Evidence That It Works
A four-year longitudinal study of mainly middle class white students found that high school students with higher levels of gratitude were better at getting along with their peers. Indeed, they were less likely to hit, tease, gang up on, threaten, or gossip about other students, and were better behaved in school, in general.
Why Does It Matter?
Strong peer relationships are crucial to students’ academic success and well-being, and, in turn, build positive school climates. Expressing gratitude can be a powerful method for cultivating these relationships, mainly because, as a social and moral emotion, gratitude shows others that they matter and also encourages people to reciprocate kindness.