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    Feeling Thanks and Saying Thanks: A Randomized Controlled Trial Examining If and How Socially Oriented Gratitude Journals Work

    O'Connell, Brenda and O'Shea, Deirdre and Gallagher, Stephen (2017) Feeling Thanks and Saying Thanks: A Randomized Controlled Trial Examining If and How Socially Oriented Gratitude Journals Work. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 73 (10). pp. 1280-1300. ISSN 0021-9762

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    Objective This study examined the effect of a reflective interpersonal gratitude journal, a reflective‐behavioral interpersonal gratitude journal and an active control journal, on primary qualities of well‐being and depression. Method Participants (n = 192; 67.2% female) completed this 3‐month longitudinal randomized controlled design. Results Participants in the reflective‐behavioral condition experienced the greatest improvements in affect balance and reductions in depression at immediate posttest. Both gratitude interventions improved affect balance at 1 month, compared to the control. Changes in affect balance for those in the reflective‐behavioral condition were mediated by the rate at which people expressed gratitude in their existing relationships. This effect was moderated by participant's baseline depressive status. Conclusion Expressing felt gratitude to others appears to be a crucial step in deriving benefits, and these benefits may not be limited to the emotionally healthy. Given the applied popularity of gratitude interventions, understanding not only if but also how they work is essential.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: gratitude; psychological intervention; randomized controlled trial; well-being;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > Human Health Institute
    Item ID: 11705
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Brenda O'Connell
    Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2019 11:45
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Clinical Psychology
    Publisher: Wiley
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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