ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

Gratitude and life satisfaction are associated with several indicators of a good life (e.g., health, pro-social behavior, and relationships). However, how gratitude and life satisfaction relate to each other over time has remained unknown until now. Although a substantial body of research has tested the link from gratitude to life satisfaction, the reverse association remains unexplored. In addition, recent cross-cultural research has questioned the link between gratitude and subjective well-being in non-Western countries, suggesting that the benefits of gratitude may only prevail in Western societies. However, previous cross-cultural studies have only compared western (e.g., American) and eastern (e.g., Asian) cultures, but this simple contrast does not adequately capture the diversity in the world. To guide further theory and practice, we therefore extended previous cross-sectional and experimental studies, by testing the bi-directional longitudinal link between gratitude and life satisfaction in a Latin American context, aiming to establish temporal precedence. We assessed two adult samples from Chile, using three-wave cross-lagged panel designs with 1 month (Study 1, N = 725) and 3 months (Study 2, N = 1,841) between waves. Both studies show, for the first time, that gratitude and life satisfaction mutually predict each other over time. The reciprocal relationships suggest the existence of a virtuous circle of human well-being: higher levels of gratitude increase life satisfaction, which in turn increases gratitude, leading to a positive spiral. Key theoretical and practical implications for the dynamics of human flourishing and field of positive psychology are discussed.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 1 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
ORIGINAL RESEARCH
published: 08 November 2019
doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02480
Edited by:
Monika Fleischhauer,
Medical School Berlin,
Germany
Reviewed by:
Jesus Alfonso Daep Datu,
The Education University of Hong
Kong, Hong Kong
Philip Charles Watkins,
Eastern Washington University,
UnitedStates
*Correspondence:
Wenceslao Unanue
wunanue@uc.cl
Specialty section:
This article was submitted to
Personality and Social Psychology,
a section of the journal
Frontiers in Psychology
Received: 20 July 2019
Accepted: 21 October 2019
Published: 08 November 2019
Citation:
Unanue W, Gomez Mella ME,
Cortez DA, Bravo D, Araya-Véliz C,
Unanue J and Van Den Broeck A
(2019) The Reciprocal Relationship
Between Gratitude and Life
Satisfaction: Evidence From Two
Longitudinal Field Studies.
Front. Psychol. 10:2480.
doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02480
The Reciprocal Relationship
Between Gratitude and Life
Satisfaction: Evidence From Two
Longitudinal Field Studies
WenceslaoUnanue1*, MarcosEstebanGomezMella1, DiegoAlejandroCortez2,
DiegoBravo1, ClaudioAraya-Véliz2, JesúsUnanue3 and AnjaVanDenBroeck 4,5
1 Escuela de Negocios, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Santiago, Chile, 2 Escuela de Psicología, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez,
Santiago, Chile, 3 Facultad de Educación y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Andres Bello, Santiago, Chile, 4 KU Leuven,
Leuven, Belgium, 5 Optentia Research Programme, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Gratitude and life satisfaction are associated with several indicators of a good life (e.g.,
health, pro-social behavior, and relationships). However, how gratitude and life satisfaction
relate to each other over time has remained unknown until now. Although a substantial body
of research has tested the link from gratitude to life satisfaction, the reverse association
remains unexplored. In addition, recent cross-cultural research has questioned the link
between gratitude and subjective well-being in non-Western countries, suggesting that the
benets of gratitude may only prevail in Western societies. However, previous cross-cultural
studies have only compared western (e.g., American) and eastern (e.g., Asian) cultures, but
this simple contrast does not adequately capture the diversity in the world. To guide further
theory and practice, wetherefore extended previous cross-sectional and experimental
studies, by testing the bi-directional longitudinal link between gratitude and life satisfaction
in a Latin American context, aiming to establish temporal precedence. Weassessed two
adult samples from Chile, using three-wave cross-lagged panel designs with 1 month (Study
1, N=725) and 3 months (Study 2, N=1,841) between waves. Both studies show, for the
rst time, that gratitude and life satisfaction mutually predict each other over time. The
reciprocal relationships suggest the existence of a virtuous circle of human well-being: higher
levels of gratitude increase life satisfaction, which in turn increases gratitude, leading to a
positive spiral. Key theoretical and practical implications for the dynamics of human ourishing
and eld of positive psychology are discussed.
Keywords: gratitude, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, positive psychology, longitudinal analysis, prospective
design, adults, Chile
anks to life, which has given me so much
It gave me two stars, which when Iopen them,
Perfectly distinguish black from white
And in the tall sky its starry backdrop,
And within the multitudes the one that Ilove.
anks to life
Violeta Parra, Chilean poet
Unanue et al. Gratitude and Life Satisfaction
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 2 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
Life satisfaction and gratitude are important for living a good
life. e benets of both constructs have been extensively
documented. ey include, for instance, better mental and physical
health, more pro-social behavior, high-quality relationships, and
more meaningful lives (Wood et al., 2010; Diener and Tay,
2017). Life satisfaction (Diener, 1984) is a key predictor of well-
being (Helliwell et al., 2013) and a fundamental construct for
advising on public policies (Diener et al., 2009): the OECD,
e.g., has used life satisfaction to assess the progress of the nations
through the Better Life Index (OECD, n.d.). Gratitude, a tendency
to appreciate the good and positive, is an equally essential
nutrient for people ourishing (Wood et al., 2010).
Research has extensively shown a positive link between
gratitude and life satisfaction (Froh et al., 2009; Wood et al.,
2010; Alkozei etal., 2018). However, how both constructs relate
to each other over time has remained unknown until now.
Previous studies have only explored the link from gratitude
to life satisfaction, whereas the reverse association has not
been tested yet. Drawing on Watkins (2004) seminal article,
wetheorized a reciprocal relationship between both constructs
and thus a “circle of virtue.
As gratitude and life satisfaction likely unfold over time,
we need to do more to disentangle the ongoing, naturally
occurring, reciprocal relations between pre-existing (rather than
momentarily primed) gratitude and life satisfaction. Appropriate
and well-suited longitudinal designs—still scarce in the eld—
are needed in order to complement the existing evidence and
test whether both constructs are reciprocally related (Wood
et al., 2008). is paper presents two such studies, among
Chilean adults, that could contribute in this area.
Studying the directionality between gratitude and life
satisfaction is important, both from a theoretical and practical
point of view. From a theoretical perspective, our studies make
four main contributions. First, longitudinal eld research is
necessary for clarifying the direction of the link between gratitude
and life satisfaction, in order to identify whether there is a
temporal precedence between the constructs or whether the
link is only due to a shared variance with other variables.
Second, clarifying the prospective direction of the link between
gratitude and life satisfaction allows their conceptualizations
and implications to be enriched. If our reciprocal hypothesis
is supported, gratitude would be not only an antecedent of life
satisfaction but also a consequence of it and vice versa. ese
ndings would show the complexity, multi-directionality, and
interdependence between both constructs. ird, the potential
inuence of gratitude on subjective well-being (SWB; Diener,
1984) has not yet been fully conrmed in the non-Western
world. Indeed, recent cross-cultural research has suggested that
benets of gratitude may only reach Western societies (Boehm
et al., 2011; Layous et al., 2013; Shin et al., in press). However,
previous studies have only compared Asian and American
cultures. erefore, we think it is important to extend gratitude
research by including additional non-Western countries like
Chile, which allows us to go beyond the traditional Western-
Eastern dichotomy (Vignoles et al., 2016). Fourth, while the
great majority of previous studies have explored students and
young populations (Davis etal., 2016), weassessed working adults.
From a practical point of view, if the reciprocal relationship
is supported, it would open the possibility for a virtuous or
a vicious circle in health and well-being interventions. On the
one hand, higher gratitude would lead to higher life satisfaction,
which in turn would increase gratitude, leading to a positive
spiral in human ourishing. On the other hand, the lack of
either gratitude or life satisfaction may lead to a negative
process in human wellness. Policy makers and health practitioners
could benet from these ndings. By teaching people the
importance of gratitude and life satisfaction—and how to foster
each of them, practitioners from dierent settings (clinical,
educational, organizational, etc.) may not only help people to
protect their mental health but also show them how to move
toward a virtuous circle of ourishing and well-being.
Accordingly, weconducted two longitudinal studies to examine
the prospective link from gratitude to life satisfaction as well
as the reverse link from life satisfaction to gratitude. Before
presenting the results, we rst describe gratitude and life
satisfaction and argue for their reciprocal relationship.
GRATITUDE AND LIFE SATISFACTION
Gratitude has been conceptualized from dierent perspectives
(McCullough etal., 2002). e most comprehensive approach—
and the one we used in this paper–denes gratitude as a life
orientation (Wood et al., 2010). From this perspective, people
may feel grateful because they are alive, because they are able
to walk in a beautiful park, or just from the appreciations of
their abilities (Wood et al., 2010). Research has found that
higher gratitude is associated with a better life, indexed as
higher positive aect, self-esteem, positive emotions, optimism,
autonomy, environmental mastery, relationships, personal growth,
meaning in life, and self-acceptance. Gratitude has also been
associated with lower ill-being in terms of negative aect,
depression, anxiety, phobia, bulimia, addictions, negative
emotions, dysfunctions, anger, and hostility. For a review and
a meta-analysis, see Davis etal. (2016) and Wood etal. (2010).
Subjective well-being (SWB; Diener, 1984) refers to “peoples
sense of wellness in their lives, in both thoughts and feelings”
(Diener and Tay, 2017, p. 90). Life satisfaction is the cognitive
component of SWB (Diener etal., 1985) and reects the global
evaluation that people make about their satisfaction with their
own lives in several domains such as work, marriage, and
health (Diener etal., 2017). Life satisfaction is associated with
a host of positive outcomes, indexed in terms of better mental
and physical health, healthier weight and eating behaviors,
more exercise, longer life expectancy, higher levels of career
satisfaction, lower turnover intentions, and higher organizational
commitment. It has also been associated with lower ill-being,
indexed as lower addictions and unhealthy habits (e.g., tobacco,
drugs, and alcohol use), lower mortality rates, and lower levels
of anxiety and depression. e benets of life satisfaction also
reach the whole of society. Higher life satisfaction predicts
altruism (e.g., donating, helping, and volunteering) as well as
lower homicide, suicide, and illness rates. For a review, see
Diener et al. (2017) and Diener and Tay (2017).
Unanue et al. Gratitude and Life Satisfaction
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 3 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
Research Studying the Link Between
Gratitude and Life Satisfaction: The Need
for Longitudinal Studies
Cross-sectional studies have given strong support for the
relationships between gratitude and life satisfaction. However,
cross-sectional designs are not able to disentangle either the
origins or the direction of this relationship. Experimental
evidence has found support for the hypothesized causal link
from gratitude to life satisfaction. Priming or experimentally
inducing gratitude leads participants to feel better about their
lives as a whole and to experience more life satisfaction (Emmons
and McCullough, 2003; Rash et al., 2011). Writing letters of
gratitude over a 3-week period also increases participants
happiness and life satisfaction and decreases depressive symptoms
(Toepfer et al., 2012). Experimental studies are the strongest
evidence for causality between gratitude and life satisfaction.
However, previous research has focused only on the eect of
gratitude on life satisfaction, yet no experimental study to
date has tested a reverse link. Longitudinal research may help
to ll this gap.
Although longitudinal studies have examined several aspects
of the prospective relations of gratitude, such as social support,
low stress, or post-traumatic growth (Wood etal., 2008; Zhou
and Wu, 2016), according to our knowledge, only one eld
study has explored the link between gratitude and life satisfaction
over time, using an appropriate longitudinal design. Specically,
Jans-Beken etal. (2018) found a prospective positive association
from gratitude to SWB, using a four-wave design among Dutch
adults. However, only a global measure of SWB was included
and life satisfaction was not isolated. Importantly, the reverse
link from life satisfaction to gratitude was neither hypothesized
nor tested. Longitudinal research using questionnaires would
help to extend previous cross-sectional and experimental evidence
and shed light on the hypothesized prospective link between
gratitude and life satisfaction. Conducting this kind of study
is the main aim of our paper.
THE RECIPROCAL RELATION BETWEEN
GRATITUDE AND LIFE SATISFACTION
We contend that gratitude and life satisfaction may bereciprocally
related. e idea was rst developed by Watkins (2004), who
proposed several psychological mechanisms to understand the
so-called “circle of virtue.” Below, we will summarize some of
his main ideas.
