Being grateful : does it bring us closer? Gratitude, attachment and intimacy in romantic relationships

Murray, Atholl James (2010) Being grateful : does it bring us closer? Gratitude, attachment and intimacy in romantic relationships. Other thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This study proposed that levels of dispositional gratitude influence experiences of intimacy within romantic relationships and that this influence is moderated by relationship attachment. Gratitude, in this study, was described as feelings of appreciation associated with the perception that one had been the focus of another’s intentionally beneficial actions. 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 toward the one responsible for the beneficial act. Participants (n=156) ranged in age from 18 – 70 and, although required to be currently in a relationship of at least six months’ duration, each was studied as an individual. Participants included both males and females, in same-sex or other-sex relationships, and completed a series of questionnaires assessing dispositional gratitude, attachment and emotional intimacy. Moderation analysis was conducted using hierarchical regression and revealed that although a positive, weak correlation exists between gratitude and intimacy, attachment did not moderate that association. However, the measures used did not elicit sufficiently divergent responses. Thus neither complete exploration of the proposed association between gratitude and intimacy, nor of the moderation of that association by attachment were possible. In conclusion, further investigation of experiences of gratitude, particularly in relation to enhancing feelings of closeness, 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. In addition, such findings may provide support for therapeutic approaches focused on enhancing closeness between couples by increasing experiences of gratitude.

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ID Code: 42219
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Other)
Supervisor: Hazelwood, Zoe
Keywords: Gratitude, Intimacy, Romantic Relationships, Attachment
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 30 Jun 2011 02:09
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2011 01:08

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