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Impact of Gratitude on Resource Development and Emotional Well-Being

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Using the broaden-and-build theory, I examined whether or not gratitude can build social, cognitive, physical, and psychological resources, and whether or not gratitude induces other positive emotions that trigger upward spirals toward emotional well-being. I recruited participants (N = 375 undergraduates) to complete measures of the variables of interest. The results indicated that higher levels of gratitude significantly predicted increases in social support, adaptive coping abilities, and beneficial psychological outcomes (e.g., life satisfaction), as well as decreases in avoidant coping style and detrimental physical outcomes (e.g., negative emotions). Further, I found that gratitude could induce other positive emotions which partially mediated the effects of gratitude on emotional well-being. These findings provide empirical support for the idea that gratitude is, in essence, a positive emotion beneficial for positive functioning, as well as broadening and building other positive emotions, which, in turn, result in an increase in emotional well-being.
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Keywords: BROADEN-AND-BUILD THEORY; EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING; GRATITUDE; POSITIVE EMOTION; RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2015

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