Often overlooked, gratitude may be a powerful way to boost high schoolers’ well-being. Students and educators have started a new school year in the midst of a pandemic, an economic crisis, a reckoning with racial injustice, and a divisive political climate. Everyone’s mental health is at risk, and schools are searching for ways to support young people’s well-being in addition to their academic learning.
In a study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, SEL4CA member, Giacomo Bono, and his colleagues found that when high schoolers are taught about gratitude and given opportunities to practice it, they show improved mental health and wellness. Based on these findings, the authors argue that incorporating gratitude can be a relatively easy, low-cost strategy to help students thrive.