Conference Paper

Gratitude, Empathy, and Resilience Among Emerging Adults in Poland

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Abstract

Agnieszka Lasota*, Katarzyna Tomaszek*, Sandra Bosacki**, *Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland **Brock University, Canada GRATITUDE, EMPATHY, AND RESILIENCE AMONG EMERGING ADULTS IN POLAND Introduction The current focus on the field of positive psychology analyzes these factors of human functioning that make people able to overcome their limitations and successfully studied include that of gratitude has been the focus of researchers is gratitude. Gratitude plays a very important role in emotional well-being (McCullough et al., 2002, Watkins et al., 2003). Gratitude experiences were also positively associated with increased empathy towards others (Elfers & Hlava, 2016) and a reduced level of aggressive behavior, as well as with greater psychological immunity (Gardner, 2014). Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the gendered relations among levels of gratitude, empathy, and resilience in young adults. Method The population consists of 230 respondents in early adulthood within Poland Tools: The GRAT – R Questionnaire (Thomas, Watkins, 2003, Polish adaptation Tomaszek, Lasota). The Polish scale SPP-25, (Ogińska-Bulik, Juczyński, 2008) The QCAE: A Questionnaire of Cognitive and Affective Empathy (R. Reniers et al., 2011, Polish adaptation Lasota, Tomaszek) Results The results of the research indicate the existence of significant gender differences between females and males in terms of empathy and gratitude. No gender differences were found in resilience, whereas compared to females, males scored higher on the scale Optimist attitude to life. Separate correlational analysis for females and males showed that sex was a factor in differentiating the existence of relations between these three variables. Results showed significant correlations between gratefulness factors and resilience components across genders. Regression analysis showed significant gender equations. Conclusion The results indicate a strong link between gratitude and empathy, and between gratitude and resilience. Correlation analyses, taking into account gender, confirmed the existence of gender-related differences in the experience of gratitude and empathy among emerging adults. Findings showed that compared to males the level of females’ gratitude is affected by more components of resilience. Implications for health education for emerging adults will be discussed.

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IntroductionPersonality and the Stress Experience: MechanismsTraits, Goals, and Motives: What is Stressful for Whom?Vulnerable vs. Resilient PersonsCopingFinal CommentsReferences
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Gratitude and indebtedness are differently valenced emotional responses to benefits provided, which have implications for interpersonal processes. Drawing on a social functional model of emotions, we tested the roles of gratitude and indebtedness in romantic relationships with a daily-experience sampling of both members of cohabiting couples. As hypothesized, the receipt of thoughtful benefits predicted both gratitude and indebtedness. Men had more mixed emotional responses to benefit receipt than women. However, for both men and women, gratitude from interactions predicted increases in relationship connection and satisfaction the following day, for both recipient and benefactor. Although indebtedness may maintain external signals of relationship engagement, gratitude had uniquely predictive power in relationship promotion, perhaps acting as a booster shot for the relationship.
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The purpose of this studywas to see if feeling grateful to God reduces the deleterious effects of stress on health in late life. In addition, an effort was made to test for gender differences in this process. Three main findings emerged from the analysis of data provided by a nationwide sample of older adults. First, the data suggest that olderwomen are more likely to feel grateful to God than older men. Second, the results revealed that the effects of stress (e.g., living in a deteriorated neighborhood) on health are reduced for older people who feel more grateful to God. Finally, the analyses indicated that the potentially important stress-buffering properties of gratitude toward God emerge primarily among older women but not older men.
Article
Resilience is the capacity to respond to stress in a healthy way such that goals are achieved at minimal psychological and physical cost; resilient individuals "bounce back" after challenges while also growing stronger. Resilience is a key to enhancing quality of care, quality of caring, and sustainability of the health care workforce. Yet, ways of identifying and promoting resilience have been elusive. Resilience depends on individual, community, and institutional factors. The study by Zwack and Schweitzer in this issue of Academic Medicine illustrates that individual factors of resilience include the capacity for mindfulness, self-monitoring, limit setting, and attitudes that promote constructive and healthy engagement with (rather than withdrawal from) the often-difficult challenges at work. Cultivating these specific skills, habits, and attitudes that promote resilience is possible for medical students and practicing clinicians alike. Resilience-promoting programs should also strive to build community among clinicians and other members of the health care workforce. Just as patient safety is the responsibility of communities of practice, so is clinician well-being and support. Finally, it is in the self-interest of health care institutions to support the efforts of all members of the health care workforce to enhance their capacity for resilience; it will increase quality of care while reducing errors, burnout, and attrition. Successful organizations outside of medicine offer insight about institutional structures and values that promote individual and collective resilience. This commentary proposes methods for enhancing individuals' resilience while building community, as well as directions for future interventions, research, and institutional involvement.
