Exploring the Relationship Between Gratitude and Self-Control - a Mediation Analysis

Faculty Mentor

Philip Watkins


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Oral Presentation

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential mediating role of self-control on the relationship between gratitude and subjective well-being. We administered a variety of questionnaires to participants (n=113) to measure their momentary emotional state, as well as their stable personality characteristics. We administered the PANAS to measure ‘state’ and ‘trait’ emotions where participants are asked to rate themselves on a 5-point Likert Scale for positive emotion descriptions such as joyful, determined, inspired, proud, and enthusiastic, and for negative emotion descriptions such as upset, guilty, scared, irritable, and nervous. We also measured the big-5 personality characteristics and measured dispositional gratitude, pride, self-control, and subjective well-being. Furthermore, we measured the participants’ perceived social connectedness, self-esteem, and their perceived existential meaning. Our data mostly matched our statistical assumptions, with the exception of a moderate degree of heteroscedasticity in our trait gratitude measure. We then analyzed our data and created mediation models using self-control and our other measured personality traits. This allowed us to compare the mediating role of self-control on the gratitude – subjective well-being relationship to that of other personality characteristics. Our study found a small but significant mediating role of trait self-control on the gratitude – subjective well-being relationship (0.093, p < 0.05).

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