Degree Granting Department
Psychological and Social Foundations
Shannon M. Suldo
academic functioning, adolescence, gratitude, mental health, social support, youth
Guided by positive psychology and broaden-and-build theoretical frameworks, this study utilized a correlational research design to explore the relationships between gratitude and adolescents' psychological, social, and academic well-being in a diverse sample of 499 high school students. Results of multiple regression analyses that controlled for potential effects of student demographic features on outcomes showed that higher levels of gratitude predicted more life satisfaction (β=.63, sr2=.40) , less internalizing symptoms (β= -.44, sr2= .19), more social support from parents (β=.50, sr2=.25), teachers (β=.28, sr2=.08), and peers (β=.34, sr2=.12), higher grades (β=.12, sr2=.014), and better academic self-perceptions (β=.30, sr2=.09). These relationships were generally the same for boys and girls, with the exception that the inverse link between gratitude and internalizing symptoms of psychopathology was stronger for girls than for boys. Social support from parents partially mediated the relationship between gratitude and life satisfaction, fully mediated the relationship between gratitude and internalizing symptoms for boys, and partially mediated the relationship between gratitude and internalizing symptoms for girls. Teacher support partially mediated the relationship between gratitude and students' academic self-perceptions. These mediator effects provide support for Frederickson's (2001) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions in that gratitude builds and strengthens student's supportive social network, which in turn leads to better psychological and academic functioning. Implications of findings for school psychology practice and future directions for research are discussed.
Scholar Commons Citation
Hasemeyer, Michelle Denise, "The Relationship between Gratitude and Psychological, Social, and Academic Functioning in Middle Adolescence" (2013). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.