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Pers Individ Dif. 2013 Jan;54(1):92-96.

Examining the Pathways between Gratitude and Self-Rated Physical Health across Adulthood.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL.

Abstract

The current study examined whether dispositional gratitude predicts physical health among adults, and if so, whether this relationship occurs because grateful individuals lead healthier lives, either psychologically or physically. Specifically, we examined whether psychological health, healthy activities, and willingness to seek help for health concerns mediated the link between gratitude and self-reported physical health, as well as if these mediational pathways are moderated by age, in a broad sample of Swiss adults (N = 962, M(age) = 52 years, age range: 19 to 84). Dispositional gratitude correlated positively with self-reported physical health, and this link was mediated by psychological health, healthy activities, and willingness to seek help for health concerns. However, the indirect effects for psychological health and healthy activities were stronger for older than younger adults. In other words, the mechanisms explaining why gratitude predicts health appear to differ across adulthood.

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