Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Educational Specialist (EdS)



Committee Chair(s)

Gretchen Peacock


Gretchen Peacock


Tyler Renshaw


Michael Levin


From early childhood, parents often teach their children to use their manners by saying "Thank you"; however, are there any benefits from experiencing gratitude during youth? Understanding the relationship between gratitude and other areas, such as happiness and decision-making, can potentially help researchers in planning interventions for youth. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between gratitude and decision-making in youth, as well as the role of maternal gratitude and the mother-child attachment in determining gratitude in youth. Two hundred four participants (102 mothers, 102 adolescents) completed an online survey. Mothers and adolescents completed two gratitude questionnaires and indicated their preference for a hypothetical smaller reward now or a larger reward later. Adolescents completed two additional questionnaires about their behavior and their relationship with their mothers. Results indicated that there was not a relationship between gratitude in youth and their preferences in the decision-making task; however, there a relationship between their gratitude and their mother's. Youth gratitude was also related to prosocial behavior. Finally, the mother-child relationship played a role in explaining youth gratitude. The results of the study give researchers greater insight into the importance of mothers fostering gratitude in their children. By understanding this, researchers and professionals can be in a better position to help foster positive outcomes in children.



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