Grateful parents raising grateful children: Niche selection and the socialization of child gratitude.


Journal Article

Given that children's exposure to gratitude-related activities may be one way that parents can socialize gratitude in their children, we examined whether parents' niche selection (i.e., tendency to choose perceived gratitude-inducing activities for their children) mediates the association between parents' reports of their own and their children's gratitude. Parent-child dyads (N =101; children aged 6-9; 52% girls; 80% Caucasian; 85% mothers) participated in a laboratory visit and parents also completed a seven-day online diary regarding children's gratitude. Decomposing specific indirect effects within a structural equation model, we found that parents high in gratitude were more likely to set goals to use niche selection as a gratitude socialization strategy, and thereby more likely to place their children in gratitude-related activities. Placement in these activities, in turn, was associated with more frequent expression of gratitude in children. We describe future directions for research on parents' role in socializing gratitude in their children.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rothenberg, WA; Hussong, AM; Langley, HA; Egerton, GA; Halberstadt, AG; Coffman, JL; Mokrova, I; Costanzo, PR

Published Date

  • January 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 106 - 120

PubMed ID

  • 28943753

Pubmed Central ID

  • 28943753

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-480X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1088-8691

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/10888691.2016.1175945


  • eng