Gratitude helps explain why increased zest for life is related to reduced depression

Gratitude helps explain why increased zest for life is related to reduced depression

via PsyPost by Eric W Dolan

Gratitude appears to play a key role in the relationship between zest for life and depression, according to new research published in Personality and Individual Differences.

“Only a few empirical studies have concerned the effect of zest for life among the student population. The present study intended to address the research gap by examining the relationship between zest for life and depression, and potential mechanisms underlying this relationship,” said study author Kelly Ka Lai Lam, a PhD candidate at the University of Macau in China.

“In positive psychology, zest for life has been considered as one of the 24 strengths possessed by humanity,” Lam added. “Compared to other well-documented character strengths or positive psychological factors (i.e., mindfulness, grit, and resilience), the research on zest for life is still emerging.”

In the study, 326 undergraduate students aged between 18 and 25 completed a demographic questionnaire and a measure of depressive symptoms. They also completed assessments of zest for life and gratitude.

Lam found that the association between zest for life and depression was fully mediated by gratitude. In other words, participants who were more enthusiastic toward life also tended to believe they had more to be thankful for, which in turn was linked to lower levels of depressive symptoms…

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