Being Grateful Benefits Teens
Research recently presented at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting suggests that helping teens learn to count their blessings can play a significant role in positive mental health, says study author Giacomo Bono, a professor of psychology at California State University in Dominguez Hills.
According to the study, as gratitude increases in young people, so do happiness, hope, positive attitudes, life satisfaction and academic performance. The study involved 700 students ages 10-14 living in New York.
Students completed questionnaires in school at the beginning of the study and four years later. Those who were among the most grateful gained 15 percent more of a sense of meaning in their lives, became 15 percent more satisfied with their lives overall, and became 17 percent happier and more hopeful about their lives. That group also had a 13 percent drop in negative emotions and a 15 percent decrease in symptoms of depression.
The study found that teens who say they are grateful for things in their lives may more fully develop critical life skills, such as cooperation, a sense of purpose, creativity and persistence. Learn more at apa.org/news by searching "gratitude."