Gratitude and Adolescents’ Subjective Well-Being in School: The Multiple Mediating Roles of Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction at School and Prosocial Behavior

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

3 M.A. student of Educational Psychology, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.


The purpose of this study was to test and compare the causal relationship of appreciation with perceived well-being in school by mediating the psychological needs and social behavior of students. The statistical population of this study was all girls and boys from the first to third year high schools of Ahwaz in the academic year 1396-1397. From this community, 350 people were selected by multistage random sampling method. Finally, 350 questionnaires were completed in full. The present study was a correlational structural equation model. The researchers were asked to research tools including the GQ-6 questionnaire (McQueen et al., 2002), perceived well-being at school (BASWBSS), Tian et al. (2015), the questionnaire Carrier's Basic Psychological Needs (2012) and Social Behavior Questionnaire (SBI) Zhang et al. (2004). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and SPSS software version 22 and AMOS-20. The results of the study showed that there was a significant direct correlation with competence, affilability, social behavior and perceived well-being (p = 0.001). Also, the results of bootstrap analysis to investigate indirect hypotheses showed that mediator variables, basic psychological needs, and The social behavior was mediated between appreciation and perceived well-being.


1-   Orkibi‚ H. & Ronen‚ T. (2017). Basic psychological needs satisfaction mediates the association between self-control skills and subjective well-being. Frontiers in Psychology: Vol 12: PP.1-10‚ doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00936.
 2-   Steinberg, L.D. (2013). Adolescence, 10th Edn. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
 3-   Silvers, J.A. McRae, K. Gabrieli, J.D.E. Gross, J.J. Remy, K.A. & Ochsner, K.N. (2012). Age-related differences in emotional reactivity, regulation, and rejection sensitivity in adolescence. Emotion: Vol12: PP.1235–1247. doi: 10.1037/a0028297.
4-   Tian, L. (2008). Developing scale for school well-being in adolescents. Psychol. Dev. Educ, 24, PP.100-106.
5-   Liu, J.D. & Chung, P.K. (2014). Development and initial validation of the psychological needs satisfaction scale in physical education. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 18, PP.101–122. doi: 10.1080/1091367X.2013.872106.
6-   Tian, L. Tian, Q. & Huebner, E.S. (2016). School-related social support and adolescents’ school-related subjective well-being: the mediating role of basic psychological needs satisfaction at school. Soc. Indic. Res, 128, PP.105-129. doi: 10.1007/s11205-015-1021-7.
7-   Tian, L. Han, M. & Huebner, E.S. (2014). Preliminary development of the adolescent students’ basic psychological needs at school scale. J. Adolesc, 37, PP.257-267. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2014.01.005.
8-   Zappulla, C. Pace, U. Lo Cascio, V. Guzzo, G. & Huebner, E.S. (2014). Factor structure and convergent validity of the long and abbreviated versions of the multidimensional students’ life satisfaction scale in an Italian sample. Soc. Indic. Res, 118, PP.57–69. doi: 10.1007/s11205-013-0418-4.
9-   Fredrickson, B.L. (2013). “Positive emotions broaden and build,” in advances in experimental social psychology, 47, eds D. Patricia and P. Ashby (Amsterdam: Academic Press), PP.1–53.
10- Orkibi, H. & Tuaf, H. (2016). School engagement mediates well-being differences in students attending specialized versus regular classes. J. Educ. Res, 10, PP.125-135. doi: 10.1080/00220671.2016.1175408.
11- Liu W. Tian L. Huebner E.S. Zheng, X.L.iZ. (2015). Preliminary development of the elementary school students’ subjective well-being in school scale. Soc. Indic. Res, 120, PP. 917–937. 10.1007/s11205-014-0614-x
12- Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. Am. Psychol, 55, PP.68-78. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68
13- Deci, E.L. & Rayan, R.M. (2008). Facilitating optimal motivation and psychology, well -being across lifts domains. Canadian Psychology, 49, PP. 14-23.
