Measuring Gratitude in Children.
Gratitude is a rich socioemotional construct that emerges over development beginning in early childhood. Existing measures of children's gratitude as a trait or behavior may be limited because they do not capture different aspects of gratitude moments (i.e., awareness, thoughts, feelings, and actions) and the way that these facets appear in children. The current study evaluates a battery of new measures assessing children's gratitude to address these limitations. Parent-child dyads (N=101; children aged 6-9) completed a lab-based assessment followed by a 7-day online parental diary and 18-month follow-up survey. In addition to newly developed measures of children's gratitude, the battery included indicators of convergent, concurrent, divergent, and predictive validity. Results demonstrate the complexity of gratitude as a construct and the relative benefits and limits of various assessment modalities. Implications for the measurement of children's gratitude and suggestions for future research on the development of gratitude are discussed.
Hussong, AM; Langley, HA; Thomas, T; Coffman, J; Halberstadt, A; Costanzo, P; Rothenberg, WA
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