Psicologia em Estudo
Print version ISSN 1413-7372
FREITAS, Lia Beatriz de Lucca; SILVEIRA, Paula Grazziotin and PIETA, Maria Adélia Minghelli. The feeling of gratitude in 5- to 12-year-old children. Psicol. estud. [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.2, pp. 243-250. ISSN 1413-7372. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-73722009000200004.
Results are presented from a study about the development of the feeling of gratitude in childhood. The participants were 12 children, distributed equally across three age groups (5-6, 7-8, and 11-12 years) and by sex. The study used three stories about hypothetical situations, each focusing on a different type of benevolent action. Following each story, a clinical interview was conducted with each child. The results suggest a difference among the age groups in terms of the types of positive feeling attributed to the beneficiary of the action. Although few participants referred explicitly to this, considering the beneficiary's changed feeling state appears to contribute to the understanding of gratitude. The results reveal significant differences among the three age groups in the types of relation established between the satisfaction felt by the beneficiary and the benefactor. These results, discussed in light of the literature, suggest new research questions.
Keywords : Development; feelings; gratitude.