Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)
Type of Paper/Work
Nathaniel William Nelson
This project examined the effects of a 12-week gratitude intervention with NCAA Division III Men's soccer players and critically reviewed the existing literature in this area of investigation. Themes from the existing literature were related to the aims of the quantitative study. Participants (N=31) were asked to write three things they were grateful for and why each week for 12 weeks. Levels of state gratitude, psychological distress, satisfaction with life, athlete burnout, and perceived available support in sport were measured at baseline, 4-week, 8-week, and 12-week intervals. It was hypothesized that individuals would show initial increases in well-being (state gratitude, social support, satisfaction with life) and sustain the initial increases by demonstrating a plateau effect after week 4. It was also hypothesized that individuals would show initial decreases in ill-being (psychological distress, athlete burnout) and sustain the initial decreases by demonstrating a plateau effect after week 4. Data were analyzed using fixed and random effects spline regression models. Exploratory methods included Bayesian Latent Trajectory Analysis, Logistic Regression analysis for dropout, and a WordCloud Generator for thematic analysis. The hypotheses were only partially supported as no significant changes in state gratitude, satisfaction with life, or athlete burnout were observed. Results of the fixed effects spline model indicated a significant increase in perceived social support from baseline to week 4 and a significant plateau effect in perceived social support from week 4 to week 12. Results of the random effects spline model indicated a significant increase in perceived social support from baseline to week 4, a significant plateau effect in perceived social support from week 4 to week 12, as well as a significant decrease in psychological distress from baseline to week 4. Results of this study warrant further exploration of multi-session gratitude interventions in applied sport psychology. Limitations, practical implications, diversity issues, and recommendations for future research are discussed considering the current findings.
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Harwerth, Zach, "Building Gratitude: Effects of a 12-week Gratitude Intervention with NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Players." (2022). Professional Psychology Dissertations 2015-. 91.