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A Novel Heart-Centered, Gratitude-Meditation Intervention to Increase Well-Being among Adolescents

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      Abstract

      Population studies paint a dismal picture of the mental health status of adolescents, in the US and worldwide. Positive psychology, which takes a preventative approach to keeping individuals in higher states of well-being, is being implemented increasingly among youth, with the goal of avoiding future mental health and psychological problems. In this study, a novel intervention, which fused the practice of meditation with gratitude visualizations, was tested among adolescents. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to determine the extent to which the intervention affected life satisfaction, school satisfaction, and measured gratitude, among a culturally diverse cohort of adolescents. Instrumentation consisted of three positive psychology measures—the Student Life Satisfaction Scale, the School Satisfaction Subscale, and the Gratitude Questionnaire-Six-Item Form. Participants were randomly assigned either to the delayed-intervention, no-treatment control group or to the experimental group. The four-week intervention was manualized primarily from the heart-centered gratitude visualizations outlined in a happiness and positive emotions handbook, The Jewels of Happiness: Inspiration and Wisdom to Guide Your Life-Journey. The intervention significantly affected life satisfaction, school satisfaction, and gratitude of the experimental group, when compared to the control group. Medium to large effect sizes were detected using the ANCOVA statistical test.

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      Most cited references 52

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          The grateful disposition: a conceptual and empirical topography.

          In four studies, the authors examined the correlates of the disposition toward gratitude. Study I revealed that self-ratings and observer ratings of the grateful disposition are associated with positive affect and well-being, prosocial behaviors and traits, and religiousness/spirituality. Study 2 replicated these findings in a large nonstudent sample. Study 3 yielded similar results to Studies I and 2 and provided evidence that gratitude is negatively associated with envy and materialistic attitudes. Study 4 yielded evidence that these associations persist after controlling for Extraversion/positive affectivity. Neuroticism/negative affectivity, and Agreeableness. The development of the Gratitude Questionnaire, a unidimensional measure with good psychometric properties, is also described.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Education Research International
            Education Research International
            Hindawi Limited
            2090-4002
            2090-4010
            2017
            2017
            : 2017
            :
            : 1-12
            10.1155/2017/4891892
            © 2017

            http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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