From Gratitude to Life Satisfaction
Gratitude is a life orientation towards noticing and appreciating
the positive in life: it “serves as an indicator of aspects of life
for which to be appreciative” (Wood et al., 2010, p. 3). is
is a dispositional tendency. us, people high in trait gratitude
experience all the gratitude facets frequently and strongly
(McCullough etal., 2002), which may lead to positive cognitive
evaluations of our existence (e.g., higher life satisfaction
assessments). Watkins (2004) oered several suggestions about
which psychological mechanisms are involved in the prospective
link from gratitude to life satisfaction.
First, when people perceive a benet/favor as a “gi” (i.e.,
“a favor that has been given to one for ones benet,Watkins,
2004, p. 175), they are more likely to enjoy the benet. is
perception may be a form of cognitive amplication, which
in turn fosters SWB. People higher in trait gratitude are more
likely to perceive benets as gis, which could lead gratitude
to increase life satisfaction through this cognitive amplication
process. In other words, “gratitude should increase our enjoyment
of a blessing” (Watkins, 2004, p. 176). is theorization is
consistent with the broaden-and-build theory (BBT; Fredrickson,
2013). BBT suggests that gratitude, as a life orientation, may
consistently increase our positive emotions, which in turn
broadens our array of thoughts, increasing life satisfaction:
when people feel grateful for a situation—especially when the
situation is seen as a gi—they are more likely to feel positive
emotions, and this in turn protects them from a variety of
mental disorders and increases their life satisfaction and happiness
(Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). is process then produces an
upward spiral in human wellness (Fredrickson, 2013).
Second, gratitude may protect us against the law of habituation.
Research has shown that people tend to adapt to their current
levels of circumstances, and “over time, we tend to get used to
our current level of satisfaction” (Watkins, 2004, p. 176).
Unfortunately, adaptation to satisfaction may prevent people from
being happy from ongoing circumstances. Certain activities may
help to avoid being a slave to the law of habituation. Indeed,
“by constantly being aware of how fortunate one’s condition is
(e.g., through gratitude), people may protect themselves from
the problem of habituation (Frijda, 1988, p.354). In other words,
the “practice of gratitude should accomplish, consistently reminding
one of how good life really is” (Watkins, 2004, p. 177).
ird, gratitude may direct attention away from upward
social comparisons. Social comparisons lead to feelings of
deprivation. Indeed, upward social comparisons and envy is
associated with lower positive aect and higher unpleasant
feelings. However, as shown by McCullough et al. (2002), the
practice of gratitude (e.g., focusing on our blessings), “directs
attention away from making comparisons with others who
have more” (Watkins, 2004, p.177). In other words, changing
our attention from the things wedo not have to an appreciation
of thing we do have may protect humans from the dangers
of social comparisons (Watkins, 2004).
Fourth, the practice of gratitude is an eective coping
mechanism. Wood etal. (2007) showed that gratitude relates to
three broad categories of coping (Wood et al., 2010): People
who are more grateful tend to use more social support, to actively
solve their problems, and to avoid denying the existence of the
problems. ese coping strategies may help individuals to better
face and solve various life problems, thus increasing their life
satisfaction. To support this, research has shown that grateful
people are better able to appreciate dicult situations, promoting
better coping strategies with stressful circumstances, which is
associated with long-term SWB (Watkins, 2004). In other words,
gratitude may give one a helpful perspective on life that assists
in mood repair following a stressful event” (p. 179).
Unanue et al. Gratitude and Life Satisfaction
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 4 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
Fih, gratitude allows the accessibility and recollection of
pleasant life events. Seidlitz and Diener (1993) state that a
key aspect of happiness is the accessibility of positive memories.
Following this argument, Watkins (2004) argues that gratitude
“should enhance the retrievability of positive experiences by
increasing elaboration of positive information” (p.181). Further,
the increased availability of positive life events should lead to
more positive judgments of people’s lives and thus to higher
life satisfaction.
Sixth, gratitude may increase life satisfaction by enhancing
a person’s social benets. Indeed, whereas research has shown
that gratitude is signicantly associated with better social
relationships (Wood etal., 2010), social relationships are strongly
associated with higher life satisfaction (Unanue et al., 2014).
Further, gratitude may increase life satisfaction through the
mediational role played by social contacts and the satisfaction
of the need for relatedness (Watkins, 2004). Seven, gratitude
might increase life satisfaction through the prevention of
depressive episodes. Indeed, research has shown that depression
has a strong inverse association with gratitude. Because of
that, it has been argued that “the lack of gratitude may be a
vulnerability factor for depression” (p. 183) and thus of lower
life satisfaction and SWB.
From Life Satisfaction to Gratitude
Previous arguments provide a strong argument for the link
from gratitude to life satisfaction. However, it is also possible
to theorize that life satisfaction may also predict gratitude
over time.
Gratitude—as a life orientation—represents satisfaction in
several aspects of life such as social support, work, and family
(Wood etal., 2008). us, when satisfaction with life increases,
a causal eect is expected such that people’s gratitude increases
accordingly. In other words, people may feel a strong sense
of gratitude when experiencing high levels of life satisfaction
(e.g., their lives are fantastic). In addition, according to Watkins
(2004), research suggests that people who are satised with
their lives develop three types of perceptions when they are
the recipient of the gi, which may increase gratitude. First,
people who are satised with their lives, are more likely to
value a gi, and are therefore more likely to experience gratitude.
Second, when the receiver appreciates the goodness of the
giver, grateful feelings increase. ird, the receiver is more
likely to feel grateful if heor she thinks that the gi is gratuitous
and went beyond the receiver’s social expectations. Happier
people are more likely to have the previous three perceptions,
which in turn lead them to feel more grateful. Research strongly
supports these claims. For example, people experiencing greater
life satisfaction or positive aect tend to evaluate things more
positively, which increases the probability of a grateful response.
In other words, people are more likely to recognize the goodness
of benets if they believe life is good, thus promoting
grateful responses.
Overall, whether gratitude causes life satisfaction, and/or
life satisfaction causes gratitude, is still an open question.
Following Watkins (2004) seminal article, wepropose that the
answer to both questions is yes. In other words, we expect
that gratitude and life satisfaction operate in a “cycle of virtue”
(p.185). Based on this theorizing, wethus expect a bi-directional
temporal association between gratitude and life satisfaction,
and hypothesize:
(H1) Gratitude prospectively predicts future life satisfaction.
(H2) Life satisfaction prospectively predicts future gratitude.
THE ROLE OF CULTURE: EXTENDING
RESEARCH IN NON-WESTERN
COUNTRIES
Despite the increasing evidence in favor of a positive link
between gratitude and SWB in the Western world, cross-cultural
research has questioned the potential inuence of gratitude in
non-Western countries (Boehm etal., 2011; Layous etal., 2013;
Shin et al., in press). For example, while some studies in
China (Sun and Kong, 2013; Kong et al., 2015, 2017) and
Philippines (Datu, 2014; Datu and Mateo, 2015; Valdez et al.,
2017) have shown a positive link between gratitude and SWB,
recent research in South Korea, Taiwan, and India found
non-signicant results.
Boehm et al. (2011) explored the eect of a gratitude
intervention on life satisfaction among Anglo-American and
Asian American participants. Individuals from both cultures
reported higher life satisfaction aer the intervention
(compared with the control group), but Asian American
participants benetted signicantly less. Similarly, Layous
et al. (2013) studied the eect of a gratitude intervention
on SWB (life satisfaction and positive emotions) among North
American and South Korean participants. Results showed
that SWB increased in both cultures (compared with the
control group), but the increase was signicantly lower for
the South Korean participants. Shin etal. (in press) randomly
assigned participants from India, Taiwan, and the US to a
gratitude experimental condition or to a neutral condition
activity. It was found that only the US participants who
expressed gratitude reported a greater state of gratitude relative
to the controls, which led the authors to suggest that gratitude
interventions do not “elicit felt gratitude in collectivist cultures,
providing “new insights into why expressing gratitude may
bea less eective happiness-promoting activity in collectivist
cultures” (p. 2).
Previous ndings have led scholars to argue that maybe
“Eastern, collectivist cultures do not benet as much from
practicing gratitude compared to Western, individualist
cultures” (Shin etal., in press, p.2). However, existing studies
exploring the role of culture in the link between gratitude
and SWB and have only compared Western (e.g., US) and
Eastern (e.g., Asian) cultures, which is in line with the
standard tradition in cross-cultural psychology, which “has
relied excessively on contrasts between North American and
East Asian samples” (Vignoles etal., 2016, p.967). Nonetheless,
a simple contrast between Eastern and Western countries
does not adequately capture the diversity in dierent regions
of the world (Vignoles et al., 2016).
Unanue et al. Gratitude and Life Satisfaction
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 5 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
Markus and Kitayama (1991) proposed that cultures could
be classied under two opposite dimensions: independent
and interdependent. e authors stated that the independent
view of the self is found in Western countries and the
interdependent view of the self is found in non-Western
societies. However, according to Vignoles etal. (2016), “this
perspective has arguably contributed to the prevalence of a
rather black-and-white view of cultural diversity” (p. 969),
leading academics to legitimize a misleading tendency to
dichotomize cultures in terms of binary oppositions between
“Western” (e.g., US) versus “non-Western” (e.g., Asia) cultures.
Further, this black-and-white view between US and Asia
has marginalized other non-Western regions of the world
such us Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East,
and Eastern Europe. Research on gratitude has made the
same mistake. To ll this void, we extend cross-cultural
research on gratitude beyond the East-West dichotomy by
studying Chile.
Cultural diversity may be assessed through national
socioeconomic development, religious heritage, and individualism
(Vignoles etal., 2016). Based on these criteria, Latin America,
and in particular Chile, is dierent from American and Asian
countries studied thus far, and studying this particular context
thus adds important value to the diversity of the cross-cultural
research on gratitude. First, according the World Bank, Latin
America is considered an upper-middle-income region, whereas
North America is a high-income economy and most Asian
nations are low-income ones (e World Bank, n.d.). Second,
according to the World Economic Forum, Chile and Latin
America have a Catholic heritage, whereas most of the population
in the US is atheist/agnostic, and a large majority of people
from Asia are either Buddhist, Hindu, or atheist/agnostic
(Jacobs, 2019). ird, and nally, Chile is an interesting country
in terms of the dimension of individualism-collectivism. Research
has assumed that people from Western countries have an
individualistic view of the self, while people from non-Western
countries have a more collectivistic view. Following this tradition,
Chile has been traditionally considered a collectivistic culture
(Hofstede, 1983; Arnulf and Silje, 2009). However, during the
last few decades, Chile has gone through a deep social and
economic transition with enormous cultural and societal changes.
Indeed, recent studies have shown that Chile has moved fast
toward a more individualistic culture (Arnulf and Silje, 2009;
Benavides and Hur, 2019).
Individualism is a key issue, and researchers have tried to
explain why the benets of gratitude seem only to have reached
Western societies (Boehm et al., 2011; Shin et al., in press).
Research has shown that “individualist cultures base their life
satisfaction more on intrapersonal than interpersonal factors
whereas those from collectivist cultures do the reverse” (Boehm
et al., 2011, p. 2). In other words, goals and norms in
individualistic cultures are more supportive of self-expression,
self-improvement, and the pursuit of happiness rather than
goals and norms in collectivistic cultures (Boehm etal., 2011).
If individualism is key, wemay expect a positive link between
gratitude and SWB in Chile, which is an unexplored non-Western
cultural context.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE
PRESENT RESEARCH
We followed Watkins (2004), in terms that “e test of all
happiness is gratitude” (Watkins, 2004, p.167). Further, hestates
that the relation between gratitude and happiness, and more
specically, life satisfaction, should not be taken lightly and
deserves to be extensively studied. Our paper aims to tap into
this issue and study the link between gratitude and life satisfaction
from a longitudinal perspective.
e current manuscript contributes to the scientic literature
in the following ways. First, there is a lack of well-suited
longitudinal eld research on the association between gratitude
and life satisfaction (Alkozei et al., 2018). Indeed, according
to our knowledge, to date, no study has explored the reciprocal
link between these constructs using questionnaire research. In
response, we conducted two eld studies, using cross-lagged
panel models (CLPMs) which help in testing prospective (i.e.,
temporal) directions between gratitude and life satisfaction over
time (Selig and Little, 2012). Although prospective designs do
not test causality directly, prospective signicance between
variables is a key requirement for causality. CLPM allows “looking
at autoregressive eects (linking a variable at earlier time points
to itself at later time points) and cross-lagged eects (linking
two dierent variables across time)” (Joshanloo, 2019, p. 183).
