Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Gratitude and Forgiveness in Early-and Mid-adulthood Predict Late Life Psychosocial Well-being: The Cache County Journal Pilot Study

Class

Article

Department

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Faculty Mentor

Maria Norton

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Gratitude and Forgiveness in Early Adulthood Predict Late-life Psychosocial Well-being Sarah Wardle, Jessica Weyerman, Cassidy Rose, Maria Norton In the coming decades, the proportion of the world's population in developed nations that will be over 65 years is projected to grow to 20-22%, underscoring the importance of late-life well-being to individuals, their families and society at large. Psychosocial well-being includes such domains as cognitive, social, emotional and religious. Personal journal writings offer a potential source of honest, accurate, and genuine measures of these constructs throughout the lifespan. Journal writing can reveal coping mechanisms such as gratitude and forgiveness in facing life's adversities. These two coping mechanism have been shown to predict higher concurrent levels of well-being. However, the extent to which gratitude and forgiveness may be predictive of well-being decades down the road has never been studied. Fifty-one older adults provided personal journal writing samples, which were analyzed in the Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC) program for measures of gratitude and forgiveness. Cognitive status was measured with the Modified Mini-mental Examination (3MS; range 0-100). Social engagement with family, friends, and social clubs ranged from 3-18. 98% of subjects were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), and religious involvement was dichotomized into "more than weekly" vs. "weekly or less often" church activity (HighRelig). Depression was dichotomized into "one or more episodes meeting DSM-IV major depression" vs. "no depression, or only symptoms not meeting DSM-IV major depression." In the overall sample and the subsample of males, correlations between journal measures and these four outcomes were not statistically significant. In females, higher gratitude significantly predicted higher social engagement (r=0.472, p=0.020), with a trend observed for HighRelig. Also in females, higher forgiveness significantly predicted higher likelihood of HighRelig (r=0.379, p=0.035). Journal measures did not predict depression or cognitive status. In conclusion, gratitude and forgiveness in early adult life may be useful predictors of late-life psychosocial well-being.

Start Date

4-9-2015 10:30 AM

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Apr 9th, 10:30 AM

Gratitude and Forgiveness in Early-and Mid-adulthood Predict Late Life Psychosocial Well-being: The Cache County Journal Pilot Study

Gratitude and Forgiveness in Early Adulthood Predict Late-life Psychosocial Well-being Sarah Wardle, Jessica Weyerman, Cassidy Rose, Maria Norton In the coming decades, the proportion of the world's population in developed nations that will be over 65 years is projected to grow to 20-22%, underscoring the importance of late-life well-being to individuals, their families and society at large. Psychosocial well-being includes such domains as cognitive, social, emotional and religious. Personal journal writings offer a potential source of honest, accurate, and genuine measures of these constructs throughout the lifespan. Journal writing can reveal coping mechanisms such as gratitude and forgiveness in facing life's adversities. These two coping mechanism have been shown to predict higher concurrent levels of well-being. However, the extent to which gratitude and forgiveness may be predictive of well-being decades down the road has never been studied. Fifty-one older adults provided personal journal writing samples, which were analyzed in the Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC) program for measures of gratitude and forgiveness. Cognitive status was measured with the Modified Mini-mental Examination (3MS; range 0-100). Social engagement with family, friends, and social clubs ranged from 3-18. 98% of subjects were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), and religious involvement was dichotomized into "more than weekly" vs. "weekly or less often" church activity (HighRelig). Depression was dichotomized into "one or more episodes meeting DSM-IV major depression" vs. "no depression, or only symptoms not meeting DSM-IV major depression." In the overall sample and the subsample of males, correlations between journal measures and these four outcomes were not statistically significant. In females, higher gratitude significantly predicted higher social engagement (r=0.472, p=0.020), with a trend observed for HighRelig. Also in females, higher forgiveness significantly predicted higher likelihood of HighRelig (r=0.379, p=0.035). Journal measures did not predict depression or cognitive status. In conclusion, gratitude and forgiveness in early adult life may be useful predictors of late-life psychosocial well-being.