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Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Gratitude-Psychological aspects, Older people-Psychology, Well-being-Age factors, Gerontology, Aging-Psychological aspects, Positive psychology, Gratitude, Aging, Subjective well-being


The purpose of this qualitative study was to gain a deeper understanding of where and how gratitude is derived and the role that it plays in helping people to maintain emotional well-being through the final developmental stage. My research was designed to build upon existing theories of positive psychology, particularly the idea that increased gratitude is correlated to higher levels of subjective well-being. I aimed to dig into this concept further through obtaining the viewpoints of older individuals, as I felt that they held an important perspective worth paying attention to. They not only posses a unique wisdom that has been cultivated through a rich history of experiences, but they are simultaneously coping with a moment of existential transition characterized by loss of self and other. I completed this investigation by posing 8 open-ended questions to 15 female subjects between the ages of 73 and 97 years old.




iii, 72 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 58-59)