Some psychologists say gratitude improves one’s well being.  But is that a subject for science?

According to a report on Science Daily, “Growing Up Grateful Gives Teens Multiple Mental Health Benefits.”  According to a psychologist from University of California, “Increases in gratitude over a four-year period were significantly related to improvements in life satisfaction, happiness, positive attitudes and hope.”

For the study, 700 students aged 10 to 14 answered questionnaires, then 4 years later, were surveyed again.  Those categorized as “most grateful” were judged by the researchers as having 13 to 17% more purpose in life, more satisfaction with “life overall,” more happiness and hopefulness, less delinquency, and fewer negative attitudes.

The researchers defined “gratefulness” as “having a disposition and moods that enabled them to respond positively to the good people and things in their lives.”  The New York based sample contained a mix of ethnic backgrounds, with 54% girls and (presumably) the rest boys.  The lead researcher, Dr. Giacomo Bono, made sweeping conclusions:

“These findings suggest that gratitude may be strongly linked with life-skills such as cooperation, purpose, creativity and persistence and, as such, gratitude is vital resource that parents, teachers and others who work with young people should help youth build up as they grow up,” Bono said. “More gratitude may be precisely what our society needs to raise a generation that is ready to make a difference in the world.”

Dr. Bono’s definitions of these qualities are not found in the article, nor is his view on what kind off difference in the world is good to make…..

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