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Forgiveness and gratitude as predictors of elderly subjective well-being

Scheidle L ...see all

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (2010) p. 109

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Abstract

This study examined the constructs of forgiveness and gratitude, and their ability to predict subjective well-being in a sample of Christian, older adults. The researcher also explored the relationship between morale and forgiveness and gratitude. It was expected that both forgiveness and gratitude would predict subjective well-being, however, it was hypothesized that forgiveness would exhibit more predictive power than gratitude. It was also expected that results of this study would demonstrate a strong correlation between forgiveness and gratitude and morale. Seventy participants were recruited from Christian churches in Buffalo, New York and Southern New Jersey. Their ages ranged from 60-89 ( M = 71.71, SD = 6.8). The measures used in this study include: consent form, sociodemographic form, Gratitude Questionnaire - 6, Gratitude, Resentment, and Appreciation Test, Heartland Forgiveness Scale, Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale, RAND 36-Item Short Form Health Survey, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, and Religious Commitment Inventory-I0. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to test the hypotheses that forgiveness and gratitude could predict aspects of subjective well-being. Pearson product moment correlation coefficients were calculated to ascertain the degree to which there were significant associations between the predictor and dependent variables. Results revealed that Christian older adults' forgiving disposition, grateful disposition, and trait gratitude jointly predicted most aspects of subjective well-being. Grateful disposition was found to be the most significant predictor of positive affect and is considered a unique predictor, explaining 11% of the variance of the Christian older adults' experiences of positive emotions. Trait gratitude was found to be a significant predictor of morale, accounting for 12% of the variance of participants' levels of morale. Forgiving disposition was found to be a significantly unique predictor of emotional well-being and negative affect, accounting for 9% of the unique variance in emotional well-being and 14% of the unique variance in negative affect experienced by Christian older adults. A significantly large and positive relationship was found between trait gratitude and morale, and significantly moderate and positive relationships were found between grateful disposition and morale and forgiving disposition and morale. Future applications and implications of this study are discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • 0351:Gerontology
  • 0622:Clinical psychology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Elderly
  • Forgiveness
  • Geriatric
  • Gerontology
  • Gratitude
  • Morale
  • Psychology
  • Social sciences
  • Subjective well-being

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Authors

  • Laurie E Scheidle

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