The Relationship Between Gratitude and Well-Being in Graduate Level Counselors-in-Training
Type of Degreedissertation
DepartmentRehabilitation and Special Education
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This study was conducted to determine if the relationship between gratitude and well-being found in the general population exists for counselors-in-training and to determine the nature of this relationship. This study utilized three measures of gratitude which Wood et al. (2008) has previously asserted captures eight domains of gratitude giving a more comprehensive assessment of this construct. These domains were analyzed as to their relationship with two well-being measures, namely the Mental Health Continuum Short Form (MHC-SF) by Keyes (2009) and the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) by Diener, Emmons, Larsen, and Griffin (1985) to capture a broad picture of counseling student well-being. This study involved 122 masters and doctoral students from 25 states, primarily from the South Eastern United States, who responded to an online survey. This study found that counseling students’ well-being and gratitude scores showed average to high well-being and gratitude. A significant relationship was found between counseling student gratitude and well-being. Four dimensions of gratitude were found to be significant predictors of well-being as measured by both the MHC-SF and the SWLS. Females scored higher on all three gratitude measures but this was only significantly higher for the GRAT-SF measure. Caucasians and African Americans were not significantly different in gratitude on the three gratitude measures. Implications for counselor education are discussed, and recommendations for future research are included.