Psychological science has consistently highlighted links between gratitude and religion, however mediating pathways by which religion relates to gratitude remain ambiguous. Further, it is unclear whether religious gratitude (e.g., gratitude to God) is more related to well-being than general gratitude. To address these gaps, we assessed for both religious and general dimensions of gratitude alongside measures of religious commitment and mental/physical well-being in a diverse sample of n = 405 adult individuals. Consistent with previous research, gratitude was positively correlated with religious commitment (r = 0.45, p < 0.001). This relationship, however, was fully mediated by gratitude towards God. Using hierarchical linear regression, results further found that the interaction of religious commitment and religious gratitude added unique variance in predicting mental well-being, over and above general gratitude. This suggests that being grateful to God enhances the psychological benefits of gratitude in accordance with one's level of religious commitment.
The Journal of Positive Psychology
Rosmarin, David H.; Pirutinsky, Steven; Cohen, Adam B.; and Krumrei-Mancuso, Elizabeth J., "Grateful to God or just plain grateful? A comparison of religious and general gratitude" (2011). Pepperdine University, Faculty Open Access Publications. Paper 164.