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The impact of gratitude on depression and anxiety: the mediating role of criticizing, attacking, and reassuring the self

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Gratitude significantly predicts less depression and anxiety symptoms in general population. Three types of self-relating processes as possible mediators of this relationship were evaluated. Trait gratitude, depression, anxiety, and three forms of self-relating (criticizing, attacking, and reassuring the self) were assessed in 410 Italian participants. Gratitude predicted less depression and anxiety symptoms, and the three forms of self-relating partially mediated the impact of gratitude on both depression and anxiety. Self-reassuring had a stronger mediation power than self-attacking in the prediction of anxiety symptoms. Gratitude is a protective factor against psychopathology not only due to its association with improved relationships with others, but also because it is connected to a less critical, less punishing, and more compassionate relationship with the self.
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Keywords: Gratitude; anxiety; depression; self-compassion; self-criticism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, Sapienza – University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Publication date: March 3, 2016

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