A four year study showed that grateful teens are more likely than their less grateful peers to be happy, less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and less likely to have behavior problems at school.

"Gratitude played an important role in many areas of positive mental health of the teens in our study," said lead author Giacomo Bono, PhD, psychology professor at California State University. "Increases in gratitude over a four-year period were significantly related to improvements in life satisfaction, happiness, positive attitudes and hope."

Researchers asked 700 students ages 10 to 14 to complete questionnaires in their classroom at the beginning of the study and again, four years later.

In comparing the least grateful 20 percent of the students with the most grateful 20 percent, the study found that teens with the most gratitude had:

• gained 15 percent more of a sense of meaning in their life;
• become 15 percent more satisfied with their life overall (at home, at school, w...

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