Second, weexpand on the scarce amount of research conducted
in the non-Western world (mainly in Asia), by assessing a country
from a Latin-American context. By including Chile, weextended
previous research beyond the traditional Western-Eastern paradox
(Vignoles et al., 2016). ird, the great majority of previous
studies on the link between gratitude and life satisfaction have
focused on students and young populations going through similar
life transitions (Davis et al., 2016). We aim to further our
understanding of the relationship between gratitude and life
satisfaction, by exploring two large samples of Chilean working
adults, living at dierent stages of their lifespan. Finally, our
research also has practical implications. By complementing previous
experimental and cross-sectional studies, we expect to test the
potential of both gratitude and life satisfaction for interventions
aiming to protect peoples mental health, improve the quality of
human life, and provide guidance on public policies.
STUDY 1
Method
Participants and Procedure
Study 1 was conducted in accordance with the American
Psychological Association guidelines and followed University
Ethics and Research Governance procedures to avoid coercion
(e.g., participation was voluntary). Participants were informed
about the goal of the study in overall terms. ey were also
asked about their intention to participate in future research,
as the poll would be part of a longitudinal study. Informed
consent was obtained from all participants.
Following recent leading research, which advocates the
advantages of using online designs (Porter et al., 2019),
Unanue et al. Gratitude and Life Satisfaction
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 6 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
we collected full panel data in a three-wave cross-lagged
longitudinal design with 1 month between waves, among a
wide sample of Chilean working adults. A university in Santiago
provided the email addresses of alumni1. Participants were sent
an email with an explanation of the research and a web link
to the survey. In each wave, participants were advised that
the survey remained opened for only 1 week, and they received
a polite reminder every working day. All participants who
decided not to participate in or nish the study were given
the option to either unsubscribe from the mailing list or leave
the survey at their convenience, without any penalty. For the
rest of the participants, all questions were compulsory, so
we did not have missing data within each wave.
Seven hundred and twenty-ve participants (52.1% male)
between the ages of 21 and 72 years (mean age = 38.30;
SD=10.01) completed the T1 measures. At T2, 275 participants
(52.7% male) between the ages of 21 and 72 years (mean
age = 39.62; SD= 10.23) completed the T2 measures (37.93%
of Wave 1). At T3, 252 participants (55.2% male) between the
ages of 21 and 72 years (mean age=40.35; SD=10.15) completed
the T3 measures (34.76% of Wave 1). In total, 161 respondents
(54.7% male) between the ages of 21 and 72 (mean age= 40.65;
SD = 10.50) answered the three waves (22.21% of Wave 1).
ose who completed only T1 (N=564) did not dier signicantly
in gender {[χ2(1)]=0.53, p=0.468}, gratitude [t(275.67)=1.86,
p = 0.064], or life satisfaction [t(723) = 1.02, p= 0.307] from
those who participated in the three waves (N=161). Participants
only diered in age [t(723) = 3.40, p < 0.01]. erefore, our
analysis suggests that younger participants were especially likely
to drop out of the study. Littles MCAR test (Little, 1988) showed
that missing data were completely at random {[χ2(141)]=115.24,
p= 0.945}. Following the recommendations of Newman (2014),
weemployed a full information maximum likelihood estimation
(FIML2), which allowed us to include all 725 participants in
our structural analyses, irrespective of the pattern of missing
data (Muthén et al., 1987).
We conducted a sensitivity power analysis using G*Power 3.1
(Faul etal., 2009) to estimate the statistical power for our cross-
lagged structural equation modeling (SEM) model. Adopting the
conventional criterion of 0.80 power, considering 124 parameters,
and including only participants who completed the three waves,
which is a conservative criterion, our study was suciently
powered to detect a predictor with a population eect size of
f2 = 0.051, representing a small eect (Cohen, 1992). Our
sample size was thus considered sucient. e distributions
were adequate for all constructs (George and Mallery, 2010).
1
Study 1 and Study 2 are part of a large project on happiness and well-being,
funded by the Chilean Government and KU Leuven. We collected several
other measures regarding life and work, but they are not relevant to the
present research.
2
We use full information maximum likelihood (FIML), because this procedure
outperforms traditional techniques regarding parameter estimation bias, model
t and parameter estimation eciency (Peters and Enders, 2002). In addition,
FIML shows unbiased and more ecient estimates compared with other methods
of imputation such as listwise deletion, pairwise deletion and similar response
patterns imputation (Enders and Bandalos, 2001). Moreover, FIML generate a
lower proportion of convergence failures (Enders and Bandalos, 2001).
Skew valueswere appropriate for gratitude (T1: 0.79; T2: 0.94;
and T3: 0.97) and life satisfaction (T1: 0.81; T2: 0.82;
and T3: 0.92). Kurtosis values were also appropriate for gratitude
(T1: 0.23; T2: 1.52; and T3: 0.74) and life satisfaction (T1: 0.58;
T2: 0.94; and T3: 0.82).
Measures
We translated highly validated scales for gratitude and life
satisfaction into Spanish, and equivalence of meaning with the
original version was checked using standard back-translation
procedures (Brislin, 1970)3.
Gratitude
We used the gratitude questionnaire developed by McCullough
et al. (2002), which includes six items (e.g., “If I had to list
everything that I felt grateful for, it would be a very long
list”). Respondents rated the items from 1 (completely disagree)
to 7 (completely agree). Cronbach’s alphas were good at T1
(0.76), T2 (0.74), and T3 (0.78). We built a latent variable
using all the scale items.
Life Satisfaction
We used the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener et al., 1985),
which includes ve items (e.g., “In most ways my life is close
to my ideal”). Respondents rated the items from 1 (strongly
disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). Cronbach’s alphas were good
at T1 (0.89), T2 (0.88), and T3 (0.88). Webuilt a latent variable
using all the scale items.
Demographics
We used gender (male=1) and age (in years) as control variables.
Results
Descriptive statistics and intercorrelations for all Study 1 variables
are shown in Tab le 1. Weused MPlus 7.1 (Muthén and Muthén,
2012) to estimate the relations among our constructs. We used
SEM to test our hypotheses. We used latent variables to reduce
the biasing eects of measurement error (Finkel, 1995). According
to standard statistical criteria (Hu and Bentler, 1999; Kline, 2005),
we evaluated the model t by using the root mean square error
of approximation (RMSEA) and comparative t index (CFI).
Values of RMSEA <0.06 (or< 0.08) and CFI > 0.95 (or > 0.90)
were considered to be evidence of a good (or acceptable) t.
Measurement Model and Invariance Test
First, we tested a six-factor measurement model where
we constrained all the gratitude factor loadings as well as all
the life satisfaction factor loadings to be equal across the three
waves. As suggested by Jöreskog (1979), we incorporated auto-
correlated error terms for the observed indicators, and weallowed
3
Nowadays, there are validated Spanish versions for both gratitude (Langer
et al., 2016) and life satisfaction (Bagherzadeh et al., 2018) scales. However,
they were not available at the time when we started the data collection.
Nonetheless, we have checked them against our back translation, and we do
not nd any particular dierence between the items.
Unanue et al. Gratitude and Life Satisfaction
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 7 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
all latent variables to co-vary freely. e model t was acceptable:
χ2(465) = 1020.632, p < 0.001, CFI = 0.937, RMSEA = 0.041.
en, we tested a baseline model where no constraints were
imposed. e model t was also acceptable: χ2(447) = 993.733,
p < 0.001; CFI = 0.938; RMSEA = 0.041. Finally, we compared
both models. According to Cheung and Rensvold (2002), the
assumption of invariance is tenable if the reduction in CFI, when
constraints are imposed, is less than 0.01. Here, the change in
CFI met this criterion (ΔCFI = 0.001). Despite Cheung and
Rensvold (2002) is a widely accepted criterion, recent literature
(e.g., Koomen et al., 2012) has highlighted the importance of
relying on multiple criteria for testing invariance. e assumption
of invariance is also supported when the dierence in RMSEA
is lower than 0.01 (Chen, 2007) and the constrained model has
an expected cross-validation index (ECVI) smaller than the
unconstrained model (Browne and Du Toit, 1992; Ruiz et al.,
2017). In our case, the change in RMSEA (ΔRMSEA = 0.00)
and the change in ECVI (ΔECVI = 0.05) met both criteria.
erefore, it can beconcluded that the pattern of factor loadings
was invariant across waves for both gratitude and life satisfaction.
Hence, we maintained these constraints in all structural models
reported below.
Conrmatory Factor Analysis Analyses
e denition of gratitude as a life orientation opens the
possibility that both gratitude and life satisfaction belong to
one single factor. us, we performed a conrmatory factor
analysis (CFA) in order to examine the factorial validity of
the measures in each assessment time. At T1, results showed
that the collapsed model [11 indicators; χ2(44) = 881.45,
p<0.001] is signicantly worse than a model where gratitude
(six indicators) and life satisfaction (ve indicators) were
modeled as two dierent latent variables [χ2(43) = 271.26,
p < 0.001], Δχ2(1)= 610.19, p< 0.001. At T2, the collapsed
model [χ2(44) = 356.74, < 0.001] is signicantly worse than
the two-factor model [χ2(43) = 111.78, p < 0.001],
Δχ2(1) = 244.96, p < 0.001. At T3, the collapsed model
[χ2(44) = 399.07, p < 0.001] is signicantly worse than the
two-factor model [χ2(43)=185.38, p<0.001], Δχ2(1)=213.70,
p<0.001. Our results show that gratitude and life satisfaction
are two dierent constructs, replicating the ndings of
McCullough et al. (2002).
Longitudinal Analysis
We tested a structural cross-lagged reciprocal model to determine
the relationships between gratitude and life satisfaction over time.
Following Ribeiro et al. (2011), we controlled this by gender
and age. We allowed the two latent variables (life satisfaction
and gratitude) to co-vary within each time point, and wemodeled
lagged paths from each measure to the other two measures at
the successive time points. us, all constructs were represented
as potential antecedents and as potential consequences of the
other constructs, while controlling for stability eects. e model
t was acceptable, χ2(514) = 1158.80, p < 0.001, CFI = 0.93,
RMSEA= 0.04. Weconstrained all factor loading (measurement
invariance) and paths (to maximizestatistical power) to beequal
between waves, following Unanue et al. (2016). e model t
remained acceptable: χ2(536) = 1192.08, p < 0.001, CFI = 0.93,
RMSEA = 0.04, and this more parsimonious model showed no
signicant loss of t compared to a model where all factor
loadings and structural paths were estimated freely: Δχ2(4)=5.50,
p= 0.239. Values of R2 ranged from 0.68 to 0.74 (all p<0.001).
Supporting H1, we found that gratitude at T1 was a positive
prospective predictor of life satisfaction at T2: β = 0.10 (95%
CI: 0.03, 0.18), p < 0.01. Supporting H2, life satisfaction at T1
was a positive prospective predictor of gratitude at T2: β= 0.11
(95% CI 0.03, 0.19), p<0.01. Wealso found that life satisfaction
at T1 was a positive prospective predictor of life satisfaction at
T2 [β = 0.76 (95% CI 0.69, 0.83), p < 0.001] and gratitude at
T1 was a positive prospective predictor of gratitude at T2 [β=0.78
(95% CI 0.71, 0.86), p < 0.001]. Gender was positively related
to gratitude: β= 0.17 (95% CI 0.10, 0.25), p < 0.001. No other
TABLE 1 | Descriptives and inter-correlations for all Study 1 and Study 2 variables.
Study 1 M D 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Gender 1.48 0.50
2. Age 38.3 10.01 0.20**
3. Life satisfaction T1 4.57 0.97 0.01 0.03
4. Life satisfaction T2 4.61 0.89 0.04 0.02 0.73**
5. Life satisfaction T3 4.65 0.90 0.07 0.01 0.72** 0.77**
6. Gratitude T1 5.92 0.91 0.18** 0.03 0.50** 0.40** 0.46**
7. Gratitude T2 5.95 0.87 0.19** 0.05 0.44** 0.51** 0.47** 0.72**
8. Gratitude T3 5.95 0.94 0.18** 0.01 0.49** 0.52** 0.60** 0.71** 0.69**
Study 2 M D 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Gender 1.45 0.50
2. Age 36.94 8.59 0.11**
3. Life satisfaction T1 4.42 1.00 0.16** 0.06*
4. Life satisfaction T2 4.51 0.98 0.16** 0.12** 0.63**
5. Life satisfaction T3 4.56 0.93 0.12** 0.03 0.59** 0.70**
6. Gratitude T1 5.91 0.94 0.05*0.04 0.53** 0.46** 0.41**
7. Gratitude T2 5.92 0.91 0.05 0.04 0.45** 0.55** 0.45** 0.71**
8. Gratitude T3 5.95 0.87 0.03 0.01 0.38** 0.49** 0.54** 0.67** 0.74**
T1, Time 1; T2, Time 2; T3, Time 3.*p < 0.05; **p < 0.01.
