Mediating effects of peace of mind and rumination on the relationship between gratitude and depression among Chinese university students

  • Hongyu Liang
  • Chen Chen
  • Fang Li
  • Shuman Wu
  • Lixin Wang
  • Xue Zheng
  • Benjun Zeng


Although previous researchers have investigated the relationship between gratitude and depression, few studies have explored the possible mediating variables behind this association. This research aimed to examine whether peace of mind and rumination would have a mediating effect on the relationship between gratitude and depression. A sample of five hundred and one Chinese university students completed measures of gratitude, depression, peace of mind and rumination. Correlation analysis showed that gratitude, depression, peace of mind, and rumination were interrelated. Structural equation modeling showed that peace of mind and rumination fully-mediated the relationship between gratitude and depression for this sample. Multi-group analysis found that the mediational model did not differ by gender. Results of present study suggested that gratitude may not only have a negative influence on depression, but may also counteract the symptoms of depression by enhancing a state of peace of mind and reducing ruminative thinking.


Gratitude Peace of mind Rumination Depression 



Hongyu Liang and ChenChen contributed equally to this work and should be considered as co-first authors.


This study was funded by the Key Project of Chinese Ministry of Education (12JJD190005).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologySouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Hohhot No. 12 High SchoolHohhotChina
  3. 3.School of Mathematical SciencesInner Mongolia Normal UniversityHohhotChina
  4. 4.College of Teacher Education and PsychologySichuan Normal UniversityChengduChina
  5. 5.Tianhe College Guangdong Polytechnic Normal UniversityGuangzhouChina

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