Andrea Hussong, Ph.D., (PI), Center for Developmental Science,
UNC-CH, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience

Jennifer Coffman, Ph.D., (PI), Center for Developmental Science,
UNC-G, Department of Human Development & Family Studies

Hillary Langley, Ph.D., (PI), Sam Houston State University

Taylor Thomas, (Graduate RA), Center for Developmental Science,
UNC-CH, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience

Other Collaborators:  Amy Halberstadt, Ph.D. (NCSU), Phil Costanzo, Ph.D. (Duke), Drew Rothenberg (UNC-CH), Irina Mokrova, Ph.D. (UNC-CH)

With funding from the John Templeton Foundation, this research project is focused on whyraising_grateful_children_logo_black gratitude matters in children and what parents can do to best cultivate gratitude in their children and pre-adolescents. Building on a previous Templeton-funded study, researchers will follow a sample of children into pre-adolescence in order to examine whether a set of parenting practices foster future experiences of gratitude in children as well as greater health, well-being and character development.

Using observational and survey data from parent-child dyads, this project allows for a description of the development of gratitude over ages 6-13, as well as an empirical base from which researchers can identify how to foster children’s gratitude, and discover the implications of gratitude for children on the brink of adolescence.In addition, an online training module for parents will be created and used in a randomized control trial in order to test whether parents who view the module show increases in socialization practices, as well as more positive attitudes, greater knowledge, and stronger behavioral interventions to use specific strategies in comparison to their peers, as well as have children who evidence more gratitude.

Through this study, the research team will identify optimal ways for parents and children to discuss gratitude, highlight effective parenting strategies that foster gratitude in children and pre-teens, and take the first step toward translating these findings into effective programming for families.

Additional information available at this link.