Forgiveness, Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being Among Filipino Adolescents

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

This study examines the influence of forgiveness and gratitude on life satisfaction and subjective well-being among Filipino adolescents. Two hundred and ten (210) Filipino college students were recruited as respondents for the empirical inquiry. Results indicated that gratitude served as the most robust determinant of well-being after controlling demographic characteristics and forgiveness dimensions. Most importantly, gratitude and forgiveness of self, which is a dimension of forgiveness, predicted subjective well-being beyond the influence of the Big Five personality factors. These findings strengthened the empirical evidence that moral traits would have unique contributions on subjective well-being, even after controlling the impact of Big Five personality factors. Implications of the results are discussed in the context of counseling.

Keywords

Forgiveness Gratitude Subjective well-being Filipino adolescents 

References

  1. Bailey, T. C., Eng, W., Frisch, M. B., & Snyder, C. R. (2007). Hope and optimism as related to life satisfaction. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2(3), 168–175.Google Scholar
  2. Berry, J. W., Worthington, E. L., O’Connor, L. E., Parrott, L., & Wade, N. G. (2005). Forgivingness, vengeful rumination, and affective traits. Journal of Personality, 73, 183–225.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bono, G., & McCullough, M. E. (2006). Positive responses to benefit and harm: bringing forgiveness and gratitude into cognitive psychotherapy. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 20, 147–158. doi:10.1891/jcop.20.2.147.Google Scholar
  4. Bono, G., McCullough, M. E., & Root, L. M. (2008). Forgiveness, feeling connected to others, and well-being: two longitudinal studies. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 182–195.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Breen, W. E., Kashdan, T. B., Lenser, M. L., & Fincham, F. D. (2010). Gratitude and forgiveness: convergence and divergence on self-report and informant ratings. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 932–937. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.07.033.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown, R. P., & Phillips, A. (2005). Letting bygones be bygones: further evidence for the validity of the tendency to forgive scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 627–638.Google Scholar
  7. Chan, D. W. (2009). The hierarchy of strengths: their relationships with subjective well-being among Chinese teachers in Hong Kong. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(6), 867–875. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2009.01.010.Google Scholar
  8. Debats, D. L., van der Lubbe, P. M., & Wezeman, F. R. A. (1993). On the psychometric properties of the life regard index (LRI): a measure of meaningful life. Personality and Individual Differences, 14, 337–345.Google Scholar
  9. Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being. The science of happiness and a proposal for a national index. The American Psychologist, 55, 34–43.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E. (2003). Personality, culture, and subjective wellbeing: emotional and cognitive evaluations of life. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 403–425.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 377–389.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Erikson, E. H. (1982). The life cycle completed. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  14. Exline, J. J., Root, B. L., Yadavalli, S., Martin, A. M., & Fisher, M. L. (2011). Reparative behaviors and self-forgiveness: effects of a laboratory-based exercise. Self and Identity, 10, 101–126. doi:10.1080/15298861003669565.Google Scholar
  15. Friedman, P. H. (2000). Integrative healing manual. Plymouth Meeting: Foundation for Well-Being.Google Scholar
  16. Froh, J. J., Sefick, W. J., & Emmons, R. A. (2008). Counting blessings in early adolescents: an experimental study of gratitude and subjective well-being. Journal of School Psychology, 46, 213–233.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Froh, J. J., Kashdan, T. B., Ozimkowski, K. M., & Miller, N. (2009a). Who benefits the most from a gratitude intervention in children and adolescents? Examining positive affect as a moderator. Journal of Positive Psychology, 4, 408–422.Google Scholar
  18. Froh, J. J., Yurkewicz, C., & Kashdan, T. B. (2009b). Gratitude and subjective well-being in early adolescence: examining gender differences. Journal of Adolescence, 32, 633–650.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Gosling, S. D., Rentfrow, P. J., & Swann, W. B. (2003). A very brief measure of the big-five personality domains. Journal of Research in Personality, 37(6), 504–528.Google Scholar
