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Positive reframing: the underlying mechanism between gratitude and depressive symptoms, perceived stress and mental wellbeing

Sanhaji, Miriam (2021) Positive reframing: the underlying mechanism between gratitude and depressive symptoms, perceived stress and mental wellbeing.

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Abstract:Background: Some gratitude interventions seem to have beneficial effects regarding reduced depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and increased mental wellbeing, while other studies find only small effects of gratitude. Therefore, it remains unclear which underlying mechanism is creating such desirable results in some interventions. Consequently, it needs to be investigated which underlying mechanism can support the effect of gratitude interventions. Aim: This study tested if positive reframing (partially) mediates the direct relationships between gratitude (IV) and depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and mental wellbeing (DV). Besides, it was tested whether if one aspect of the proposed mediation model is improved (gratitude), the indirect effect of positive reframing is strengthened, possibly leading to improved mental wellbeing, depressive symptoms, and perceived stress. Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 847 adults. The proposed mediation model was tested in three steps. First, a potential mediation of positive reframing between gratitude, positive reframing, depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and mental wellbeing was measured cross-sectionally. Secondly, the mediation model was tested longitudinally to check whether this model is independent of the time point of assessment. Lastly, the proposed model was tested by using a gratitude application that manipulates participants' gratitude levels to test the association of gratitude with the improvement of the mediator and the dependent variables. Results: Three mediation analyses showed that positive reframing did partially mediate the relationship between gratitude, depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and mental wellbeing cross-sectionally. This partial mediation remained significant between gratitude and depressive symptoms as well as between gratitude and mental wellbeing and evolved into a complete significant mediation between gratitude and perceived stress over time. Lastly, the increase of gratitude could be indeed related to significantly improved positive reframing, mental wellbeing, depressive symptoms, and perceived stress, providing final support for the proposed model. Conclusion: Positive reframing has promising results as a (partial) mediator between gratitude, depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and mental wellbeing. This was shown with different time dimensions. The proposed mediation model was further supported by showing that increased gratitude influenced positive reframing and thus also depressive symptoms, perceived stress as well as mental wellbeing effectively.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/87752
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