dispositional and situational goal reengagement were significantly correlated, but dispositional and situational goal disengagement were unrelated. Greater dispositional and situational goal disengagement abilities were associated with fewer cancer-related intrusive thoughts at Time 1. Dispositional and situational reengagement were positively associated with life satisfaction and sense of purpose and negatively associated with depressive symptoms at Time 1. However, greater initial situational goal disengagement predicted an increase in depressive symptoms over time. CONCLUSIONS: Both how an individual typically responds to goal blockage, as well as how an individual is currently responding to a specific blocked goal, appear related to psychological adjustment.Journal of Personality 12/2012; 81(5). DOI:10.1111/jopy.12025 · 2.44 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective: The goal of this article is to provide insight into how recent findings from affective science may be translated into the health arena. Methods: We first review definitional issues related to the key concepts of emotion and stress. We then review relevant research that informs our understanding of the affect-health relationship. Subsequently, we highlight findings that are the most informative and also ripe for translation into the domains of health and health-related behaviors. Results: We identify several domains of affect-relevant processes (e.g., emotion-regulation, stress response) that would benefit from increased elaboration. Three themes may guide how best to broaden our understanding across multiple domains: the need to use a differentiated emotion-based approach, the need to consider potential synergistic and oppositional effects of emotion that can occur in parallel, and the need to examine the impact of emotions with respect to regulation and coping at both the intra- and interindividual levels. Building on insights derived from these themes, we suggest a broad integrative framework for use with future investigations. This framework categorizes potential emotion-related effects on health according to whether they influence health directly (e.g., shaping physiological responses) or indirectly (e.g., guiding decision making and behavior). Using this approach will allow researchers to examine systematically the often simultaneous and sometimes opposing influences of emotion on distinct health-relevant cognitive and physiological mechanisms, and to integrate across potentially disparate findings. Conclusions: We conclude by suggesting opportunities for future work that we see as most fruitful based on the presented framework. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).Health Psychology 05/2013; 32(5):474-86. DOI:10.1037/a0030259 · 3.95 Impact Factor