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Gratitude and happiness: Development of a measure of gratitude, and relationships with subjective well-being

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The purpose of these studies was to develop a valid measure of trait gratitude, and to evaluate the relationship of gratitude to subjective well-being (SWB). Four studies were conducted evaluating the reliability and validity of the Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test (GRAT), a measure of dispositional gratitude. This measure was shown to have good internal consistency and temporal stability. The GRAT was shown to relate positively to various measures of SWB. In two experiments, it was shown that grateful thinking improved mood, and results also supported the predictive validity of the GRAT. These studies support the theory that gratitude is an affective trait important to SWB.
... Research has shown that gratitude enhances well-being (Wood et al. 2010;Watkins 2014). Gratitude is strongly associated with subjective well-being (McCullough et al. 2002;Watkins et al. 2003) and prospectively predicts well-being (e.g., Wood et al. 2008). Furthermore, numerous experimental studies have shown that gratitude exercises increase happiness (for reviews, see Davis et al. 2016;Watkins and McCurrach 2021). ...
... Belief in a benevolent God makes all blessings potentially things that one might be grateful for, thus enhancing the gratitude span. The more things that one is grateful for, the more grateful one should be, and research has definitively shown that the more grateful one is, the happier one tends to be (McCullough et al. 2002;Watkins et al. 2003). Taken together, another potential explanation for the benefit of gratitude to God to spiritual/religious well-being might be that gratitude to God enhances the span of gratitude. ...
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The authors used a prospective design to investigate how gratitude to God predicts religious well-being over time. Gratitude to God is a central aspect of monotheistic religions, and thus may be particularly important to the religious/spiritual well-being of believers. Participants completed online measures of trait and state gratitude to God, along with spiritual well-being, nearness to God, and religious commitment scales over a one-to-two-month period. General well-being, trait gratitude, and the Big Five personality traits were also assessed. After controlling baseline levels, trait gratitude and the Big Five personality traits, dispositional gratitude to God at Time 1 predicted increased religious well-being, nearness to God, and religious commitment at Time 2. Although gratitude to God was significantly related to general well-being variables in cross-sectional analyses, it did not predict these variables over time. Validity data for the gratitude to God measures are also presented. The results suggest that gratitude to God is important to religious/spiritual well-being, and gratitude to God may be a critical variable for research on positive psychology and the psychology of religion/spirituality.
... For example, Sawyer et al. [84] found evidence of an indirect effect between mindfulness, perspective taking (the cognitive capacity to consider the viewpoint of others, similar to the cognitive flexibility construct included in The Resilience Shield model) and gratitude. Locus of control has also been shown to be associated with gratitude and mindfulness, with individuals with a more internal locus of control having a greater disposition for gratitude and mindfulness [100]. Watkins et al. [100]'s explanation for the association with gratitude was that individuals with a strong internal locus of control may not expect benefits from others, and thus they experience more gratitude when these unexpected benefits do arise. ...
... Locus of control has also been shown to be associated with gratitude and mindfulness, with individuals with a more internal locus of control having a greater disposition for gratitude and mindfulness [100]. Watkins et al. [100]'s explanation for the association with gratitude was that individuals with a strong internal locus of control may not expect benefits from others, and thus they experience more gratitude when these unexpected benefits do arise. ...
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Background Resilience refers to the process through which individuals deal with the adversity they experience. Previous research has shown there are multiple factors that contribute to individuals’ resilience, leading to increasing interest in the development of multidimensional resilience models. Once such recently proposed model is The Resilience Shield, which clusters groups of protective factors into different shield layers. The stronger these layers, the better the protection against adversity (Pronk et al. in The Resilience Shield, Pan Macmillan Australia, 2021). While this model was based in part on existing literature, no empirical evaluation has occurred to date. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the model fit for each of the modifiable shield layers and the overall model, and to examine whether each of the constructs included contributes to observed resilience scores. Methods Participants completed a series of questionnaires via The Resilience Shield website assessing constructs relevant to each resilience shield layer. Data from 3337 participants was analysed using Structural Equation Modelling and regression analyses. Results The results showed acceptable fit of the measurement model for the Social, Mind, and Professional Layers, but poor fit for the Body Layer. There was also good fit for the overall model. In addition, all but one of the constructs included in The Resilience Shield survey explained independent variance in either dispositional resilience scores, or dispositional vulnerability scores. Conclusion These results broadly support the multidimensional structure proposed by The Resilience Shield model and suggest that (at least in the population in which it was tested) this may be an acceptable model to index individuals’ performance on a range of indicators that contribute to resilience.