14- Walker‚ G.J. & Kono‚ S. (2017). The effects of basic psychological need satisfaction during leisure and paid work on global life satisfaction.  The Journal of Positive Psychology, 13(1), PP.36-47‚
15- Véronneau, M.H. Koestner, R.F. & Abela, J.R. (2005). Intrinsic need satisfaction and well-being in children and adolescents: an application of the self-determination theory. J. Soc. Clin. Psychol, 24, PP.280-292. doi:10.1521/jscp.
16- Leversen, I. Danielsen, A.G. Wold, B. & Samdal, O. (2012). What they want and what they get: self-reported motives, perceived competence, and relatedness in adolescent leisure activities. Child Dev. Res, 5, PP.11-19. doi:10.1155/2012/684157.
17- Yang‚ J. Wei‚ D. Wang‚ K. Yi‚ Z. & Qiu‚ J. (2018). Regional gray matter volume mediates the relationship between maternal emotional warmth and gratitude. Neuropsychologia, 109, PP.165-172.
18- Witvliet‚ C.V.O.‚ Richie‚ F.J. Root Luna‚ L.M. & Van Tongeren‚ D.R. (2018). Gratitude predicts hope and happiness: A two-study assessment of traits and States. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12, PP.1-12.
19- Wood, A.M., Joseph, S. & Maltby, J. (2009). Gratitude predicts psychological well-being above the Big Five facets. Pers. Individ. Differ, 46, PP.443-447. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2008.11.012.
20- Chen, L.H., & Kee, Y.H. (2008). Gratitude and adolescent athletes’ well-being. Social Indicators Research, 89(2), PP.361–373.
21- Hoy, B.D. Suldo, S.M.  & Mendez, L.R. (2013). Links between parents’ and children’s levels of gratitude, life satisfaction, and hope. J. Happiness Stud, 14, PP.1343-1361. doi: 10.1007/s10902-012-9386-7.
22- Tian‚ L. Pi‚ L. Huebner‚ E.S. & Du‚ M. (2016) Gratitude and adolescents’ subjective well-being in school: The multiple mediating roles of basic psychological needs satisfaction at school. Front. Psychol, 7, PP.14-19. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01409.
23- Froh, J.J. Emmons, R.A. Card, N.A. Bono, G. & Wilson, J.A. (2011). Gratitude and the reduced costs of materialism in adolescents. Journal of Happiness Studies, 12(2), PP.289–302.
24- Kashdan, T. B. Mishra, A. Breen, W.E. & Froh, J.J. (2009). Gender differences in gratitude: examining appraisals, narratives, the willingness to express emotions, and changes in psychological needs. J. Pers, 77, PP.691-730. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2009.00562.x.
25- Christanto‚ S.A. Brenda‚ D. Assisiansi C. Pangestu‚ M.J. Sarita‚ I. & Sulistiani‚ V. (2017). Gratitude letter: An effort to increase subjective well-being in college. ANIMA Indonesian Psychological Journal, 32(3), PP.158-168.
26- Komissarouk‚ S. (2017). Culture, motivation and prosocial behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40(6), PP.726-738.
27- Helliwell, J.F. Aknin, L.B. Shiplett, H. Huang, H. & Wang‚ S. (2017). Social capital and prosocial behaviour as sources of well-being. The National Bureau of Economic Research: Vol 1(5): PP.152-162. (DOI): 10.3386/w23761
28- Khanna‚ V. Sharma, E. Chauhan, S. & Pragyendu‚ A. (2017). Effects of prosocial behavior on happiness and well-Being. The International Journal of Indian Psychology, 4(2), PP.76-86.
29- Klein‚ N. (2016). Prosocial behavior increases perceptions of meaning in life. The Journal of Positive Psychology,1 , PP.1-8‚
30- Caceda‚ R. ….. Stowe‚ Z. (2014). Gender-specific effects of depression and suicidal ideation in prosocial behaviors. Plos, 9(9), PP.2-8.DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0108733.
31- Weinstein, N. & Ryan, R.M. (2010). When helping helps: autonomous motivation for prosocial behavior and its influence on well-being for the helper and recipient. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(2), PP.222–224.
32- Caputi, M. Lecce, S. Pagnin, A. & Banerjee, R. (2012). Longitudinal effects of theory of mind on later peer relations: The role of prosocial behavior. Developmental Psychology, 48(1), PP.250-257.