  20. Gradisek, P. (2012). Character strengths and life satisfaction of Slovenian in-service and pre-service. Teachers. CEPS Journal, 2(3), 167–180.Google Scholar
  21. Hall, J. H., & Fincham, F. D. (2008). The temporal course of self-forgiveness. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 27, 174–202. doi:10.1521/jscp.2008.27.2.174.Google Scholar
  22. Hill, P. L., & Allemand, M. (2011). Gratitude, forgivingness, and well-being in adulthood: tests of moderation and incremental prediction. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 6(5), 397–407. doi:10.1080/17439760.2011.602099.Google Scholar
  23. Hill, P. L., & Roberts, B. W. (2010). In defense of the moral person: prospects for the study of moral personality development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 380–383.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Ho, M. Y., Cheung, F. M., & Cheung, S. F. (2008). Personality and life events as predictors of adolescents’ life satisfaction: do life events mediate the link between personality and life satisfaction? Social Indicators Research, 89(3), 457–471.Google Scholar
  25. Hook, J. N., Worthington, E. L., Jr., & Utsey, S. O. (2009). Collectivism, forgiveness, and social harmony. The Counseling Psychologist, 31, 821–847.Google Scholar
  26. Kashdan, T. B., & Steger, M. F. (2007). Curiosity and pathways to well-being and meaning in life: traits, states, and everyday behaviors. Motivation and Emotion, 31, 159–173. doi:10.1007/s11031-007-9068-7.Google Scholar
  27. Krause, N., & Ellison, C. (2003). Forgiveness by God, forgiveness of others, and psychological well-being in late life. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 42(1), 77–94.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Lambert, N. M., Fincham, F. D., Stillman, T. F., & Dean, L. R. (2009). More gratitude, less materialism: the mediating role of life satisfaction. Journal of Positive Psychology, 4, 32–42.Google Scholar
  29. Lounsbury, J. W., Fisher, L. A., Levy, J. J., & Welsh, D. P. (2009). An investigation of character strengths in relation to the academic success of college students. Individual Differences Research, 7(1), 52–69.Google Scholar
  30. Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: preliminary reliability and construct validation. Social Indicators Research, 46, 137–155.Google Scholar
  31. Macaskill, A. (2012). Differentiating dispositional self-forgiveness from other-forgiveness: associations with mental health and life satisfaction. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 31(1), 28–50. doi:10.1521/jscp.2012.31.1.28.Google Scholar
  32. Maltby, J., Day, L., & Barber, L. (2005). Forgiveness and happiness, the differing contexts of forgiveness using the distinction between hedonic and eudaimonic happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 6, 1–13.Google Scholar
  33. Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98, 224–253.Google Scholar
  34. Markus, H. R., Mullally, P., & Kitayama, S. (1997). Selfways: diversity in modes of cultural participation. In U. Neisser & D. Jopling (Eds.), The conceptual self in context: culture, experience, self-understanding (pp. 13–61). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  35. McCullough, M. E., & Hoyt, W. T. (2002). Transgression-related motivational dispositions: personality substrates of forgiveness and their links to the big five. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1556–1573.Google Scholar
  36. McCullough, M. E., & Worthington, E. L., Jr. (1999). Religion and the forgiving personality. Journal of Personality, 67, 1141–1164.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. McCullough, M. E., Kilpatrick, S., Emmons, R. A., & Larson, D. (2001). Is gratitude a moral affect? Psychological Bulletin, 127, 249–266.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The grateful disposition: a conceptual and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112–127.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. McCullough, M. E., Tsang, J., & Emmons, R. A. (2004). Gratitude in intermediate affective terrain: links of grateful moods with individual differences and daily emotional experience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 295–309.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. McMahan, E. A., & Renken, M. D. (2011). Eudaimonic conceptions of well-being, meaning in life, and self-reported well-being: initial test of a mediational model. Personality and Individual Differences, 51, 589–594.Google Scholar
  41. Neto, F. (2007). Forgiveness, personality and gratitude. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 2313–2323. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2007.07.010.Google Scholar
