ISR Awards

Gratitude in an Aging Society

Research identifying the components and benefits of gratitude is largely based on non-representative convenience samples (e.g. undergraduates). Given the rapidly aging society, it is critical that new measures are developed to assess facets of gratitude in older adults so researchers can examine its role in successful aging. The current proposal will develop and pilot an instrument to measure gratitude that can be included in future surveys of population aging. Specifically, we will develop a coding frame to analyze existing data from a nationally representative sample of the 51+ population. We will run focus groups and apply information from the secondary data analysis to develop and pilot an instrument to measure the key components of gratitude most relevant to older adults. Outputs from this project include a new instrument for studying gratitude in adulthood, and will produce qualitative and quantitative data on gratitude and successful aging for scientific publications. Expected outcomes from this work include improved knowledge on the importance of gratitude across adulthood, providing a catalyst for future work and theoretical development on the role of gratitude in aging processes, and greater scientific and public awareness of the importance of gratitude for society.