Measuring gratitude in children is difficult, as many researchers believe that gratitude isn’t fully developed until a child is 7 to 10 years old depending on environmental and individual factors (Froh et al., 2011). However, gratitude is linked to positive emotions, healthy functioning, and adaptive social behaviors. In addition, measuring gratitude, life satisfaction, and hope can provide a unique chrono-perspective on wellbeing. Gratitude focuses on past wellbeing, life satisfaction deals with current wellbeing, and hope refers to wellbeing directed at the future. For these reasons, gratitude should be considered as a relevant facet of wellbeing.
Researchers have looked at three adult gratitude measures and considered their efficacy with children: the Gratitude Questionnaire-6 (GQ-6), the Gratitude Adjective Checklist (GAC), and the Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test (GRAT). Their research provided “preliminary support . . . for the use of the GQ-6, GAC, and GRAT-short form with 14- to 19-year-olds, with one small exception: The GAC demonstrated lower correlations with NA in this study” (Froh et al., 2011, p. 320). They recommended that researchers exclude Item 6 when using the GQ-6 with youth. The GRAT short-form should not be used with 10-13-year-olds. The GQ-6 has 6 items, the GAC has 3 items, and the GRAT has 44 or 16 items depending on form. All scales are rated on a Likert scale and require the proper permission and citation for use.
Pros for Schools
Cons for Schools
Can be combined with life Satisfaction and hope measures to provide a 3-pronged chronological view of wellbeing: gratitude as a past-oriented perspective, life satisfaction as a present-oriented perspective, and hope as a future- oriented perspective of wellbeing.
Researchers recommend using multiple measures to gain information on one facet of wellbeing
Suggestions for Further Research
Froh J. J., Fan J., Emmons R. A., Bono G., Huebner E.S., Watkins P. (2011). Measuring gratitude in youth: Assessing the psychometric properties of adult gratitude scales in children and adolescents. Psychological Assessment, 23(2), pp. 311–324. https://edtechbooks.org/-NYQ
MIDSS (date). The Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ-6). Measurement Instrument Database for the Social Sciences https://edtechbooks.org/-YHa.
MIDSS. Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test (GRAT) (Revised GRAT and Short Form GRAT). Measurement Instrument Database for the Social Sciences, https://edtechbooks.org/-kTsX.
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