33- Tsang, J.A. (2006). Brief report gratitude and prosocial behaviour: An experimental test of gratitude. Cognition and Emotion, 20(1), PP.138–148.
34- Bartlett, M.Y. & DeSteno, D. (2006). Gratitude and prosocial behavior helping when it costs you. Psychological Science, 17(4), PP.319–325.
35- Graham, S. & Weiner, B. (1986). From an attributional theory of emotion to developmental psychology: A round-trip ticket? Social Cognition, 4(2), PP.152–179.
36- Wangwan‚ J. (2014). A Model of relationship between gratitude and prosocial motivation of Thai high school and undergraduate students. International Journal of Behavioral Science, 9(1), PP.15-30.
37- Yost-Dubrow‚ R. & Dunham‚ Y. (2017). Evidence for a relationship between trait gratitude and prosocial behavior. Cognition and Emotion, 5, PP.1-7‚
38- Suldo, S.M. Bateman, L.P. & Gelley, C.D. (2014). “Understanding and promoting school satisfaction in children and adolescents,” in Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools, 2nd Edn, eds M. J. Furlong, R. Gilman, and E. S. Huebner (New York, NY: Routledge), pp.365-380.
39- هومن، حیدرعلی (1380). اندازگیری های روانی و تربیتی و فن تهیه تست، انتشارات پارسا.
40. McCullough, M.E. Emmons, R.A. & Tsang, J.A. (2002). The grateful disposition: a conceptual and empirical topography. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol, 82, PP.112-127. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.82.1.112.
41- Tian, L. Du, M. & Huebner, E.S. (2015a). The effect of gratitude on elementary school students’ subjective well-being in schools: the mediating role of prosocial behavior. Soc. Indic. Res: Vol 122, PP.887-904. doi: 10.1007/s11205-014-0 712-9.
42- Carreira, J.M. (2012). Motivational orientations and psychological needs in EFL learning among elementary school students in Japan. An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics, 40, PP.191-202.
43- حجازی، الهه و امانی، جواد (1393). نقش واسطه ای انگیزش درونی در رابطه بین نیازهای بنیادین روانشناختی و رضایت از زندگی. روانشناسی معاصر، سال 9، شماره2، صص 77-78.
44- Zhang, Y.M. Zeng, P.P. & Yu, G.L. (2004). The reliability and validity of mental health scale of primary and secondary school students. Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology, 12, PP.6–8.
45- Carlo, G. & Randall, B.A. (2002). The development of a measure of prosocial behaviors for late adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 31, PP.31-44.
46- Bono, G. & Froh, J.J. (2009). “Gratitude in school: benefits to students and schools,” in Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools, Eds R. Gilman, E. S. Huebner, and M. Furlong (New York, NY: Routledge), pp.77-88.
47- Seligman, M.E. Steen, T.A. Park, N. & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress. American Psychologist, 60(5), PP.410–421.
48- Danielsen, A.G., Samdal, O. Hetland, J. & Wold, B. (2009). School-related social support and students’ perceived life satisfaction. J. Educ. Res, 102, 303-320. Doi: 10.3200/JOER.102.4...
49- غلامعلی لواسانی، مسعود؛ خضری آذر، هیمن؛ امانی، جواد؛ علیزاده، صابر (1390). پیشرفت تحصیلی: نقش نیازهای روانشناختی اساسی و سبک‌های هویت. پژوهش‌های آموزش و یادگیری. سال۲ ، شماره 1، صص۲۵-۳۸.
50- Geraghty, A.W. Wood, A.M. & Hyland, M.E. (2010). Attrition from self-directed interventions: investigating the relationship between psychological predictors, intervention content and dropout from a body dissatisfaction intervention. Soc. Sci. Med, 71, PP.30-37. Doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.03.007.
51- آخش، شمس اله؛ حاجی یخچالی، علیرضا؛ شهنی ییلاق، منیجه. پیش بینی بهزیستی تحصیلی بر اساس خوددلسوزی در دانش آموزان پسر مقطع متوسطه دوم شهر یاسوج. پژوهش‌های آموزش و یادگیری. زیر چاپ.