... Emmons and McCullough (2003) pointed out that people who are grateful tend to experience a greater sense of contentment, happiness, pride, and hope. Study revealed that hope and gratitude are related to each other and both increase concern for social responsibility (Lynne, Giacalone & Jmkkwicz, 2007); gratitude contributed to resilience (Fredrickson, Tugade, Waugh, & Larkin, 2003) and increases hope and optimism (Watkins, Woodward, Stone, & Kolts, 2003). According to Fredrickson et al., (2003) and Manjula & Swati (2015), gratitude and resilience are positively correlated. ...
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Teaching in contemporary societies is an extremely multi-faceted and specialized task. Teachers have been known to have important influence on students' academic achievement and they also play a crucial role in educational attainment. Research consistently shows that teachers have the greatest potential to influence children's education. The objective of this study is to examine the relationship between gratitude and psychological capital among high school teachers. The researchers have employed simple random technique for data collection through survey method. There were 65 teachers who participated in this study. The Gratitude questionnaire (McCullough et al., 2002) and Psychological capital questionnaire (Luthans et.al, 2007) were used for assessing gratitude and the dimensions of psychological capital. Results showed that there is a significant relationship between gratitude and psychological capital among teachers. Gratitude and each of the psychological capital domains (hope, optimism, resilience, and self efficacy) are statistically correlated. Further, the findings revealed that psychological capital domains are significantly interrelated with all other variables except self-efficacy and resilience. Limitations and implications of the study are also discussed.
... Gratitude has benefits for the individual -"Grateful individuals tend to be agreeable, emotionally stable, selfconfident but less narcissistic, and non-materialistic" when compared with their peers (Watkins, et al. 2009, p.439). There is evidence that an attitude of gratitude is related to a greater sense of well-being and happiness (e.g., Watkins et al. 2003;Emmons and McCullough, 2003;McCullough, et al. 2002). Gratitude supports social relations, and stable relationships predict happiness. ...
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... En este orden, el estudio de la relación de la gratitud con el sentido de la vida se ha llevado a cabo con la intención de profundizar en estos dos conceptos como actitudes que disponen al hombre a vivir mejor, y que ejercen así de factores protectores de la salud mental (Alarcón, y Rodríguez, 2015;Bernabé-Valero, 2012;Emmons y Mishra, 2011;Emmons y McCullough, 2004;Méndez, Serra, Barrabas y Bernabé-Valero, 2014;McCulloug et al., 2002;Watkins et al., 2003;Wood, et al., 2009Wood, et al., , 2010. Estas investigaciones han intentado aunar dos conceptos que se sitúan dentro de aquellas fortalezas del carácter que tienen que ver con el aspecto trascendental del ser humano. ...
... An additional reason why we expect that recovering from a COVID infection will have a positive impact on happiness is that people will feel more grateful in general, for being alive. Gratitude theory suggests that being grateful mitigates hedonic adaptation by way of appreciating things that over time have been taking for granted, such as previous positive life events and achievements (e.g., Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2012) or a steady state of good health (e.g., Jans-Beken et al., 2020;Watkins et al., 2003). ...
