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J Adolesc. 2013 Oct;36(5):983-91. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2013.07.012. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Gratitude is associated with greater levels of protective factors and lower levels of risks in African American adolescents.

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  • 1Nova Southeastern University, Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314, USA. mmindy@nova.edu

Abstract

The literature suggests gratitude is associated with positive youth development. The current study examined the relationship between gratitude and protective/risk factors among African American youth. Adolescents (N = 389; 50.4% males) ages 12-14 completed measures of gratitude (moral affect and life-orientation), protective factors (e.g., academic and activity engagement, family relationship), and high-risk behaviors (e.g., sexual attitudes and behaviors, drug/alcohol use). Results indicated greater moral affect gratitude was the only variable significantly associated with greater academic interest, better academic performance, and more extra-curricular activity engagement. Greater moral affect and life-orientation gratitude both significantly correlated with positive family relationship. Greater life-orientation gratitude was the only variable significantly associated with abstinence from sexual intimacy, sexual intercourse, likelihood of engaging in sex during primary school, and abstinence from drug/alcohol use. The findings suggest that moral affect gratitude may enhance protective factors while life-orientation gratitude may buffer against high-risk behaviors among African American youth.

Copyright © 2013 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescents; Gratitude; Protective factors; Sexual behaviors

PMID:
24011114
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3817729
Free PMC Article
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