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Being Grateful : Does it Bring Us Closer? Gratitude, Attachment and Intimacy in Romantic Relationships

Murray, Atholl James & Hazelwood, Zoe (2011) Being Grateful : Does it Bring Us Closer? Gratitude, Attachment and Intimacy in Romantic Relationships. Journal of Relationships Research, 2(1), pp. 17-25.

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Abstract

To date, little is known about the function of gratitude in romantic relationships. Being grateful has been demonstrated to provide a number of positive benefits for individuals; however, few studies have explored how grateful experiences may be beneficial in enhancing romantic relationships. This study explored the extent to which adult attachment moderates the relationship between dispositional gratitude and the experience of intimacy within romantic relationships. A greater disposition toward gratitude was expected to result in more frequent experiences of gratitude. It was also anticipated that experiences of gratitude would be associated with feelings of closeness. Participants (n = 156) were required to be currently in a relationship of at least six months duration and completed a series of questionnaires assessing dispositional gratitude, attachment and emotional intimacy. Moderation analysis revealed that although a positive, weak correlation existed between dispositional gratitude and intimacy, attachment did not moderate this association. It was concluded that further investigation of the experience of gratitude is necessary to understand the function of gratitude in romantic relationships. Methods focusing on specific experiences of gratitude in romantic relationships, and the associated feelings of closeness experienced by each partner, may yield more conclusive findings and may provide support for therapeutic approaches focused on enhancing closeness between couples by increasing experiences of gratitude.

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ID Code: 42218
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: romantic relationships, intimacy, gratitude, attachment
DOI: 10.1375/jrr.2.1.17
ISSN: 1838-0956
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Australian Academic Press.
Deposited On: 30 Jun 2011 12:13
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2011 08:51

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