Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Advisor/Committee Member
Munyi Shea, PhD
Second Advisor/Committee Member
Robin Henrikson, PhD
Third Advisor/Committee Member
Jordan Shannon, PhD
Positive psychology intervention, gratitude intervention, college students, curriculum-embedded
The present study examined the effectiveness of a curriculum-embedded, asynchronously delivered gratitude intervention with a first-year college student sample. Hypotheses included that the gratitude intervention would lead to decreased levels of depression, anxiety, and stress and increased feelings of gratitude and psychological wellbeing/flourishing. Furthermore, race, gender, and college generational standing were examined for their moderating effects of the gratitude intervention on the same outcome variables. Participants self-selected into two sections of an Introduction to Psychology course, with 72 participants engaged in the gratitude intervention and 97 in the control condition. Gratitude activities lasted five weeks, including a video presentation on gratitude, Count Your Blessings, Gratitude Letter, and Three Good Things. Participants in both conditions completed pre- and posttest measures for depression, anxiety, stress, gratitude, and wellbeing. Repeated measures ANOVA and independent-sample t-test were conducted to compare how the two conditions changed between pre and posttest. Participants in the gratitude intervention reported a statistically significant decrease in depression but not anxiety or stress compared to the control group participants. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in pre- and posttest change in the feelings of wellbeing or gratitude. Except for the interaction between gender and stress, race, gender, or college-generation status had no significant moderating effect on any outcome variables. Study strengths, limitations, and implications for future research and practice are discussed.
Bistricean, Cristina, "An Exploratory Study Examining the Effects of an Online-Based, Curriculum-Embedded Gratitude Intervention for College Students" (2023). Education Dissertations. 73.
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