Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Mark R. McMinn, PhD., ABPP, Chair

Second Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD.

Third Advisor

Mary Peterson, PhD.


Gratitude interventions lead to significant increases in subjective, psychological, spiritual, and physical well-being. These benefits may be because grateful individuals are better able to form social bonds, better able to utilize coping skills to defer stress, better able to maintain positive affect, and are more creative in problem solving. It remains unclear what mechanism(s) are responsible for the positive benefits associated with gratitude and whether the link between gratitude and health enhancement is bidirectional. The current study seeks to explore the link between gratitude and health behaviors by measuring the increase or maintenance of gratitude over time in response to an exercise intervention. It was found that an exercise intervention and education regarding health behaviors was not shown to increase gratitude in this sample. Also, current research on gratitude was not able to be replicated which shows individuals with higher gratitude display more positive health behaviors.