Unanue et al. Gratitude and Life Satisfaction
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 8 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
signicant paths were found. Details may be found in Figure 14.
Finally, weconstrained the path from gratitude to life satisfaction
as well as the path from life satisfaction to gratitude to beequals.
e model t remained acceptable: χ2(537) =1192.17, p <0.001,
CFI = 0.93, RMSEA = 0.04, and it did not show signicant
dierences in comparison with the previous model, Δχ2(1)=0.093,
p = 0.760. us, the strength of the link from gratitude to life
satisfaction is not signicantly dierent from the strength of the
link from life satisfaction to gratitude.
STUDY 2
Voelkle et al. (2012) show that over shorter periods of time,
dierent lags (e.g., 1 versus 2 months) may yield dierent
conclusions about the strength of the eect sizes. us, in
order to establish robustness, Study 2 tested the same hypotheses
as Study 1 but used a larger sample size as well as a longer
period of time between waves (3 months).
Method
Participants and Procedure
Study 2 was conducted in accordance with the same ethical
standard and followed the same procedure as Study 1. A three-
wave cross-lagged longitudinal design with 3 months between
each wave was employed.
In total, 1,841 Chilean working adults (54.9% male) between
the ages of 21 and 71 years (mean age = 36.94; SD = 8.59)
completed T1 measures. At T2, 979 participants (56.0% male)
4
In Study 1 and Study 2, we reported standardized paths only between T1
and T2. Paths between T2 and T3 may be found in their respective gures,
but they are similar in signicance and magnitude.
between the ages of 23 and 75 years (mean age=38.57; SD=9.56)
answered T2 measures (53.2% of Wave 1). At T3, 700 participants
(54.0% male) between the ages of 24 and 72 (mean age=38.96;
SD = 9.77) completed T3 measures (38.0% of Wave 1). Finally,
421 respondents (54.4% male) between the ages of 24 to 71
(mean age=38.70; SD=9.63) answered the three waves (22.9%
of Wave 1). ose who completed only T1 (N = 1,420) did not
dier signicantly in gender {[χ2(2)] = 0.64, p = 0.730} from
those who participated in the three waves (N = 421). However,
participants diered in age [t(609.84)=4.47, p<0.001], gratitude
[t(762.96) = 2.14, p = 0.033] and life satisfaction
[t(740.29)= 2.41, p=0.016]. Our analysis suggests that younger
participants as well as respondents with lower gratitude and life
satisfaction were especially likely to drop the survey. Little’s MCAR
test (Little, 1988) showed that missing data were not completely
at random {[χ2(98)] = 150.512, p < 0.001}. us, following the
recommendations of Newman (2014), we used FIML to deal
with missing data.
e sensitivity power test indicated that our study was
suciently powered to detect a predictor with a population
eect size of f2 = 0.018, representing a small eect (Cohen,
1992). e distributions were adequate for all constructs
(George and Mallery, 2010). Skew values were appropriate
for gratitude (T1: 1.01; T2: 0.87; and T3: 0.85) and life
satisfaction (T1: 0.67; T2: 0.71; and T3: 0.53). Kurtosis
values were also appropriate for gratitude (T1: 1.21; T2: 0.46;
and T3: 0.64) and life satisfaction (T1: 0.21; T2: 0.45; and
T3: 0.07).
Measures
We used the same measures as in Study 1. Cronbachs alphas
were good for gratitude at T1 (0.78), T2 (0.77), and T3 (0.77)
as well as for life satisfaction at T1 (0.88), T2 (0.89), and T3(0.88).
FIGURE 1 | Study 1. Structural longitudinal model for the associations between gratitude and life satisfaction. Coefcients shown are standardized paths. Error
terms and loadings are not shown to enhance visual clarity. Loading are all between 0.40 and 0.9 (p < 0.001). T1: Time 1; T2: Time 2; and T3: Time 3. Gi, Gratitude
item i. Li, Life satisfaction item i. Solid lines = signicant paths. Dashed line = not signicant paths. Condence intervals are reported in square brackets for
signicant paths. ***p < 0.001; **p < 0.01.
Unanue et al. Gratitude and Life Satisfaction
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 9 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
Results
We followed the same procedure as in Study 1 for testing our
hypotheses. Descriptive statistics and inter-correlations for all
Study 2 variables are shown in Table 1 . Again, we used SEM
and latent variables to reduce the biasing eects of measurement
error (Finkel, 1995).
Measurement Model and Invariance Test
We followed the same procedure as in Study 1. First, wetested
a six-factor measurement model where weconstrained all the
gratitude factor loadings as well as all the life satisfaction
factor loadings to be equal across the three waves.
We incorporated auto-correlated error terms for the observed
indicators (Jöreskog, 1979) and allowed all latent variables to
co-vary freely. e model t was acceptable, χ2(465)=1376.928,
p < 0.001, CFI = 0.954, RMSEA = 0.033. en, we tested a
baseline model where no constraints were imposed. e model
t was also acceptable: χ2(447)=1335.096, p<0.001; CFI=0.955;
RMSEA = 0.033. Finally, we compared both models. Because
the change in CFI was less than 0.01 (ΔCFI = 0.001), the
dierence in RMSEA was lower than 0.01(ΔRMSEA = 0.00),
and the constrained model had an ECVI smaller than the
unconstrained model (ΔECVI = 0.02); therefore, it can
beconcluded that the patterns of factor loadings were invariant
across waves for both gratitude and life satisfaction (Browne
and Du Toit, 1992; Cheung and Rensvold, 2002; Chen, 2007;
Ruiz et al., 2017). Hence, we maintained these constraints in
all structural models reported below.
Conrmatory Factor Analysis
CFA showed, again, that gratitude and life satisfaction are
dierent constructs. At T1, the collapsed model [11 indicators:
χ2(44) = 1967.79, p < 0.001] was signicantly worse than a
model where gratitude (six indicators) and life satisfaction (ve
indicators) were modeled as two dierent latent variables
[χ2(43) = 506.27, p < 0.001], Δχ2(1) =1461.52, p < 0.001. At
T2, the collapsed model [χ2(44) = 1151.50, p < 0.001] was
signicantly worse than the two-factor model [χ2(43) =303.02,
p < 0.001], Δχ2(1) = 848.48, p < 0.001. At T3, the collapsed
model [χ2(44) = 628.13, p < 0.001] was signicantly worse
than the two factor model [χ2(43) =194.77, p < 0.001],
Δχ2(1) = 433.36, p < 0.001.
Longitudinal Analysis
We replicated the same cross-lagged model we tested in
Study 1. e model t for our nal model (loadings and
paths constrained to be equal across waves) was acceptable,
χ2(536) =1717.43, p < 0.001, CFI = 0.94, RMSEA = 0.04 and
showed no signicant loss of t compared to a model where
all structural paths were estimated freely, Δχ2(4)=6.06, p=0.194.
e values of R2 ranged from 0.54 to 0.67 (all p < 0.001).
e signicant paths from this model are shown in Figure 2.
Supporting H1, wefound that gratitude at T1 was a signicant
and positive prospective predictor of life satisfaction at T2,
β = 0.11 (95% CI 0.05, 0.16), p < 0.001. Supporting H2, life
satisfaction at T1 was a signicant and positive prospective
predictor of gratitude at T2, β = 0.15 (95% CI 0.09, 0.21),
p < 0.001. We also found that life satisfaction at T1 was a
positive prospective predictor of life satisfaction at T2 [β= 0.70
(95% CI 0.65, 0.75), p < 0.001] and gratitude at T1 was a
positive prospective predictor of gratitude at T2 [β = 0.63
(95% CI 0.57, 0.69), p < 0.001]. Gender was signicantly and
positively related to gratitude, β = 0.16 (95% CI 0.00, 0.21),
p < 0.001 and to life satisfaction, β = 0.05 (95% CI 0.01,
0.10), p<0.05, while age was signicantly and positively related
to gratitude, β = 0.06 (95% CI 0.01, 0.11), p < 0.01 and to
life satisfaction, β = 0.06 (95% CI 0.01, 0.11), p < 0.01. No
other signicant path was found. Finally, we constrained the
paths from gratitude to life satisfaction, and the paths from
life satisfaction to gratitude to beequal. e model t remained
acceptable, χ2(537) = 1717.92, p < 0.001, CFI = 0.94,
RMSEA = 0.04, and it did not show signicant dierences in
comparison with the previous model, Δχ2(1)=0.093, p=0.760.
us, the strength of the link from gratitude to life satisfaction
is not signicantly dierent than that from life satisfaction
to gratitude.
DISCUSSION
Research has extensively shown that gratitude and life satisfaction
are associated with several indicators of a better life (Wood
et al., 2010; Diener and Tay, 2017), but surprisingly, it has
remained unknown until now how both constructs relate to
each other over time. In addition, despite strong evidence for
the gratitude—SWB link in the Western world, cross-cultural
research has questioned the results in non-Western countries
(Boehm et al., 2011; Layous et al., 2013; Shin et al., in press).
In addition, most research into the mentioned link has focused
mainly on students and young populations. Based on previous
research gaps, we conducted two longitudinal studies, aiming
to complement previous experimental and cross-sectional evidence
in order to clarify the origin of the link between gratitude
and life satisfaction. We tested a reciprocal model, among two
large samples of Chilean working adults, using three-wave cross-
lagged panel designs with 1 month (Study 1) and 3 months
(Study 2) between waves. In both studies, we found that a
person with higher than average gratitude at T1 is likely to
show higher than average life satisfaction at T2, controlling
the stability eect of life satisfaction at T1. In addition, a person
with higher than average life satisfaction at T1 is likely to
show higher than average gratitude at T2, controlling the stability
eect of gratitude at T1. Our data also show that the eect
of gratitude on life satisfaction is as strong as—and equally
important for the dynamic of human wellness—as the eect
of life satisfaction on gratitude. We found these results even
when controlling age and gender.
Our ndings complement previous experimental and cross-
sectional studies, thus providing critical evidence about the benets
of both gratitude and life satisfaction for improving peoples
quality of life. Gratitude may help to increase life satisfaction,
which is a key element of peoples wellness and functioning.
However, the power of life satisfaction also goes beyond what
Unanue et al. Gratitude and Life Satisfaction
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 10 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
is already known (Diener et al., 2017; Diener and Tay, 2017) as
life satisfaction also predicts gratitude. is is the most novel
aspect of our paper, as by linking life satisfaction to gratitude
over time, our results open the possibility for enriching life
satisfaction conceptualization. Besides being understood as cognitive
evaluation, life satisfaction would bean experience in itself, full
of thankfulness, emotions, and positive ways of living our lives.
Previous literature has highlighted the role of culture in
the link between gratitude and SWB (Boehm etal., 2011; Shin
et al., in press). However, previous cross-cultural research has
only contrasted Western American and Eastern Asian populations,
which is not enough to reect the variety of cultures around
the world (Vignoles etal., 2016). Further, weassessed a sample
of Chileans, from a Latin American country. Chile presents
important dierences with Western and Eastern countries
previously studied (e.g., economic development, religious heritage,
and individualism), adding more diversity to gratitude research
across the world. Our results support the bi-directional link
between gratitude and life satisfaction in this unexplored
non-Western, Latin American context.
Interesting ndings emerge when inspecting the longitudinal
eects of age and gender in our outcome variables. Both studies
showed, consistently, that gratitude is signicantly higher for
women than men, whereas Study 2 also found that women
are more likely to experience life satisfaction. Moreover, Study
2 also showed that older participants report higher levels of
both life satisfaction and gratitude. Further research may explore
the psychological process behind these results, which may in
turn help policy makers and clinicians to design better
interventions to improve people’s lives at particular stages.
Our ndings yield practical implications, e.g., for organizations,
as our participants are all working adults. Companies may
start a reciprocal process of happiness and ourishing by
creating the necessary conditions for fostering either employees’
gratitude or life satisfaction. Previous research has found a
signicant association between job satisfaction and life satisfaction
(Unanue etal., 2017). us, by improving working conditions,
leaders may increase worker satisfaction, and thus, life satisfaction.
is process may naturally lead employees to feel more grateful,
thus reinforcing life satisfaction and allowing an upward spiral
in human wellness.
