Previous research on gratitude has mostly focused on its effects on well-being. However, scant attention has been paid to how gratitude is associated with key learning-related outcomes. The aim of this series of studies was to examine how gratitude is associated with students' motivation, engagement, and achievement. Study 1, a cross-sectional study, found that gratitude was positively associated with higher levels of autonomous motivation and engagement (rs ranging from 0.17 to 0.20, p < .05). Study 2, a longitudinal study, found that gratitude was concurrently and prospectively associated with autonomous motivation (rs ranging from 0.20 to 0.78, p < .05), self-reported and teacher-reported engagement (rs ranging from 0.11 to 0.68, p < .05), and achievement (rs ranging from 0.38 to 0.41, p < .05). Study 3, an experimental study, showed that students who were in the gratitude condition perceived themselves to be more engaged (Cohen's d ranging from 0.58 to 0.63) compared to those in the control condition. The three studies provided converging evidence that grateful students have better learning-related outcomes. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Copyright © 2018 Society for the Study of School Psychology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CitationKing, R. B., & Datu, J. A. D. (2018). Grateful students are motivated, engaged, and successful in school: Cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental evidence. Journal of School Psychology, 70, 105-122. doi: 10.1016/j.jsp.2018.08.001
- Academic motivation
- Academic engagement
- Positive psychology
- Positive education