Preschool-aged children's understanding of gratitude: Relations with emotion and mental state knowledge

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan D. Calkins, Professor (Creator)
Esther M. Leerkes, Professor (Creator)
Stuart Marcovitch, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology (Creator)
Marion O'Brien, Professor, Director of Family Research Center and Associate Dean for Research (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Developmental precursors to children's early understanding of gratitude were examined. A diverse group of 263 children was tested for emotion and mental state knowledge at ages 3 and 4, and their understanding of gratitude was measured at age 5. Children varied widely in their understanding of gratitude, but most understood some aspects of gratitude-eliciting situations. A model-building path analysis approach was used to examine longitudinal relations among early emotion and mental state knowledge and later understanding of gratitude. Children with a better early understanding of emotions and mental states understand more about gratitude. Mental state knowledge at age 4 mediated the relation between emotion knowledge at age 3 and gratitude understanding at age 5. The current study contributes to the scant literature on the early emergence of children's understanding of gratitude.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Child Development, Child Psychology, Preschool Children, Emotion, Gratitude, Mental State Knowledge

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