University of Twente Student Theses


How Are You Feeling Right Now? : Measuring Gratitude and Stressful Events in Students’ Daily Life

Pieroth, L. J. A. (2021) How Are You Feeling Right Now? : Measuring Gratitude and Stressful Events in Students’ Daily Life.

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Abstract:Background: Gratitude is shown to counteract various negative health outcomes assigned to stress. Previous cross-sectional studies have investigated this relationship and found a negative association between average gratitude and average stress. Many of those studies merely focused on between-person (trait-like) associations and did not measure within-person (state-like) associations. However, this distinction is crucial, as observations made at a between-person level cannot simply be inferred to a within-person level. There is a research gap regarding the association between stress and gratitude at a trait level as well as state level in undergraduates. Objective: The current study aimed to explore the association between stress and gratitude at the trait and state levels. It was further investigated whether participants scoring high and low on trait gratitude show different patterns in their within-person association between state stress and state gratitude. Method: For the study, the experience sampling method, a structured and repeated online assessment was used. To measure trait levels of gratitude, the Gratitude Questionnaire Six-Item Form (GQ-6) was utilized. To measure the state levels of stress and gratitude, a survey was created, containing five modified items in total. Those were sent for eight days, three times a day. Results: Trait and state levels of gratitude were significantly and positively related to each other. Additionally, measures of state gratitude and state stress showed a weak, negative association. With further analysing this relationship it became apparent that there is no significant association between state stress and momentary as well as average levels of gratitude. A cluster analysis suggested two clusters, those scoring high and those scoring low on trait gratitude. Within the second cluster, a significant, negative within-person association could be found between state stress and state gratitude. Conclusion: Most of the stated hypotheses could be confirmed, except for the distinction between average and momentary gratitude on stress. It can be concluded that especially university students scoring low on trait gratitude would benefit from strengthen both, state and trait gratitude to counteract the impact of stress which can be related to university workload. Further research is needed, to properly investigate the concepts in a more diverse sample.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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