Positive design to promote gratitude and wellbeing in schools, from children’s points of view
Gratitude is more than emotion: it is a powerful force for transformation. Through a humble, child-centred approach, this project aims to provide new insights into the impact of gratitude on Colombian children.
Colombia is a diverse country with rich culture and heritage. But it also faces a number of social, economic, and educational challenges. The path to a positive future requires strengthening children’s sense of well-being and their connections with family and community—and gratitude could be the key.
In addition to investigating how children understand gratitude, this project will work to promote the expression of this character strength.
The team will conduct a study based on Positive Design—a framework drawn from approaches in positive psychology. The study will look at gratitude and well-being from the perspectives of Grade 5 children in public and private school contexts. The key research questions to be explored are:
- What are the commonalities and differences between children’s, parents’, and teachers’ understanding of gratitude and well-being?
- How can we work with children’s, parents’ and teachers’ perceptions to promote gratitude and well-being in different social contexts?
- How can we achieve a more comprehensive understanding of the relationships between gratitude and well-being in school-aged children?
- To what extent does our intervention on gratitude improve children’s sense of well-being?
The study will follow an experimental, mixed-method design involving a sample of 60 children, 60 parents, and 8 teachers in the intervention group and a matched control. The project is led by three faculty members from the Department of Psychology at Universidad de Los Andes.