(PRWEB) August 09, 2012
Showing gratitude may be one of the keys to unlocking satisfaction in life, says faith-based website, followme.org.
That statement came today as researchers released findings linking teenagers’ sense of gratitude to healthy outlooks on life.
Increases in gratitude are “significantly related to improvements in life satisfaction, happiness, positive attitudes, and hope,” Dr. Giacomo Bono, a professor of psychology at California State University-Fullerton, told US News and World Report. Last week, Bono and his team of researchers presented the findings at the annual American Psychological Association convention in Orlando, FL.
Four years ago, Bono and his team selected 700 students from the New York area, ages 10-14, to take part in their study. Each student completed a questionnaire about the student’s socioeconomic background, parents’ education, levels of happiness, and levels of gratefulness, according to Bono’s official press release on his findings.
Four years after filling out their initial questionnaires, students filled out the questionnaire a second time. Bono and his team then tabulated the students’ results. Researchers focused on the results of “grateful” teenagers—that is, those students with a disposition and moods that enabled them to respond positively to good people and things in their lives, Bono told US News and World report.
What did Bono’s team find? When they compared the results of the most grateful 20 percent with the least grateful 20 percent, the researchers found some startling statistics. The “most grateful” group of students had: a 15 percent greater sense of meaning in their lives; a 15 percent greater sense of satisfaction with their lives; a 17 percent more happy and more hopeful outlook; and, a 13percent more positive emotional state, Bono said in his press release.
“These findings suggest that gratitude may be strongly linked with life-skills such as cooperation, purpose, creativity, and persistence,” Bono said in the release. “And, as such, gratitude is a vital resource that parents, teachers, and others who work with young people should help youth to build up as they grow up.”
So what do these findings mean for non-profits serving America’s youth? Pastor Jamie of faith-based website, followme.org, says Bono’s study affirms the need for non-profits to invest in youth character development. “Grateful teenagers grow into grateful adults, and these positive health indicators linked to gratefulness are just as important for adults as for youth,” he said.
“Being grateful forces us to see outside of our own situations—to put our problems in perspective—and to begin to see the needs of others as more important than our own,” Pastor Jamie said.
Bono would seem to agree with that claim. He concludes his press release by saying, “More gratitude may be precisely what our society needs to raise a generation that is ready to make a difference in the world.”
Bono’s findings have yet to be published but are currently submitted for scientific review.