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oaioai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:104189

Gratitude Uniquely Predicts Lower Depression in Chronic Illness Populations: A Longitudinal Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Arthritis

Abstract

Objective: Although gratitude has been identified as a key clinically relevant trait for improving well-being, it is understudied within medical populations. The current study addressed this gap and extended previous and limited cross-sectional research by examining the longitudinal associations of gratitude to depression in two chronic illness samples, arthritis and IBD. Methods: Two chronic illness samples, arthritis (N = 423) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD; N = 427), completed online surveys at Time 1 (T1). 163 people with arthritis and 144 people with IBD completed the six-month follow-up survey (T2). Depression, gratitude, illness cognitions, perceived stress, social support, and disease-related variables were assessed at T1 and T2. Results: At T2, 57.2 percent of the arthritis sample and 53.4 percent of the IBD sample met the cut off scores for significant depression. T1 gratitude was negatively associated with depressive symptoms at T1 and T2 in both samples (r’s from -.43 to -.50). Regression analyses revealed that T1 gratitude remained a significant and unique predictor of lower T2 depression after controlling for T1 depression, relevant demographic variables, illness cognitions, changes in illness-relevant variables, and another positive psychological construct, thriving, in both samples. Conclusion: As the first investigation of the longitudinal associations of gratitude to psychological well-being in the context of chronic illness, the current study provides important evidence for the relevance of gratitude for health-related clinical populations. Further intervention-based research is warranted to more fully understand the potential benefits of gratitude for adjustment to chronic illness

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    oaioai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:104189Last time updated on 10/13/2016View original full text linkProvided by our Sustaining member

    This paper was published in White Rose Research Online.

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