Article
Ego-control refers to the inhibition/expression of impulse and ego-resiliency (ER) to the dynamic capacity to contextually modify one’s level of ego-control in response to situational affordances ( [3] and [8]; Block, J.H., 1951; Block & Block, 1980). This article investigates the generalization of brief under control (UC) and ER self-report scales across samples, measurement techniques, and data sources, utilizing personality descriptions provided by acquaintances, clinician-interviewers, and the self. Undercontrolled individuals were consistently described as self-dramatizing, unable to delay gratification, unpredictable, assertive, rebellious, moody, and self-indulgent. Overcontrolled individuals were consistently described as bland, consistent, dependable, and calm. Resilient individuals were described as having wide interests and a high aspiration level, assertive, socially poised and skilled, and cheerful; and not self-defeating, emotionally bland, nor lacking personal meaning in life. The definitive characteristics of both constructs were mostly consistent across data source, gender, and ethnicity, although ego-resiliency conformed more reliably with theoretical expectations among females than males, while ego-undercontrol may have more negative implications among Caucasians than other ethnic groups. Overall, the UC and ER self-report scales appear to offer effective, efficient, and accessible means for investigating these constructs.
Article
We analyzed the content of school-aged children's responses to a countywide in-class essay assignment in which they described what they are thankful for. Accounts were written in November of 2000 (n = 152) and 2001 (n = 196). We identified the most prominent themes of children's gratitude as well as differences in the themes that emerged before and after the September 11 terrorist attacks. We also examined sex and developmental differences in the gratitude themes. The most common themes were family, basic needs, friends, and teachers/school. Rescue workers, the United States and its values (e.g., freedom) appeared more frequently in 2001 than 2000. Girls expressed more gratitude than boys for a variety of interpersonal relationships; boys were more grateful for material objects. Older children mentioned several themes more frequently than younger children. Implications are discussed in the context of positive psychology.
Article
Previous work suggests women might possess an advantage over men in experiencing and benefiting from gratitude. We examined whether women perceive and react to gratitude differently than men. In Study 1, women, compared with men, evaluated gratitude expression to be less complex, uncertain, conflicting, and more interesting and exciting. In Study 2, college students and older adults described and evaluated a recent episode when they received a gift. Women, compared with men, reported less burden and obligation and greater gratitude. Upon gift receipt, older men reported the least positive affect when their benefactors were men. In Studies 2 and 3, women endorsed higher trait gratitude compared with men. In Study 3, over 3 months, women with greater gratitude were more likely to satisfy needs to belong and feel autonomous; gratitude had the opposite effect in men. The willingness to openly express emotions partially mediated gender differences, and effects could not be attributed to global trait affect. Results demonstrated that men were less likely to feel and express gratitude, made more critical evaluations of gratitude, and derived fewer benefits. Implications for the study and therapeutic enhancement of gratitude are discussed.
Article
Gratitude was examined among 154 students to identify benefits from its experience and expression. Students completed measures of subjective well-being, social support, prosocial behavior, and physical symptoms. Positive associations were found between gratitude and positive affect, global and domain specific life satisfaction, optimism, social support, and prosocial behavior; most relations remained even after controlling for positive affect. Gratitude demonstrated a negative relation with physical symptoms, but not with negative affect. Relational fulfillment mediated the relation between gratitude and physical symptoms. Gratitude demonstrated strong relations with the following positive affects: proud, hopeful, inspired, forgiving, and excited. The relation between gratitude and family support was moderated by gender, indicating that boys, compared with girls, appear to derive more social benefits from gratitude. Strengths, limitations, and implications are discussed.