Despite the positive loop, it is important to notice that a
lower level of gratitude may also lead to a negative spiral in
human wellness through the reinforcing eect of lower life
satisfaction. For example, if companies aect people’s lives and/
or job satisfaction negatively, they may start a negative process
in those individuals’ well-being through a lack of gratitude.
Indeed, the virtuous circle between gratitude and life satisfaction
could become a vicious one. is highlights how important
it is to develop strategies for improving gratitude and life
satisfaction over time. Otherwise, people’s mental health and
well-being could be at risk.
In sum, our results show that gratitude and life satisfaction
are both prospectively and positively related to each other
over time. Higher levels of gratitude may lead to an increase
in life satisfaction, which in turn may increase gratitude, thus
enabling a spiral of human ourishing. To the best of our
knowledge, this is the rst research that has shown these
patterns of results, thereby allowing a better interpretation of
previous cross-sectional and experimental ndings.
Limitations
Some limitations in this research should be acknowledged.
First, our measures were all self-reported and shared method
variance could potentially have inated the correlations between
gratitude and life satisfaction within each wave. However,
FIGURE 2 | Study 2. Structural longitudinal model for the association between gratitude and life satisfaction. Coefcients shown are standardized paths. Error
terms and loadings are not shown to enhance visual clarity. Loading are all between 0.40 and 0.9 (p < 0.001) T1: Time 1, T2: Time 2, and T3: Time 3. Gi, Gratitude
item i; Li, Life satisfaction item i. Solid lines = signicant paths. The condence intervals are reported in square brackets for signicant paths. ***p < 0.001; **p < 0.01;
*p < 0.05.
Unanue et al. Gratitude and Life Satisfaction
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 11 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
self-reports of one’s experience are the most valid way of
measuring gratitude and life satisfaction, since these are facets
of people’s subjective experience. In addition, we took several
a priori precautions to mitigate a common method bias. For
example, weadapted highly validated measures for our constructs.
Moreover, shared method variance within each measure was
reduced within the stability paths that we controlled while
testing the lagged paths that formed the main focus of our
research. Finally, we protected respondent anonymity and
informed participants that there were no right or wrong answers
(Podsako etal., 2003; Conway and Lance, 2010). Nonetheless,
despite these previous precautions, future studies might
supplement the current ndings with alternative methods, such
as implicit measures of gratitude and life satisfaction, as well
as proximal mechanisms such as biomarkers, as suggested by
Davis et al. (2016).
Second, by providing evidence of temporal precedence,
the prospective bi-directional longitudinal link between
gratitude and life satisfaction reported in our research
substantially strengthens the hypothesized causal relationships
between both constructs. However, these results do not provide
conclusive evidence for causality. A third variable may
beinvolved. us, future research should investigate the role
of possible mediators (such as the ones weexplicitly theorized
across the paper) in the link we studied. ird, we found
small lagged paths between gratitude and life satisfaction.
However, eect sizes in CLPMs are typically small because
most of the variance is captured by the stability paths. Fourth,
although we sampled adults from a non-Western country,
the participants were all from Chile. us, weshould becareful
about generalizing these results to dierent non-Western
cultures and populations.
Fih, it would be important to attempt to reduce attrition
rates in future research. However, as the review by Wood
etal. (2010) has shown, attrition in online studies of gratitude
is “commonly very high” (p. 8). Indeed, “the law of attrition”
is almost a fact in all data collection without human contact,
and “high dropout rates may be a natural and typical feature”
(Eysenbach, 2005, p. 1). Sixth, CLPMs are not exempt from
criticism. For example, one potential limitation is that they
do not explore how variables are evolving and changing over
time, which may be useful for understanding individual
dierences. However, this issue is beyond our aim here. Wewere
only interested in prospective directions. Further research should
also explore our hypothesis using, for example, latent growth
models aiming to test within-person changes.
Seven, we recognized the possibility that our studies may
suer from uncareful responses, which may aect the quality
of the data collected (Chandler et al., 2014). However, the
main constructs used in the present paper showed adequate
reliabilities and were invariant across time, allowing us to think
that most people provided true and careful answers. Nonetheless,
future research should follow Porter et al. (2019, p. 19)
suggestions, in terms of “create unique attention checks” and
“use conventional attention checks to identify and potentially
remove responses provided by careless”. Eighth, the quantitative
nature of this study could limit the potential understanding
and the complexity of the phenomena we explored. Further,
qualitative methodology may help to complement our ndings,
helping to understand the underlying process between gratitude
and life satisfaction in more detail.
Nine, weadvocated for several underlying mechanisms that
may explain the virtuous circle between gratitude and life
satisfaction. First, e.g., drawing on BBT (Fredrickson, 2013),
gratitude may enhance a positive aectivity (Watkins et al.,
2003) that would foster congruent positive cognitions which,
in turn, would improve positive evaluations that people make
about their lives (Watkins, 2004), thereby enabling a positive
spiral in human functioning. Second, the positive spiral between
gratitude and life satisfaction might also be explained due to
the emotional benets that individuals experience when
something is interpreted as a gi (McCullough et al., 2001;
Watkins, 2004). Indeed, positive cognitions and positive aects
linked to life satisfaction and gratitude respectively, could
gradually generate a cognitive bias that would impact on the
availability of peoples memories, thoughts, feelings, and
perceptions of life events. In line with this, Watkins (2004)
suggests that gratitude could promote a mood-congruent memory
bias that could enhance both the encoding and retrievability
of positive experiences, increasing the elaboration of positive
information. Lambert etal. (2012) support previous theorization,
proposing that individuals high in trait gratitude are more
likely to reframe negative or neutral events in a positive way
which, in turn, lead them to experience fewer depressive
symptoms. ird, Watkins (2004) argues that happy people
are “more likely to acknowledge the good intentions of a giver
(p.184). In other words, people with high SWB would bemore
prompt to attribute positive intentions from others and, in
doing so, to experience gratitude. us, the more someone
values the gi, or the more people recognize the benevolence
acts of a giver, the more likely he/she will feel grateful (Tesser
et al., 1968; Watkins, 2004). We suggest that these positive
attributions could also have a positive eect on the quality of
social contacts, which could be strengthened due to the
consequent gratitude of the beneciary and his or her motivation
to act in a reciprocal way towards the giver (i.e., helping him
or her). is is consistent with previous ndings that identify
social support as a mediator between gratitude and life satisfaction
(Wood et al., 2010; Kong et al., 2015) as well as between
SWB and the quality of the individual’s friendship (Diener
et al., 1999). Fourth, dierent aspects of gratitude may act as
a catalyst from one to another. Further, cognitive aspects of
gratitude such as mood-congruent elaboration and cognition
(Watkins, 2004) could befollowed by noticing and appreciating
the positive in the world, which in turn, may bevalidated by
social comparison and experiences (e.g., perception, attribution,
and experiences) reinforcing positive mood-congruent cognitions.
However, despite previous mechanisms possibly playing a key
role in the reciprocal link between gratitude and life satisfaction,
we did not test them. erefore, future research may expand
on these underlying psychological processes.
en, and nally, we acknowledge that in this paper weonly
investigated the link between gratitude and the “bright” side of
human experiences (i.e., life satisfaction). However, westrongly
Unanue et al. Gratitude and Life Satisfaction
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 12 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
encourage future research to explore the link between gratitude
and the “dark” side of peoples mental health (i.e., depression).
Based on our ndings, we would expect a negative reciprocal
link between gratitude and depression. However, to the best of
our knowledge, only Wood et al. (2008) have examined this
reciprocal relationship. In two studies, the authors found a
signicant and negative link from gratitude to depression, but
the reverse hypothesis was not supported. Methodological issues
may help to understand these unexpected results. Wethink that
there is a chance that the small sample sizes in both studies
(156 and 87 participants, respectively) were not powerful enough
for the sophisticated and complex SEM longitudinal models
Wood et al. (2008) tested. is issue may play a role in the
non-signicant ndings from depression to gratitude. In addition,
only young participants going through the same life transition
were assessed, which limits the variability in the data collected
as well as the generalization of the results. We encourage the
replication of ndings of Wood etal. (2008). Patients diagnosed
with clinical depression tend to focus more on negative than
on positive thoughts and have fewer resources to appreciate the
positive and good in life. erefore, we expect that by using
larger sample sizes, adult populations, and ideally, dierent
cultures, yield results which show that higher (lower) levels of
depression may lead to lower (higher) levels of trait gratitude.
CONCLUSION
Violeta Parra wrote one of the most famous Chilean songs
almost 50 years ago: anks to life. Her gratitude used to
come from her life satisfaction, nut research has neglected the
possibility of this link. Could this bepossible? To date, research
has only claimed a link from gratitude to life satisfaction, not
the reverse. Notably, wefound that gratitude and life satisfaction
are mutually linked to each other in a “circle of virtue. Violeta
was right!
DATA AVAILABILITY STATEMENT
e datasets generated for this study are available on request
to the corresponding author.
ETHICS STATEMENT
e studies involving human participants were reviewed and
approved by Comité de Ética universidad Adolfo Ibañez. e
patients/participants provided their written informed consent
to participate in this study.
AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS
All authors listed have made a substantial, direct, and intellectual
contribution to the work. e original idea, as well as the
data collection was developed by WU. All authors wrote several
sections of the out initial analysis dra, carried and interpreted
results. All authors wrote, read, and revised the nal paper
and approved it for publication collaboratively.
FUNDING
WU acknowledges a grant received by the Chilean Fondo
Nacional de Desarrollo Cientíco y Tecnológico (Fondecyt 1338
Iniciacion) Project No. 11160389. AV acknowledges and thanks
KU Leuven (VKH-C9278-StG/14/035) for the grant support.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
WU thanks the Chilean Comisión Nacional de Investigación
Cientíca y Tecnológica.
REFERENCES
Alkozei, A., Smith, R., and Killgore, W. D. (2018). Gratitude and subjective
wellbeing: a proposal of two causal frameworks. J. Happiness Stud. 19,
1519–1542. doi: 10.1007/s10902-017-9870-1
Arnulf, K., and Silje, H. (2009). Self-construal in Chile and Norway: implications
for cultural dierences in individualism and collectivism. J. Cross-Cult.
Psychol. 40, 275–281. doi: 10.1177/0022022108328917
Bagherzadeh, M., Loewe, N., Mouawad, R. G., Batista-Foguet, J. M., Araya-
Castillo, L., and ieme, C. (2018). Spanish version of the satisfaction with
life scale: validation and factorial invariance analysis in Chile. Span. J. Psychol.
21:E2. doi: 10.1017/sjp.2018.2
Benavides, P., and Hur, T. (2019). Self-construal dierences in Chile and SouthKorea:
a brief report. Psychol. Rep. doi: 10.1177/0033294119868786 [Epub ahead of print].
Boehm, J. K., Lyubomirsky, S., and Sheldon, K. M. (2011). A longitudinal
experimental study comparing the eectiveness of happiness-enhancing strategies
in Anglo Americans and Asian Americans. Cognit. Emot. 25, 1263–1272.
doi: 10.1080/02699931.2010.541227
Brislin, R. W. (1970). Back-translation for cross-cultural research. J. Cross-Cult.
Psychol. 1, 185–216. doi: 10.1177/135910457000100301
Browne, M. W., and Du Toit, S. H. (1992). Automated tting of nonstandard
models. Multivar. Behav. Res. 27, 269–300. doi: 10.1207/s15327906mbr2702_13
Chandler, J., Mueller, P., and Paolacci, G. (2014). Nonnaïveté among
AmazonMechanical Turk workers: Consequences and solutions for behavioral
researchers. Behav. Res. Methods 46, 112–130. doi: 10.3758/s13428-013-0365-7
Chen, F. F. (2007). Sensitivity of goodness of t indexes to lack of measurement
invariance. Struct. Equ. Model. Multidiscip. J. 14, 464–504. doi:
10.1080/10705510701301834
Cheung, G. W., and Rensvold, R. B. (2002). Evaluating goodness-of-t indexes
for testing measurement invariance. Struct. Equ. Model. 9, 233–255. doi:
10.1207/S15328007SEM0902_5
Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychol. Bull. 112, 155–159. doi:
10.1037/00332909.112.1.155
Conway, J. M., and Lance, C. E. (2010). What reviewers should expect from
authors regarding common method bias in organizational research. J. Bus.
Psychol. 25, 325–334. doi: 10.1007/s10869-010-9181-6
Datu, J. A. D. (2014). Forgiveness, gratitude and subjective well-being among
Filipino adolescents. Int. J. Adv. Couns. 36, 262–273. doi: 10.1007/s10447-013-9205-9
Datu, J. A. D., and Mateo, N. J. (2015). Gratitude and life satisfaction among
Filipino adolescents: e mediating role of meaning in life. Int. J. Adv.
