Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Amy L Gentzler

Committee Co-Chair

Cheryl McNeil

Committee Member

Julie H Patrick

Committee Member

Amy K Root

Committee Member

JoNell Strough


Gratitude is a positive emotion that leads to enhanced relationship resources and emotional well-being for children and adults alike. Given the many benefits of gratitude, researchers have examined several types of gratitude interventions. However, it is unclear how the effectiveness of different gratitude interventions compare for youth or how these interventions operate in the family setting. Therefore, this study examined how parents could cultivate their children's (ages 8-13) gratitude and how two gratitude interventions---counting blessings and relational gratitude---enhanced parents' and children's daily gratitude, relationship satisfaction, and emotional well-being over the course of a week-long intervention and if effects were maintained one week after the intervention. Surprisingly, results indicated that the gratitude interventions had relatively little impact on parents and children, and the impact they did have did not differ from that of the active control condition. However, effective gratitude interventions could have beneficial effects for families due to the many positive outcomes associated with gratitude, so it is imperative that family gratitude interventions continue to be designed and tested. This study provides a starting point for future research to improve on these family gratitude interventions, and a number of possible future directions are highlighted.