Article
In developing the Basic Empathy Scale (BES), 40 items measuring affective and cognitive empathy were administered to 363 adolescents in Year 10 (aged about 15). Factor analysis reduced this to a 20-item scale that was administered 1 year later to 357 different adolescents in Year 10 in the same schools. Confirmatory factor analysis verified the two-factor solution. Females scored higher than males on both affective and cognitive empathy. Empathy was positively correlated with intelligence (for females only), extraversion (cognitive empathy only) neuroticism (affective empathy only), agreeableness, conscientiousness (for males only), and openness. Empathy was positively related to parental supervision and socioeconomic status. Adolescents who would help victims of bullying had high empathy.
Article
Extending B. L. Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and M. Losada's (1999) nonlinear dynamics model of team performance, the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health. Participants (N=188) completed an initial survey to identify flourishing mental health and then provided daily reports of experienced positive and negative emotions over 28 days. Results showed that the mean ratio of positive to negative affect was above 2.9 for individuals classified as flourishing and below that threshold for those not flourishing. Together with other evidence, these findings suggest that a set of general mathematical principles may describe the relations between positive affect and human flourishing.
Article
Little information exists on the contribution of psychological strengths to well-being in persons with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Data from other populations suggest that gratitude, defined as the positive experience of thankfulness for being the recipient of personal benefits, may have salutary effects on everyday functioning. We investigated whether dispositional gratitude predicted daily hedonic and eudaimonic well-being in combat veterans with and without PTSD. We also examined associations between daily gratitude and daily well-being across time. Veterans with PTSD, compared to those without PTSD, exhibited significantly lower dispositional gratitude; no differences were found on daily gratitude. Dispositional gratitude predicted greater daily positive affect, percentage of pleasant days over the assessment period, daily intrinsically motivating activity, and daily self-esteem over and above effects attributable to PTSD severity and dispositional negative and positive affect in the PTSD group but not the non-PTSD group. Daily gratitude was uniquely associated with each dimension of daily well-being in both groups. Although preliminary, these results provide support for the further investigation of gratitude in trauma survivors.
Article
Like all perception, social perception reflects evolutionary pressures. In encounters with conspecifics, social animals must determine, immediately, whether the "other" is friend or foe (i.e. intends good or ill) and, then, whether the "other" has the ability to enact those intentions. New data confirm these two universal dimensions of social cognition: warmth and competence. Promoting survival, these dimensions provide fundamental social structural answers about competition and status. People perceived as warm and competent elicit uniformly positive emotions and behavior, whereas those perceived as lacking warmth and competence elicit uniform negativity. People classified as high on one dimension and low on the other elicit predictable, ambivalent affective and behavioral reactions. These universal dimensions explain both interpersonal and intergroup social cognition.
The spectrum of gratitude experience
  • J Elfers
  • P Hlava
Elfers J., & Hlava P. (2016). The spectrum of gratitude experience. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-41030
Prężność jako wyznacznik pozytywnych i negatywnych konsekwencji doświadczonej sytuacji traumatycznej
  • N Ogińska-Bulik
  • Z Juczyński
Ogińska-Bulik, N. Juczyński, Z. (2012). Prężność jako wyznacznik pozytywnych i negatywnych konsekwencji doświadczonej sytuacji traumatycznej, Polskie Forum Psychologiczne 2 (17), 395-410.
A cognitive model of psychological resilience
  • S Parsons
  • A.-W Kruijt
  • E Fox
Parsons, S., Kruijt, A.-W., & Fox, E. (2016). A cognitive model of psychological resilience. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 7(3), 296-310. https://doi.org/10.5127/jep.053415
Relações entre Empatia, Resiliência e Perdão
  • V D Pinho
  • E M O Falcone
Pinho, V. D., & Falcone, E. M.O. (2017). Relações entre Empatia, Resiliência e Perdão [Interpessoal Relations among Empathy, Resilience and Interpersonal Forgiveness].
An upward spiral: Bidirectional associations between positive affect and positive aspects of close relationships across the life span
  • M A Ramsey
  • A L Gentzler
Ramsey, M. A., & Gentzler, A. L. (2015). An upward spiral: Bidirectional associations between positive affect and positive aspects of close relationships across the life span. Developmental Review, 36, 58-104. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2015.01.003