Couns. 37, 198–206. doi: 10.1007/s10447-015-9238-3
Davis, D. E., Choe, E., Meyers, J., Wade, N., Varjas, K., Giord, A., et al.
(2016). ankful for the little things: a meta-analysis of gratitude interventions.
J. Couns. Psychol. 63, 20–31. doi: 10.1037/cou0000107
Unanue et al. Gratitude and Life Satisfaction
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 13 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychol. Bull. 95, 542–575. doi:
10.1037/0033-2909.95.3.542
Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., and Grin, S. (1985). e satisfaction
with life scale. J. Pers. Assess. 49, 71–75. doi: 10.1207/s15327752jpa4901_13
Diener, E., Heintzelman, S. J., Kushlev, K., Tay, L., Wirtz, D., Lutes, L. D.,
et al. (2017). Findings all psychologists should know from the new science
on subjective well-being. Can. Psychol. 58, 87–104. doi: 10.1037/cap0000063
Diener, E., Lucas, R., Schimmack, U., and Helliwell, J. (2009). Well-being for
public policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., and Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-
being: three decades of progress. Psychol. Bull. 125, 276–302. doi:
10.1037/0033-2909.125.2.276
Diener, E., and Tay, L. (2017). “A scientic review of the remarkable benets
of happiness for successful and healthy living” in Happiness: Transforming
the development landscape. ed. K. Ura (Bhutan: e Centre for Bhutan
Studies and GNH), 90–118.
Emmons, R., and McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus
burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-
being in daily life. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 84, 377–389. doi:
10.1037/0022-3514.84.2.377
Enders, C. K., and Bandalos, D. L. (2001). e relative performance of full
information maximum likelihood estimation for missing data in structural
equation models. Struct. Equ. Model. Multidiscip. J. 8, 430–457. doi: 10.1207/
s15328007sem0803_5
Eysenbach, G. (2005). e law of attrition. J. Med. Internet Res. 7:e11. doi:
10.2196/jmir.7.1.e11
Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Buchner, A., and Lang, A. G. (2009). Statistical power
analyses using G* Power 3.1: tests for correlation and regression analyses.
Behav. Res. Methods 41, 1149–1160. doi: 10.3758/BRM.41.4.1149
Finkel, S. E. (1995). Causal analysis with panel data (No. 105). Beverly Hills,
CA: Sage Publications.
Fredrickson, B. L. (2013). “Positive emotions broaden and build” in Advances
in experimental social psychology. Vol. 47, eds. E. A. Plant and P. G. Devine
(San Diego, Ca.: Academic Press), 1–53.
Frijda, N. H. (1988). e laws of emotion. Am. Psychol. 43, 349–358. doi:
10.1037/0003-066X.43.5.349
Froh, J. J., Kashdan, T. B., Ozimkowski, K. M., and Miller, N. (2009). Who
benets the most from a gratitude intervention in children and adolescents?
Examining positive aect as a moderator. J. Posit. Psychol. 4, 408–422. doi:
10.1080/17439760902992464
George, D., and Mallery, M. (2010). SPSS for Windows step by step: A simple
guide and reference, 17.0 update. 10th Edn. Boston: Pearson.
Helliwell, J. F., Layard, R., and Sachs, J. (2013). World happiness report 2013.
New York: Earth Institute, Columbia University. Retrieved from: http://
eprints.lse.ac.uk/57573/
Hofstede, G. (1983). National cultures revisited. Behav. Sci. Res. 18, 285–305.
doi: 10.1177/106939718301800403
Hu, L., and Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cut-o criteria for t indexes in covariance
structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Struct. Equ.
Model. Multidiscip. J. 6, 1–55. doi: 10.1080/10705519909540118
Jacobs, F. (2019). ese are all the world’s major religions in one map [Web
log post]. Retrieved September 25, 2019, from: https://www.weforum.org/
agenda/2019/03/this-is-the-best-and-simplest-world-map-of-religions/
Jans-Beken, L., Lataster, J., Peels, D., Lechner, L., and Jacobs, N. (2018). Gratitude,
psychopathology and subjective well-being: results from a 7.5-month prospective
general population study. J. Happiness Stud. 19, 1673–1689. doi: 10.1007/
s10902-017-9893-7
Jöreskog, K. G. (1979). “Statistical models and methods for analysis of longitudinal
data” in Advances in factor analysis and structural equation models. eds.
K. G. Jöreskog and D. Sörbom (Cambridge, Mass: Abt. Books), 129–169.
Joshanloo, M. (2019). Investigating the relationships between subjective well-
being and psychological well-being over two decades. Emotion 19, 183–187.
doi: 10.1037/emo0000414
Kline, R. B. (2005). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. 2nd
Edn. New York: Guilford Press.
Kong, F., Ding, K., and Zhao, J. (2015). e relationships among gratitude,
self-esteem, social support, and life satisfaction among undergraduate students.
J. Happiness Stud. 16, 477–489. doi: 10.1007/s10902-014-9519-2
Kong, F., You, X., and Zhao, J. (2017). Evaluation of the gratitude questionnaire
in a Chinese sample of adults: factorial validity, criterion-related validity,
and measurement invariance across sex. Front. Psychol. 8:1498. doi: 10.3389/
fpsyg.2017.01498
Koomen, H. M. Y., Verschueren, K., van Schooten, E., Jak, S., and Pianta, R.
C. (2012). Validating the student-teacher relationship scale: Testing factor
structure and measurement invariance across child gender and age in a
Dutch sample. J. Sch. Psychol. 50, 215–234. doi: 10.1016/j.jsp.2011.09.001
Lambert, N. M., Fincham, F. D., and Stillman, T. F. (2012). Gratitude and
depressive symptoms: e role of positive reframing and positive emotion.
Cognit. Emot. 26, 615–633. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2011.595393
Langer, Á. I., Ulloa, V. G., Aguilar-Parra, J. M., Araya-Véliz, C., and Brito, G.
(2016). Validation of a Spanish translation of the gratitude questionnaire
(GQ-6) with a Chilean sample of adults and high schoolers. Health Qual.
Life Outcomes 14:53. doi: 10.1186/s12955-016-0450-6
Layous, K., Lee, H., Choi, I., and Lyubomirsky, S. (2013). Culture matters
when designing a successful happiness-increasing activity: a comparison of
the United States and South Korea. J. Cross-Cult. Psychol. 44, 1294–1303.
doi: 10.1177/0022022113487591
Little, R. J. (1988). A test of missing completely at random for multivariate
data with missing values. J. Am. Stat. Assoc. 83, 1198–1202. doi:
10.1080/01621459.1988.10478722
Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., and Diener, E. (2005). e benets of frequent
positive aect: does happiness lead to success? Psychol. Bull. 131, 803–855.
doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.131.6.803
Markus, H. R., and Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for
cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychol. Rev. 98, 224–253. doi:
10.1037/0033-295X.98.2.224
McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., and Tsang, J. A. (2002). e grateful
disposition: a conceptual and empirical topography. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol.
82, 112–127. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.82.1.112
McCullough, M. E., Kilpatrick, S. D., Emmons, R. A., and Larson, D. B. (2001).
Is gratitude a moral aect? Psychol. Bull. 127, 249–266. doi:
10.1037/0033-2909.127.2.249
Muthén, B., Kaplan, D., and Hollis, M. (1987). On structural equation modeling
with data that are not missing completely at random. Psychometrika 52,
431–462. doi: 10.1007/BF02294365
Muthén, L. K., and Muthén, B. (2012). Mplus user’s guide. 7th Edn. Los Angeles,
CA: Muthén & Muthén. Retrieved from: http://www.statmodel.com/.
Newman, D. (2014). Missing data: ve practical guidelines. Organ. Res. Methods
17, 372–411. doi: 10.1177/1094428114548590
OECD (n.d.). e better life index. Retrieved September 25, 2019, from: http://
www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/life-satisfaction/
Peters, C. L. O., and Enders, C. (2002). A primer for the estimation of structural
equation models in the presence of missing data: maximum likelihood algorithms.
J. Target. Meas. Anal. Mark. 11, 81–95. doi: 10.1057/palgrave.jt.5740069
Podsako, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., and Podsako, N. P. (2003).
Common method biases in behavioral research: a critical review of the
literature and recommended remedies. J. Appl. Psychol. 88, 879–903. doi:
10.1037/0021-9010.88.5.879
Porter, C. O., Outlaw, R., Gale, J. P., and Cho, T. S. (2019). e use of online
panel data in management research: a review and recommendations. J.
Manag. 45, 319–344. doi: 10.1177/0149206318811569
Rash, J. A., Matsuba, M. K., and Prkachin, K. M. (2011). Gratitude and well-
being: who benets the most from a gratitude intervention? Appl. Psychol.
Health Well Being 3, 350–369. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-0854.2011.01058.x
Ribeiro, L. A., Zachrisson, H. D., Schjolberg, S., Aase, H., Rohrer-Baumgartner,
N., and Magnus, P. (2011). Attention problems and language development
in preterm low-birth-weight children: Cross-lagged relations from 18 to 36
months. BMC Pediatr. 11:59. doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-11-59
Ruiz, F. J., Falcón, J. C. S., Sierra, M. A., Montero, K. B., Martín, M. B. G.,
Bernal, P. A., et al. (2017). Psychometric properties and factor structure of
the ruminative responses scale-short form in Colombia. Int. J. Psychol.
Psychol. er. 17, 199–208. Retrieved from: https://www.redalyc.org/articulo.
oa?id=56051353005
Seidlitz, L., and Diener, E. (1993). Memory for positive versus negative life
events: theories for the dierences between happy and unhappy persons.
J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 64, 654–664. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.64.4.654
Unanue et al. Gratitude and Life Satisfaction
Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 14 November 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2480
Selig, J., and Little, T. D. (2012). “Autoregressive and cross-lagged panel analysis
for longitudinal data” in Handbook of developmental research methods. eds.
B. Laursen, T. D. Little, and N. A. Card (New York, NY: e Guilford
Press), 265–278.
Shin, L., Armenta, C., Kamble, S., Chang, S., Wu, H., and Lyubomirsky, S.
(in press). Gratitude in collectivist and individualist cultures. J. Positive
Psychol. Retrieved from: http://sonjalyubomirsky.com/les/2019/01/Shin-et-
al.-in-press.pdf
Sun, P., and Kong, F. (2013). Aective mediators of the inuence of gratitude
on life satisfaction in late adolescence. Soc. Indic. Res. 114, 1361–1369. doi:
10.1007/s11205-013-0333-8
Tesser, A., Gatewood, R., and Driver, M. (1968). Some determinants of gratitude.
J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 9, 233–236. doi: 10.1037/h0025905
e World Bank (n.d.). World Bank country and lending groups. Retrieved
September 25, 2019, from: https://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/
articles/906519-world-bank-country-and-lending-groups
Toepfer, S. M., Cichy, K., and Peters, P. (2012). Letters of gratitude: further
evidence for author benets. J. Happiness Stud. 13, 187–201. doi: 10.1007/
s10902-011-9257-7
Unanue, W., Dittmar, H., Vignoles, V., and Vansteenkiste, M. (2014). Materialism
and well being in the UK and Chile: basic need satisfaction and basic need
thwarting as underlying psychological process. Eur. J. Personal. 28, 569–585.
doi: 10.1002/per.1954.
Unanue, W., Gomez, M. E., Cortez, D., Oyanedel, J. C., and Mendiburo, A. (2017).
Revisiting the link between job satisfaction and life satisfaction: the role of
basic psychological needs. Front. Psychol. 8:680. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00680
Unanue, W., Vignoles, V. L., Dittmar, H., and Vansteenkiste, M. (2016). Life goals
predict environmental behaviour: cross-national and longitudinal evidence from
the UK and Chile. J. Environ. Psychol. 46, 10–22. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2016.02.001
Valdez, J. P. M., Yang, W., and Datu, J. A. D. (2017). Validation of the gratitude
questionnaire in Filipino secondary school students. Span. J. Psychol. 20:e45.
doi: 10.1017/sjp.2017.51
Vignoles, V. L., Owe, E., Becker, M., Smith, P. B., Easterbrook, M. J., Brown,
R., et al. (2016). Beyond the ‘east–west’ dichotomy: global variation in
cultural models of selood. J. Exp. Psychol. Gen. 145, 966–1000. doi: 10.1037/
xge0000175
Voelkle, M. C., Oud, J. H., Davidov, E., and Schmidt, P. (2012). An SEM
approach to continuous time modeling of panel data: relating authoritarianism
and anomia. Psychol. Methods 17, 176–192. doi: 10.1037/a0027543
Watkins, P. C. (2004). “Gratitude and subjective well-being” in e psychology
of gratitude. eds. R. A. Emmons and M. E. McCullough (New York, NY:
Oxford University Press), 167–192.
