The Wishes and Expression of Gratitude of Youth

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jonathan R. Tudge, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Little research has examined the development of gratitude in youth, and none has related their gratitude to their wishes. We therefore asked 358 7- to 14-year-old North American participants (56% female; 55% White) to write their greatest wish and what they would do for their benefactor. Using chi-square and linear curve estimation, we found that younger youth (aged 7 to 10) were significantly more likely to express hedonistic wishes (desire for immediate gain) and concrete gratitude (not taking the benefactor's wishes into account); older youth (aged 11 to 14) were significantly more likely to wish either for something involving future well-being for themselves or the well-being of others and connective gratitude (taking into account the benefactor's wishes). Within both age groups, there was a significant inverse relation between hedonistic wishes and connective gratitude. This research has implications for encouraging the feeling and expression of connective gratitude.

Additional Information

Paidéia, 25(62), 281-288
Language: English
Date: 2015
gratitude, child development, adolescent development

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