Here’s what happens when you evaluate students by gratefulness and materialism:

Materialistic youth seem to be languishing while grateful youth seem to be flourishing. High school students (N = 1,035) completed measures of materialism, gratitude, academic functioning, envy, depression, life satisfaction, social integration, and absorption. Using structural equation modeling, we found that gratitude, controlling for materialism, uniquely predicts all outcomes considered: higher grade point average, life satisfaction, social integration, and absorption, as well as lower envy and depression. In contrast, materialism, controlling for gratitude, uniquely predicts three of the six outcomes: lower grade point average, as well as higher envy and life satisfaction. Furthermore, when examining the relative strengths of gratitude and materialism as predictors, we found that gratitude is generally a stronger predictor of these six outcomes than is materialism.

Source: “Gratitude and the Reduced Costs of Materialism in Adolescents” from Journal of Happiness Studies (11 March 2010)

Gratitude is very powerful. Not only does it predict the above but in other posts we’ve seen that it is has important affects on happiness and improving relationships. On the flip side, prior posts have also shown why materialism is linked with unhappiness and a lack of self-esteem.

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