Watkins, P. C., Woodward, K., Stone, T., and Kolts, R. L. (2003). Gratitude
and happiness: development of a measure of gratitude, and relationships
with subjective well-being. Soc. Behav. Personal. Int. J. 31, 431–451. doi:
10.2224/sbp.2003.31.5.431
Wood, A. M., Froh, J. J., and Geraghty, A. W. (2010). Gratitude and well-being:
a review and theoretical integration. Clin. Psychol. Rev. 30, 890–905. doi:
10.1016/j.cpr.2010.03.005
Wood, A. M., Joseph, S., and Linley, P. A. (2007). Coping style as a psychological
resource of grateful people. J. Soc. Clin. Psychol. 26, 1076–1093. doi: 10.1521/
jscp.2007.26.9.1076
Wood, A. M., Maltby, J., Gillett, R., Linley, P. A., and Joseph, S. (2008).
e role of gratitude in the development of social support, stress, and
depression: two longitudinal studies. J. Res. Pers. 42, 854–871. doi: 10.1016/j.
jrp.2007.11.003
Zhou, X., and Wu, X. (2016). Understanding the roles of gratitude and social
support in posttraumatic growth among adolescents aer Ya’an earthquake:
a longitudinal study. Personal. Individ. Dier. 101, 4–8. doi: 10.1016/j.
paid.2016.05.033
Conflict of Interest: e authors declare that the research was conducted in
the absence of any commercial or nancial relationships that could beconstrued
as a potential conict of interest.
Copyright © 2019 Unanue, Gomez Mella, Cortez, Bravo, Araya-Véliz, Unanue and
Van Den Broeck. is is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). e use, distribution or reproduction
in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright
owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in
accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction
is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
... Indeed, CLPMs allow "looking at autoregressive effects (linking a variable at earlier time points to itself at later time points) and cross-lagged effects (linking two different variables across time)" [18] (p. 183), [19]. Therefore, our design would not only allow testing the associations between the constructs of interest, but also disentangling the right directionality between them. ...
... Thus, testing the link between OCBs and happiness in different cultural contexts seems needed. Chile, a Latin American country going through a fast economic and social transition, is different from the North American and Asian countries usually included in this field of research (see Unanue et al. [19] for details). Therefore, we decided to test our hypotheses in a Chilean sample, in order to go beyond the East-West dichotomy [63]. ...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of research conducted in general life settings has found positive associations between happiness and prosocial behavior. Unfortunately, equivalent studies in the workplace are lacking. Organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs), the prosocial behaviors at work, have not been properly studied in relation to happiness, despite the positive consequences of both constructs for workers and companies. In response, our research aims to better understand this relationship from several angles. First, using a three-wave longitudinal design, we explored how OCBs and happiness are related to each other over time. Second, happiness was measured from a broad perspective, and three conceptualizations were adopted: the hedonic (e.g., positive affect and life satisfaction), the eudaimonic (e.g., relatedness and autonomy), and the flourishing (e.g., meaning and engagement) approaches. Thus, not only the prospective link between OCBs and happiness was tested, but it was also explored using the three models of happiness previously mentioned. Third, we conducted this longitudinal design in a less typical sample than previous research (i.e., Chile). We found results that supported our main hypotheses: (1) OCBs are prospective positive predictors of hedonic happiness, eudaimonic happiness, and flourishing; (2) the three models of happiness also prospectively predict OCBs. Our findings suggest that OCBs foster a broad range of happiness facets, which in turn fosters back the emergence of more OCBs, leading to a virtuous circle of prosociality and well-being in the workplace. This positive spiral benefits not only workers’ quality of life, but also organizations’ profitability and sustainability. Theoretical and applied implications for the field of Positive Organizational Psychology are discussed.
... Whereas, gratitude was positively correlated with the prosocial behavior. Unanue et al. (2019) confirmed the hypotheses that the reciprocal relationship between gratitude and mental health suggests the existence of virtuous cycle of human wellbeing; higher levels of gratitude increase positive aspect of mental health while lower level of gratitude increases the negative aspects of mental health. This research was consistent with the study hypotheses and results. ...
Article
Full-text available
The present study aimed to examine the mediating influence of prosocial behavior between gratitude and mental health among adults. Sample size was justified from A-priori sample size calculator for structural equation modeling (Soper, 2021). The sample comprised of 420 adults who were purposefully selected with an age range of 18-26 years. Data were collected from major cities of Punjab (Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad) through online google form survey.
... Lu et al. [59] investigated the reciprocal relationship between psychosocial work stress and quality of life, factoring in the effects of gender and education. Unanue et al. [60] investigated the reciprocal relationship between gratitude and life satisfaction. Likewise, there are studies focusing on exploring the reciprocal relationship between material wealth and health [61]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the relationships between a range of well-being factors and two commonly used subjective well-being measures—happiness and life satisfaction. Data from the second cycle of the Quality of Life (QoL) Survey in Abu Dhabi were used, which included 32,087 working adults. The well-being factors included in the analysis covered various aspects of life themes: income and jobs, work–home balance, health and physical activities, social and community services, living environment, and family/friends’ relationships and connections. Using standardized data, path analysis yielded an optimal path model that suggested the presence of a reciprocal relationship between happiness and life satisfaction. In addition, the final model suggested that four variables—job satisfaction, mental health, satisfaction with relationships with people, and the size of the social support network—had direct effects on happiness and life satisfaction. The model also identified three variables—satisfaction with family life, mental health, and job satisfaction—to have the most significant effect on happiness.
... A társas támogatottság segíthet a jelentős társas szerepek teljesebb megélésében és a megfelelő egészségmagatartás kialakításában is (Berkman, Glass, Brissette, & Seeman, 2000;Hallgren, Lundin, Tee, Burström, & Forsell, 2017;Layous, Chancellor, & Lyubomirsky, 2014). Eredményeinket jelen vizsgálat célcsoportjára vetítve, a magasabb diszpozicionális hálával jellemezhető egészségügyi dolgozók kapcsolataikban jobban megtapasztalják a törődést, a szeretetet, a megbecsülést, valamint a kölcsönös kötelezettségeken és kommunikáción alapuló közösséghez tartozás érzését, ami segít megküzdeni azokkal az élethelyzetekkel, amelyek változással vagy megnövekedett stresszel járnak (Unanue, Gomez, Cortez, & Bravo, 2019). A diszpozicionális hála tehát -a társas támasz észlelt mértékének növelésén keresztül -kedvező hatást gyakorol a lelki egészségre a kiégés szempontjából kiemelt kockázatú csoportokban. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims: Dispositional gratitude has many positive consequences for well-being. Studies have demonstrated a positive association of gratitude as a trait measure with some prosocial traits, while also confirming a significant negative association with a material value orientation. Little is known, however, about other variables that are thought to mediate the relationship between gratitude and well-being. The focus of our study is to examine the relationship between dispositional gratitude and some positive psychological variables – subjective well-being, social support, sense of coherence. We also explore the mediating role of peer support and materialistic value orientation in the relationship between gratitude and subjective well-being. Methods: Our online, quantitative study analyzed data from 216 people. In addition to two gratitude questionnaires (Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test and Appreciation Scale), the test battery included the Bern Subjective Well-Being Questionnaire, the Sense of Coherence Scale, the Social Support Survey, and the Materialistic Values Scale. The target population was selected as healthcare workers at high risk. Results: Our findings confirmed the multifaceted relationship of gratitude with other positive psychological variables and confirmed that its beneficial role may be partly through an increase in perceived peer support. Gratitude was inversely related to materialism, which appears as a mediating variable in the relationship between subjective well-being and gratitude. Conclusions: Consistent with the research history, our data also point to the potentially positive effects of gratitude-focused interventions on well-being, relationships, and values in the present target group. Keywords: dispositional gratitude, subjective well-being, social support, materialism
... Moreover, intrinsic religiousness, considered as the internalization of faith has been found to provide meaning in life ( Van der Merwe et al., 2010). Other researchers also argue that more meaningful lives are among the important benefits of higher gratitude (Unanue et al., 2019). This relationship finds its confirmation in empirical evidence presented by King et al. (2006). ...
Article
Full-text available
We analyzed the relationship between post-critical beliefs and the quality and stability of marriage, taking into account the mediating function of attitude and the tendency to forgive. The sample consisted of 122 predominantly Roman Catholic respondents. We used the Marriage Quality and Stability Scale, the Post-Critical Belief Scale and the Attitude and Tendency to Forgive Scale. Correlation analysis showed a significant positive relationship between Symbolic Affirmation and stability of marriage. Mediation analysis demonstrated that the relationship between Symbolic Affirmation and stability of marriage was mediated by attitude toward forgiveness. The results suggest that religiousness plays a role in predicting stability of marriage and that attitude towards forgiveness is a mediator explaining the mechanism of this relationship.
... exual satisfaction is an important factor in marital satisfaction [1] and affects the health and quality of life of couples and is one of the most important indicators of life satisfaction society, which is consistent with the results of the present study, since their results indicated improved quality of life after rehabilitation [12]. Soroush et al. found no statistically significant difference in sexual satisfaction between the two study groups before and after the educational intervention, and suggested that the educational content and age difference can affect the results [14]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Providing sexual counseling in cardiac rehabilitation program can improve patients’ sexual satisfaction and performance after Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) surgery. Objective This study aims to determine the effect of cardiac rehabilitation on sexual satisfaction of patients after CABG surgery. Materials and Methods: This descriptive-analytical study with a cross-sectional design was conducted on 108 patients with CABG surgery referred to cardiac rehabilitation centers in Rasht and Tehran, Iran in 2017-2018. A demographic form and Larsson’s sexual satisfaction questionnaire were used for data collection before and after 10 sessions of cardiac rehabilitation program. The collected data were analyzed in SPSS v. 18 software using paired t-test, Wilcoxon test, and ANCOVA considering a significance level at P<0.05. Results: The mean age of participants was 58.60±6.37 years. Their sexual satisfaction score significantly increased after the intervention and there was a statistically significant difference in sexual satisfaction before and after the intervention (P<0.001). The pre-test and post-test sexual satisfaction scores had no significant relationship with age, gender, years of marriage, duration of heart disease, comorbidities, occupational status, educational level, and economic status (P>0.05). Conclusion: It is necessary to pay attention to the sexual satisfaction of patients after CABG surgery to improve their sexual function and quality of life by creating an opportunity for them to participate in postoperative cardiac rehabilitation programs.
... For instance, Vittersø and Søholt (2011) showed that life satisfaction predicted feelings of pleasantness (a composite index of contentment, enjoyment and happiness) among young adults (aged between 18 and 31) in Norway. Relatedly, Unanue and his colleagues (Unanue et al., 2019) found that people who were more satisfied with their lives were more likely to appreciate the positive in life and, in particular, to feel a strong sense of gratitude. ...
Article
Full-text available
Much prior research relies on the idea that antipathy towards immigrants is primarily driven by natives’ perceptions of the threat that immigrants represent to their economic, cultural or national well-being. Yet little is known about whether subjective well-being affects attitudes toward immigrants. This study aimed to examine whether life satisfaction would foster tolerance towards immigrants over time via the indirect influence of political satisfaction and social trust. The sample comprised young native adults (N = 1352; M age = 22.72; SD = 3.1) in Sweden. The results revealed that young adults who were satisfied with important life domains were more likely to extend their satisfaction towards the political system, which consequently resulted in a generalised expectation of trustworthiness and a widening of their circles of trusted others. This then translates into more positive attitudes toward immigrants. The findings provide evidence that it is the causal relationship between political satisfaction and social trust (rather than social trust in itself) which promotes the positive impact of life satisfaction on tolerance towards immigrants. The study highlights that fostering political satisfaction and social trust may play an important role in shaping young people’s positive attitudes towards immigrants.
... Gratitude has been defined in numerous ways (see Unanue et al., 2019;Wood et al., 2010), such as an emotion, a moral affect, a virtue and a trait disposition (McCullough et al., 2002). According to Wood et al. (2010), several researchers have conceptualized gratitude as an emotion (i.e., state) towards appreciating helpful actions of other people. ...
