This study examined the interaction of the Thanksgiving holiday with gratitude in relation to well-being using a three-week long daily diary design with a sample of 172 undergraduate students. Multilevel modeling revealed that without controlling for gratitude people reported higher levels of positive affect on Thanksgiving holiday than during other days of the study. Reports of life satisfaction meaning in life and negative affect did not differ during the holiday. When within-person and between-person levels of gratitude were included negative relationships were revealed between Thanksgiving and life satisfaction and positive affect. The results from this study sustain the argument that holidays impact people’s well-being depending on certain individual psychological characteristics. In the case of Thanksgiving gratitude was critical for understanding whether the holiday appeared to positively or negatively influence life satisfaction and positive affect. The present study also supported an important role for gratitude in achieving and maintaining well-being.
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