Templeton.org is in English. Only a few pages are translated into other languages.

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Gratitude, as a virtue, is one particularly relevant to the experiences of older adults. However, research identifying the components and benefits of gratitude is largely based on non-representative, convenience samples (e.g. undergraduates). Given the rapidly aging society, it is critical that new measures are developed to assess facets of gratitude in older adults so researchers can examine its role in successful aging. In particular, a new instrument should target multiple facets of gratitude linked to specific challenges associated with aging, such as physical declines and the deaths of loved ones. The current proposal employs a mixed-method approach to develop and pilot an instrument to measure gratitude that can be included in future surveys of population aging. Specifically, we will develop a coding frame to analyze existing data from two sources: 1) a nationally representative sample of the 51+ population; and 2) a narrative study of adults’ personality and wellbeing. We will run focus groups and apply information from the secondary data analysis to develop and pilot an instrument to measure the key components of gratitude most relevant to older adults. Outputs from this project include a new instrument for studying gratitude in adulthood, and will produce qualitative and quantitative data on gratitude and successful aging for scientific publications. Expected outcomes from this work include improved knowledge on the importance of gratitude across adulthood, providing a catalyst for future work and theoretical development on the role of gratitude in aging processes, and greater scientific and public awareness of the importance of gratitude for society.