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The Mediational Roles of Gratitude and Perceived Support in Explaining the Relationship Between Mindfulness and Mood

Abstract

Mindfulness allows an individual to reside in a state of nonjudgmental conscious awareness. In this state, individuals are able to make deliberate choices about their thoughts and emotions and in doing so, select more optimal experiences for themselves. In the present study, we predicted individuals who are more mindful are able to purposely attend to the environment, and as a result, would be more likely to notice and be grateful for the positive aspects of life that might otherwise go unappreciated. Given the strong links in the literature between mindfulness and well-being, we also examined whether gratitude might serve as a mediator in the relationship between mindfulness and mood. Additionally, because gratitude is believed to strengthen ties to others, we also tested whether gratitude and perceived social support might serve as mediators in a multi-mediated model. Specifically, it was predicted that mindfulness would contribute to the expression of heightened gratitude which, in turn, would influence a heightened sense of perceived support. This heightened sense of support from others was then predicted to enhance feelings of positive mood states and decrease feelings of negative mood states. Participants (N = 700) completed a survey that assessed mindfulness, gratitude, perceived support, and mood. Findings showed a significant association between mindfulness and gratitude. Mediational analyses also showed that both gratitude and perceived support served to mediate the relationship between mindfulness and positive and negative mood. However, in the case of negative mood, our hypothesized model did not provide the best fit to the data. The implications of these findings are discussed with regard to the role mindfulness, gratitude and perceived support play in the promotion of positive and negative mood states.

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Correspondence to Rhonda Swickert.

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Swickert, R., Bailey, E., Hittner, J. et al. The Mediational Roles of Gratitude and Perceived Support in Explaining the Relationship Between Mindfulness and Mood. J Happiness Stud 20, 815–828 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-017-9952-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-017-9952-0

Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Mindful awareness
  • Gratitude
  • Perceived support
  • Mood
  • Affect
  • Subjective well-being