Gratitude’s role in adolescent antisocial and prosocial behavior: A 4-year longitudinal investigation

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Is gratitude developmentally related to improvements in social behavior? This study examined 566 adolescents (51.6% female, M age = 11.95 years at baseline, 68.0% White, 11.0% African-American, 9.9% Asian-American, 1.9% Hispanic, 8.8% ‘Other’) from middle school to high school for 4 years. Controlling for social desirability, age, SES, and gender, gratitude growth predicted decreases in antisocial behavior over 4 years, and life satisfaction growth marginally mediated this relation. Further, gratitude growth predicted increases in prosocial behavior over 4 years, but life satisfaction did not mediate this relation. Reverse models were also examined. Antisocial behavior growth predicted gratitude change, which was mediated by life satisfaction growth. Prosocial behavior growth predicted gratitude change, but was not mediated by life satisfaction growth. Finally, gratitude growth predicted family support, trust, and intentional self-regulation at the 4 year timepoint, and it predicted empathy with marginal significance. Implications for theory and educational applications are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bono, G; Froh, JJ; Disabato, D; Blalock, D; McKnight, P; Bausert, S

Published Date

  • March 4, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 230 - 243

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1743-9779

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1743-9760

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/17439760.2017.1402078

Citation Source

  • Scopus