Published In

Journal of Positive Psychology

Document Type


Publication Date



Gratitude, Affect (Psychology), Emotions, Well-being, Physical fitness, Nursing, Positive psychology


Literature examining well-being benefits of gratitude experiences is currently thriving in psychological science. However, evidence of the physical health benefits of gratitude remains limited. Research and theory in affective science suggests an indirect relationship between gratitude and physical health. This study examines how receiving expressions of gratitude predicts physical health outcomes in a sample of acute care nurses over time. Registered nurses (N = 146) practicing in Oregon completed weekly surveys over 12 consecutive weeks describing their positive and negative events, health, and work-related experiences. Multilevel mediation models revealed that being thanked more often at work was positively related to a nurse's satisfaction with the care they provided within that week, which subsequently predicted sleep quality, sleep adequacy, headaches, and attempts to eat healthy. These findings contribute to literature demonstrating the health benefits of gratitude by indicating that benefactors may experience improvements in subjective physical health through positive domain-relative satisfaction.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Positive Psychology on February 2019, available online:



Persistent Identifier

Included in

Psychology Commons