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There is already a large body of research on the dramatic negative effects of COVID-19 on peoples' mental and physical health. Millions of people have died, and the pandemic has negatively influenced the lives of billions of people. Luckily however, the vast majority of people infected with the virus, recovers. The happiness and wellbeing of these people have not been extensively studied. In the current paper, we ask the question: Are people who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection happier than those who have not been infected at all? Building on previous research on hedonic adaptation and counterfactual thinking, we hypothesize, and find, that those who have had an infection appear slightly happier than others. The study relies on two surveys conducted in Sweden during the pandemic in 2020 (n=1029) and 2021 (n=1788).
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BACKGROUND – Becoming a mother, that is the forty weeks of pregnancy, is a highlighted stage of life for a woman. It is a defining period for both the mother and her child, who is to be born. Furthermore, gestation can be understood as a normative crisis as well, during which numerous psychological problems may evolve. Therefore, the preservation of mental health and support provided for women are especially important in prenatal care. GOALS – The purpose of this study is to examine the role of gratitude, appreciation, subjective well-being, and social support – as momentous constructs of health psychology – in assisting mental health in the lives of pregnant women and to explore the relations between these variables. METHODS – 79 pregnant women participated in our online, qualitative investigation; 36 of them had been writing gratitude diaries for 4 weeks. We compared the questionnaires’ results (filled out both before and after the intervention) of the experimental group (n = 36) with the results of the control group (n = 43) similarly filled out on two different occasions. The following instruments were used in our study: Gratitude, Resentment, and Appreciation Test; Appreciation Scale; Subjective Well-Being Questionnaire; MOS Social Support Survey. RESULTS – Higher appreciation and dispositional gratitude correlate with a higher sense of subjective well-being and a better perception of social support. In the experimental group, writing a gratitude diary was followed by a significant positive change in all questionnaires: the scores for gratitude, appreciation, subjective well-being, and social support increased. CONCLUSIONS – Dispositional gratitude that can be improved by such a simple intervention as writing a gratitude diary is a useful means of supporting the mental health of pregnant women and thereby of preserving and promoting their psychological and physical well-being. Besides medical healthcare, expectant women are in particular need of professional mental support, wherefore it is important not only to maintain their physical health but also to introduce new methods that assist mentally the well-being of pregnant persons. Key words: gratitude, pregnancy, mental health, well-being, social support
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The article analyzes discussions about whether gratitude is an experience or a personal trait and part of the worldview. It is shown that the researchers focused on two components of gratitude: cognitive one (rational assessment of the actions usefulness of other or certain events) and affective one (experiencing a set of positive emotions: joy, admiration). Recently, the idea that gratitude is a personality trait has become widespread. In our opinion, gratitude is a basic life guideline, which is manifested in the cognitive aspect – assessing what a person has, awareness of the time perspective of life, understanding the manifestations of positivity (implicit theory of the positive world), in the affective aspect – experiencing specific emotions, reverence, admiration, affection) during the meeting with certain objects, which, in fact, chooses the person himself, in the behavioral aspect – control of their own attention to focus on the positive in the current moment, as well as choosing more optimal response strategies. Researches of the gratitude impact on the experience of well-being and its individual aspects have shown that there are complex interrelationships between gratitude and the parameters of personal well-being. On the one hand, gratitude contributes to the formation of positive relationships, because the person encourages others to justify his hopes. On the other hand, gratitude reduces hedonistic adaptation and encourages the individual not to take the positive aspects of his life for granted, and thus becomes a personal resource when experiencing stress. There are formalized social practices of gratitude – certain rituals of expression of gratitude on clearly defined “holidays”. The actual implementation of the act of gratitude has a relatively low effect. The most effective personal practices of gratitude are considered to be cognitive – the actualization of the experience of gratitude by increasing attention to small details and awareness of their importance while reducing the focus on fair exchange with the world. In particular, making various forms of lists of things and phenomena for which a person is grateful, solving hypothetical situations, writing letters of gratefulness, and so on. When applying such practices, their diversity is important to maintain the motivation of an individual to use them. Key words: gratitude, well-being personality, positive emotion, gratitude practice, optimal functioning.
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