Israel-Cohen, Yael, Florina Uzefovsky, Gabriela Kashy-Rosenbaum, and Oren Kaplan. “Gratitude and PTSD Symptoms among Israeli Youth Exposed to Missile Attacks: Examining the Mediation of Positive and Negative Affect and Life Satisfaction.” Journal of Positive Psychology 10.2 (2015): 99-106.
Based on a sample of Israeli adolescents living in a city which was under missile attack 2½ months prior to this study, we examined the possible affective and cognitive mechanisms through which gratitude may serve as a protective factor against PTSD symptoms. Specifically, we focused on how this process might be mediated by positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction. These are widely understood as the emotional and cognitive components of subjective well-being and have each been significantly associated with gratitude and with pathology in the literature. Using pathway analysis, our findings revealed that life satisfaction and negative affect, but not positive affect, mediated the relationship between gratitude and PTSD symptoms. Our study suggests that gratitude may serve as a protective factor primarily through cognitive appraisal processes tied to greater appreciation of life in a way that distinguishes it from other positive emotions.