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The Effect of Higher-Order Gratitude on Mental Well-Being: Beyond Personality and Unifactoral Gratitude

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine whether higher-order gratitude consisting of multiple components (i.e., thanking others, thanking God, cherishing blessings, appreciating hardship, and cherishing the moment) explains variances in integrated mental well-being, including depression, self-esteem, and psychological well-being after controlling for gender, age, religion, the Big Five personality traits (i.e., openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism), and unifactorial gratitude (GQ). A total of 231 participants were recruited to complete questionnaires measuring the variables of interest. The results indicated that higher-order gratitude made a significant unique contribution to psychological well-being, self-esteem, and depression (3 % to 5 % of the variance, p < .05) above the effects of demographic variables, personality traits, and unifactorial gratitude. These findings suggested that higher-order gratitude is more than just personality traits or unifactorial gratitude, and it is important in its own right for integrated mental well-being.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of China in Taiwan (Contract MOST 103-2410-H-130-031 and MOST 104-2410-H-027-020)

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Correspondence to Chih-Che Lin.

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Lin, CC. The Effect of Higher-Order Gratitude on Mental Well-Being: Beyond Personality and Unifactoral Gratitude. Curr Psychol 36, 127–135 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-015-9392-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-015-9392-0

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Gratitude
  • Personality
  • Psychological well-being
  • Self-esteem