  42. Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. (2004). Strengths of character and well-being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 603–619.Google Scholar
  43. Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Peterson, C., Ruch, W., Beermann, U., Park, N., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2007). Strengths of character, orientations to happiness, and life satisfaction. Journal of Positive Psychology, 2, 149–156.Google Scholar
  45. Samman, E. (2007). Psychological and subjective well-being: A proposal for internationally comparable indicators. U.K: OPHI Working Paper Series.Google Scholar
  46. Sastre, M., Vinsonneau, G., Neto, F., Girard, M., & Mullet, E. (2003). Forgivingness and satisfaction with life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 4, 323–335.Google Scholar
  47. Soto, C. J., John, O. P., Gosling, S. D., & Potter, J. (2011). Age differences in personality traits from 10 to 65: big five domains and facets in a large cross-sectional sample. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 330–348.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Steger, M. F., & Dik, B. J. (2009). If one is searching for meaning in life, does meaning in work help? Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 1, 303–320. doi:10.1111/j.I758-0854.2009.01018.x.
  49. Suh, E. M. (2002). Culture, identity consistency, and subjective well-being. Personality Processes and Individual Differences, 83(6), 1378–1391. doi:10.1037//0022-3514.83.6.1378.Google Scholar
  50. Suh, E. M. (2007). Downsides of an overly context-sensitive self: implications from the culture and subjective well-being research. Journal of Personality, 75(6), 1331–1343. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2007.00477.x.Google Scholar
  51. Szczesniak, M., & Soares, E. (2011). Are proneness to forgive, optimism, and gratitude associated with life satisfaction? Polish Psychological Bulletin, 42(1), 20–23. doi:10.2478/v10059-011-0004-z.Google Scholar
  52. Thompson, L. Y., Snyder, C. R., Hoffman, L., Michael, S. T., Rasmussen, H. N., Billings, L. S., et al. (2005). Dispositional forgiveness of self, others, and situations. Journal of Personality, 73, 313–359.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Toussaint, L., & Friedman, P. (2009). Forgiveness, gratitude, and well-being: the mediating role of affect and beliefs. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 635–654.Google Scholar
  54. Uchida, Y., & Ogihara, Y. (2012). Personal or interpersonal construal of happiness: a cultural psychological perspective. International Journal of Wellbeing, 2(4), 354–369. doi:10.5502/ijw.v2.i4.5.Google Scholar
  55. Vittersø, J. (2003). Flow versus life satisfaction: a projective use of cartoons to illustrate the difference between the evaluation approach and the intrinsic motivation approach to subjective quality of life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 4, 141–167.Google Scholar
  56. Wohl, M. J. A., DeShea, L., & Wahkinney, R. L. (2008). Looking within: measuring state self-forgiveness and its relationship to psychological wellbeing. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 40, 1–10. doi:10.1037/0008-400x.40.1.1.1.Google Scholar
  57. Wood, A. M., Maltby, J., Gillett, R., Linley, P. A., & Joseph, S. (2008a). The role of gratitude in the development of social support, stress, and depression: two longitudinal studies. Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 854–871.Google Scholar
  58. Wood, A. M., Joseph, S., & Maltby, J. (2008b). Gratitude uniquely predicts satisfaction with life: incremental validity above the domains and facets of the five factor model. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 49–54.Google Scholar
  59. Wood, A. M., Joseph, S., & Maltby, J. (2009). Gratitude predicts psychological well-being above the big five facets. Personality and Individual Differences, 46, 443–447.Google Scholar
  60. Worthington, E. L., Jr., & Scherer, M. (2004). Forgiveness is an emotion-focused coping strategy that can reduce health risks and promote health resilience: theory, review, and hypotheses. Psychology & Health, 19, 385–405.Google Scholar
  61. Yalçın, İ. (2011). Social support and optimism as predictors of life satisfaction of college students. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 33(2), 79–87. doi:10.1007/s10447-011-9113-9.Google Scholar
  62. Zhang, L. (2005). Prediction of Chinese life satisfaction: contribution of collective self-esteem. International Journal of Psychology, 40(3), 189–200. doi:10.1080/00207590444000285.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Counseling and Educational Psychology DepartmentDe La Salle UniversityManilaPhilippines

Personalised recommendations