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Increasing Gratitude, Well-Being, And Prosocial Behavior

Overview

Cognitive appraisals have been linked to feeling grateful. Specifically, a beneficiary who appraises a gift as intentionally bestowed by a benefactor, costly to the benefactor (i.e., through resource expenditure), and valued by them experiences gratitude (Tesser, Gatewood, & Driver, 1968; Wood, Maltby, Stewart, Linley, & Joseph, 2007). Children were taught these cognitive appraisals using a gratitude curriculum created for this study to enhance gratitude, well-being, and prosocial behavior. Using a ...
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Overview

Cognitive appraisals have been linked to feeling grateful. Specifically, a beneficiary who appraises a gift as intentionally bestowed by a benefactor, costly to the benefactor (i.e., through resource expenditure), and valued by them experiences gratitude (Tesser, Gatewood, & Driver, 1968; Wood, Maltby, Stewart, Linley, & Joseph, 2007). Children were taught these cognitive appraisals using a gratitude curriculum created for this study to enhance gratitude, well-being, and prosocial behavior. Using a quasi-experimental design, fourth and fifth grade classrooms were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: gratitude curriculum, attention-control curriculum, or no treatment control. The gratitude condition received one 30-minute lesson a week for 5 weeks which taught the social-cognitive determinants of gratitude. The attention-control condition followed an identical format to the gratitude condition; however, neutral topics (i.e., daily events) were discussed. Three vignettes created for this study measured the children's social-cognitive determinants of gratitude (alpha = .65 -- .93). Self-report data on gratitude, the social-cognitive determinants of gratitude, well-being, and prosocial behavior were collected for all conditions at pre-test, post-test, and a 2-week follow-up. Prosocial behaviors were also measured via a behavioral indicator. It was hypothesized that students who received the gratitude curriculum would report more gratitude, positive affect, life satisfaction, and prosocial behavior, when compared with the two control conditions at post-test and the 2-week follow-up. Furthermore, it was predicted that students who received the gratitude curriculum would report stronger endorsements of the social-cognitive determinants of gratitude when compared with the other two control groups at post-test and the 2-week follow-up and that these social-cognitive determinants would mediate the relations between condition and the outcomes at the post-test and 2-week follow-up. Data were analyzed via an analysis of covariance to control for pre-test scores across conditions. Results did not support the hypotheses. Additional analyses revealed significant results when positive affect was examined as a moderator. Hierarchical regression models suggested that students low in positive affect in the gratitude condition reported statistically significant increases in gratitude at post-test. Students low in positive affect in the attention-control condition, however, reported statistically significant increases in life satisfaction at 2-week follow-up.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781243632692
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/4/2011
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.43 (d)

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