Article
Full-text available
Self-Determination Theory (SDT) has consistently shown that the satisfaction of the basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness are essential nutrients for optimal human functioning across a diverse range of domains such as family, sports, education and work. SDT has also found that materialism—the relative importance attached to extrinsic versus intrinsic life goals—not only reduces need satisfaction, but also increases need frustration. Yet, what psychological mechanisms explain this association remain unknown. We theorized that dispositional gratitude might play a role. Thus, we tested the longitudinal mediational effects of gratitude in the link between materialism and need satisfaction/frustration, using a three-wave longitudinal design over six months among a large sample of Chilean adults (N = 1841). Importantly, we used the two most established materialism scales: the Aspiration Index (AI) and the Material Values Scale (MVS). Results showed consistently (using either the AI or the MVS) that higher materialism at Time 1 prospectively predicts lower gratitude at Time 2, which in turn prospectively predicts lower need satisfaction and higher need frustration at Time 3. Our results extend SDT and gratitude research in important ways. First, we found a theoretically sound mechanism that accounts for the materialism—basic psychological needs link. Second, expanding on previous research, we found that (a) materialism increases need frustration over time directly, but also through the mediation of gratitude; (b) gratitude decreases need frustration. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
In comforting or distressing circumstances, individuals tend to have various perceptions of themselves. It seems that religious comfort and religious distress correlate differently with people’s self-esteem. Since the relationship between religiosity and self-esteem is not only direct but can be mediated by other factors that are recognized as buffers against adverse situations, our main goal was to verify whether dispositional gratitude may have an indirect effect on the association between both variables. The research involved data from 254 participants aged 18 to 25 (M = 21.24; SD = 2.09) and included 192 women (76%) and 62 men (24%). To measure the title variables, we used: the Religious Comfort and Strain Scale (RCSS), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), and the Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ-6). The results showed that people who consider religion as a source of comfort express positive attitudes toward the self and recognize others’ kindness, as well. In contrast, people who consider religiosity as a cause of fear, stress, and internal strain tend to display a lower subjective sense of personal worth and lower appreciation of the positivity around them. Moreover, gratitude had a mediatory effect on the relationships between religious comfort/negative emotions toward God and self-esteem.
Article
Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk menguji efektivitas penguatan kebersyukuran melalui intervensi menulis surat syukur terhadap peningkatan subjective well being siswa dalam interaksi sosial. Jenis penelitian ini adalah penelitian kuantitatif dan desain penelitian eksperimen. Subjek penelitian ini adalah 20 siswa SD, masing-masing adalah 10 siswa untuk kelompok eksperimen dan 10 siswa untuk kelompok kontrol. Kelompok eksperimen diberikan perlakuan menulis surat syukur. Pengumpulan data menggunakan skala Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) dan Positive Affect and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) untuk mengukur subjective well-being, sementara Gratitude, Resentment Appréciation Test-Short Form (GRAT-Short Form) digunakan untuk mengukur kebersyukuran siswa. Teknik analisis data menggunakan paired sample t-test. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan penguatan kebersyukuran melalui intervensi menulis surat syukur memberikan bukti dapat meningkatkan subjective well-being siswa khususnya dalam dua komponen utama subjective well-being (kepuasan hidup dan afek positif). Siswa yang mendapatkan intervensi menulis surat syukur menunjukkan perbedaan yang signifikan pada tingkat subjective well-being daripada siswa yang tidak menulis surat syukur.
Article
Full-text available
Although research suggests that Eastern, collectivist cultures do not benefit as much from practicing gratitude compared to Western, individualist cultures, the reasons for these differences remain unclear. In a single time-point randomized controlled intervention, participants in India (N = 431), Taiwan (N = 112), and the U.S. (N = 307) were randomly assigned either to write a gratitude letter to someone who had done a kind act for them, to write a gratitude letter to themselves for a kind act they had done for another person, or to complete a neutral control writing activity. Immediately after completing their assigned writing activity, participants completed measures of state gratitude, elevation, and emotions (guilt, indebtedness, embarrassment, positive affect, and negative affect). U.S. (but not Indian and Taiwanese) participants who expressed gratitude reported greater state gratitude relative to controls. Although not explicitly grateful, however, Indian and Taiwanese participants who wrote gratitude letters reported higher elevation (and Indian participants, reduced negative affect) compared to control participants. Finally, compared to control participants, Taiwanese (but not U.S.) participants felt less guilty when writing a gratitude letter to themselves. The results provide new insights for why expressing gratitude may be a less effective happiness-promoting activity in collectivist cultures.
Article
Full-text available
Latin American and East Asian cultures are generally considered to be collectivistic cultures. However, there are very few cross-cultural studies contrasting these two cultures against each other, as most studies in this field compare them to Western culture. Self-construal is one of the most used constructs to explain cultural differences, elucidating whether individuals of a cultural group see themselves as independent of their environment and others, focusing on personal motivations, or interdependent of others and their context, recognizing their role within it. This study intends to compare the self-construal of Chileans and South Koreans and observe the variability in the presence of these dimensions in these two cultures. A total of 200 participants from Chile and South Korea responded to the Self-Construal Scale. Chileans presented significantly higher scores on independent and interdependent self-construal simultaneously when compared to South Koreans. Also, Chileans presented higher scores on independent self-construal than on interdependent self-construal, while Koreans did not show a preference for either dimension. These results are consistent with previous studies on Chileans, implying that not all Latin American countries would adhere to collectivism.
Article
Full-text available
Management scholars have long depended on convenience samples to conduct research involving human participants. However, the past decade has seen an emergence of a new convenience sample: online panels and online panel participants. The data these participants provide—online panel data (OPD)—has been embraced by many management scholars owing to the numerous benefits it provides over “traditional” convenience samples. Despite those advantages, OPD has not been warmly received by all. Currently, there is a divide in the field over the appropriateness of OPD in management scholarship. Our review takes aim at the divide with the goal of providing a common understanding of OPD and its utility and providing recommendations regarding when and how to use OPD and how and where to publish it. To accomplish these goals, we inventoried and reviewed OPD use across 13 management journals spanning 2006 to 2017. Our search resulted in 804 OPD-based studies across 439 articles. Notably, our search also identified 26 online panel platforms (“brokers”) used to connect researchers with online panel participants. Importantly, we offer specific guidance to authors, reviewers, and editors, having implications for both micro and macro management scholars.
Article
Full-text available
Although much research has been conducted on the predictors and outcomes of both subjective well-being (SWB) and psychological well-being (PWB), the magnitude and direction of the causal relationship between these constructs remain unclear. The studies reported in this article were designed to assess the temporal relationship between SWB and PWB during a period of 20 years. The studies used 3 waves of survey data, with intervals of 10 years, from the Midlife in the United States project, a representative longitudinal panel study of American adults (N = 2,731). Cross-lagged panel analyses were conducted to examine directionality of the relationships. Results showed that the autoregressive effects were large, suggesting a high degree of stability in SWB and PWB over time. Yet the levels of stability were generally higher for PWB than SWB. Whereas PWB unequivocally predicted increases in SWB over time, the prospective effects of SWB on PWB were inconsistent (i.e., positive, negative, or nonsignificant) across various points in time. The study findings suggest that PWB represents a more robust and consistent antecedent of future well-being than SWB.
Article
Full-text available
Most studies have assessed the psychometric properties of the Gratitude Questionnaire – Six-Item Form (GQ-6) in the Western contexts while very few research has been generated to explore the applicability of this scale in non-Western settings. To address this gap, the aim of the study was to examine the factorial validity and gender invariance of the Gratitude Questionnaire in the Philippines through a construct validation approach. There were 383 Filipino high school students who participated in the research. In terms of within-network construct validity, results of confirmatory factor analyses revealed that the five-item version of the questionnaire (GQ-5) had better fit compared to the original six-item version of the gratitude questionnaire. The scores from the GQ-5 also exhibited invariance across gender. Between-network construct validation showed that gratitude was associated with higher levels of academic achievement (β = .46, p <.001 ), autonomous motivation (β = .73, p <.001 ), and controlled motivation (β = .28, p <.01 ). Conversely, gratitude was linked to lower degree of amotivation (β = -.51, p <.001 ). Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
The Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ; McCullough et al., 2002) is one of the most widely used instruments to assess dispositional gratitude. The purpose of this study was to validate a Chinese version of the GQ by examining internal consistency, factor structure, convergent validity, and measurement invariance across sex. A total of 1151 Chinese adults were recruited to complete the GQ, Positive Affect and Negative Affect Scales, and Satisfaction with Life Scale. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the original unidimensional model fitted well, which is in accordance with the findings in Western populations. Furthermore, the GQ had satisfactory composite reliability and criterion-related validity with measures of life satisfaction and affective well-being. Evidence of configural, metric and scalar invariance across sex was obtained. Tests of the latent mean differences found females had higher latent mean scores than males. These findings suggest that the Chinese version of GQ is a reliable and valid tool for measuring dispositional gratitude and can generally be utilized across sex in the Chinese context.
Article
Full-text available
Gratitude is considered an important source of human strength in achieving and maintaining good mental health. Although complete mental health encompasses the absence of psychopathology and the presence of subjective well-being, no studies to date have examined relations between gratitude and both mental health dimensions together. Moreover, most studies focused on specific samples with a restricted demographic range. Our study, therefore, examined (a) demographic variability in the grateful trait, and (b) prospective associations between gratitude and both dimensions of mental health: psychopathology and subjective well-being. Using a four wave prospective survey design in a large (N = 706) sample of Dutch adults (M age = 44, SD age = 14, Range = 18--80), we measured gratitude with the SGRAT, symptoms of psychopathology with the SCL-90, and subjective well-being with the PANAS and SWLS. Gratitude was significantly associated with age, gender, education level, and employment status. Multilevel time-lagged regression analyses showed that the grateful trait did not predict symptoms of psychopathology, but was a significant albeit weak predictor of subjective well-being, when adjusting for the effects of demographic factors, and prior levels of subjective well-being and psychopathology. Our findings indicate that the grateful trait is associated with demographic factors, and shows complex connections with the presence of well-being and absence of psychopathology. These dynamics should be taken into consideration when studying the role of gratitude in mental health, and developing, applying, and evaluating gratitude interventions with the aim of enhancing subjective well-being and/or reducing psychopathology.
Article
The effect of a grateful outlook on psychological and physical well-being was examined. In Studies 1 and 2, participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental conditions (hassles, gratitude listing, and either neutral life events or social comparison); they then kept weekly (Study 1) or daily (Study 2) records of their moods, coping behaviors, health behaviors, physical symptoms, and overall life appraisals. In a 3rd study, persons with neuromuscular disease were randomly assigned to either the gratitude condition or to a control condition. The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the 3 studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.
Article
In four studies, the authors examined the correlates of the disposition toward gratitude. Study 1 revealed that self-ratings and observer ratings of the grateful disposition are associated with positive affect and well-being prosocial behaviors and traits, and religiousness/spirituality. Study 2 replicated these findings in a large nonstudent sample. Study 3 yielded similar results to Studies 1 and 2 and provided evidence that gratitude is negatively associated with envy and materialistic attitudes. Study 4 yielded evidence that these associations persist after controlling for Extraversion/positive affectivity, Neuroticism/negative affectivity, and Agreeableness. The development of the Gratitude Questionnaire, a unidimensional measure with good psychometric properties, is also described.
Article
The aim of this study is to: (1) examine the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the Satisfaction with Life scale (SWLS) on a representative sample of the Chilean population ( N = 1,500); (2) test the factorial invariance of the SWLS across gender and employment status (henceforth status); and (3) provide normative data of the SWLS for Chile. Results suggest that the Spanish version of the SWLS is a valid and reliable instrument for measuring global life satisfaction in Chile and for comparison across gender and status. Confirmatory factor analysis shows support, across all groups, for a modified single-factor structure of the SWLS that allows error terms of items 1 and 2 to correlate (GFI > .98; RMSEA < .08). Cronbach’s alpha coefficient ranges between .68 and .84 for different groups, with an average value of .80 for the total sample. The SWLS scores converge with an alternative single-item measure of life satisfaction ( r = .63, p < .001) and with measures of conceptually related constructs. The factorial structure of the scale is invariant with respect to gender and status (CFI > .99; RMSEA < .06). Metric invariance holds for gender (ΔCFI = 0; RMSEA = .051) and status (Δχ ² = 23.93, nonsignificant; ∆CFI = 0; RMSEA = .045). Scalar invariance holds for gender and some status combinations; partial scalar invariance holds for the rest. Mean levels of life satisfaction can be compared across gender and status, albeit cautiously for status combinations for which scalar invariance does not hold.