An exploratory study about the buffering effect of gratitude on the relationship between neuroticism and anhedonic depression

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology Major in Clinical Psychology

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Adrianne John Galang


This is the first study to explore the interaction between a character strength and a big five trait in predicting a specific type of depression. It examined whether gratitude can serve as a buffer on the relationship between neuroticism and depression of the anhedonic kind. A sample of 493 undergraduate students from two universities completed measures of the variables. Hierarchical regression showed that even though gratitude did not appear to moderate the relationship between neuroticism and anhedonic depression, it had a significant main effect on the outcome such that those who had higher gratitude scores exhibited lower levels of anhedonic depression, controlling for the effects of both positive and negative affect. Implications of the findings regarding gratitudes utility as a resiliency factor and as a preventative tool against anhedonic depression, as well as its potential to buffer against the effects of neuroticism on mixed anxiety/depressive symptoms are discussed. An exploration of the different facets of anhedonia (a core and essential feature of anhedonic depression) that are targeted by gratitude is suggested, possibly leading to a better conceptualization of the construct. Researchers and mental health practitioners are also encouraged to explore the nature of gratitude as a possible resource of individuals at risk for developing psychopathology, as there may be multiple avenues through which gratitude could be fostered in psychotherapy and in everyday life.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer optical disc ; 4 3/4 in.


Neuroticism; Anhedonia; Depression, Mental

This document is currently not available here.