Gratitude robustly predicts reduced loneliness, comprehensive study shows

Gratitude robustly predicts reduced loneliness, comprehensive study shows

PsyPost reports:

A recent study published in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being has provided new insights into the relationship between gratitude and loneliness. The meta-analysis, which synthesized data from 26 studies, found a moderate inverse association between gratitude and loneliness. In other words, individuals who tend to feel more gratitude also tend to experience less loneliness.

Loneliness is a pervasive and distressing emotional experience that can lead to a host of negative outcomes, including depression, cardiovascular problems, and cognitive decline. Conversely, gratitude is often associated with positive emotional states and has been linked to better physical and psychological health.

Researchers have been intrigued by the potential connection between these two experiences. Despite some individual studies suggesting that gratitude can reduce feelings of loneliness, a comprehensive analysis had not been conducted to consolidate these findings and examine their overall significance. This study aimed to fill that gap by providing a quantitative synthesis of existing research on the topic.

“I am generally interested in the interface between Positive Psychology and Health Psychology. Gratitude is an important positive psychology construct that has implications for both psychological and physical health,” said study author James B. Hittner, a professor of psychology at the College of Charleston.

“Loneliness, on the other hand, is an aversive emotional experience resulting from a perceived lack of social connectedness. Although studies over the years have found inverse associations (negative correlations) between gratitude and loneliness, the literature had yet to be consolidated and summarized using meta-analytic methods. We conducted our meta-analysis to address this gap in the literature.” [Continue reading…]

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