Gratitude and Adolescent Athletes’ Well-Being

Abstract

Two cross-sectional studies were conducted to examine the relationships between gratitude and athletes’ well-being. Study 1 examines the relationship between dispositional gratitude and well-being, while Study 2 investigates the relationship between sport-domain gratitude and well-being. In Study 1, 169 Taiwanese senior high school athletes (M = 16.43, SD = 0.7 years) were administered the Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ; McCullough et al. 2002, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(1), 112–127), Team Satisfaction Scale (Walling et al. 1993, Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 15, 172–183), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS; Diener et al. 1985, Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75), and the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire (ABQ; Raedeke and Smith, 2001, Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 23(4), 281–306). In Study 2, a separate sample of 265 adolescent athletes (M = 16.47 years, SD = 0.7) were administered the modified Sport-domain GQ, Team Satisfaction Scale, and ABQ. Study 1 results showed that dispositional gratitude positively predicts team satisfaction and life satisfaction, and negatively predicts athlete burnout. Findings from Study 2 revealed that sport-domain gratitude positively predicts team satisfaction and negatively predicts athlete burnout. A stronger gratitude and well-being relationship was observed in Study 2. This research provides the initial verification that gratitude and adolescent athletes’ well-being are related. Possible mechanism of this relation, limitations, and practical implications are discussed.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Shih-Yi Chang and Chih-Ching Chu for their kind assistance during the data collection process. We also thank Robert Emmons for permiting us to translate the GQ-6 into Chinese, and Yi-Chen Lee for her help in developing the Sport-domain Gratitude Questionnaire. The second author, Ying Hwa Kee, is grateful to the Taiwan Government for the Taiwan Scholarship awarded to him in support of his doctoral education.

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Correspondence to Ying Hwa Kee.

Appendix A

Appendix A

  1. 1.

    I have so much to be thankful for, during the course of my training.

  2. 2.

    If I had to list everything in my sport career that I felt grateful for, I think it would be a very long list.

  3. 3.

    When I look at my sport career, I don’t see much to be grateful for.

  4. 4.

    I am grateful to many coaches or teammates.

  5. 5.

    As I get older I find myself more able to appreciate the help given by coaches or teammates, who have been part of my life history.

  6. 6.

    Long amounts of time can go by before I feel grateful to coaches or teammates.

Note: items 3 and 6 are reversely scored items

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Chen, L.H., Kee, Y.H. Gratitude and Adolescent Athletes’ Well-Being. Soc Indic Res 89, 361–373 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-008-9237-4

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Keywords

  • Thankful
  • Gratefulness
  • Stress
  • Satisfaction
  • Happiness
  • Positive psychology