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Studies

 

If you want to dig deeper into "the science of a meaningful life," check out these seminal studies of compassion, happiness, mindfulness, and the GGSC's other core themes.

 

Education

Davis, T.S. (2012). Mindfulness-Based Approaches and their potential for educational psychology practice. Educational Psychology in Practice, 28(1), 31-46.

Identifies current uses of MBA (Mindfulness-Based Approaches) in clinical and educational settings.


 

Flook, L., et al. (2010). Effects of Mindful Awareness Practices on Executive Functions in Elementary School Children. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 26(1), 70-95.

Finds that children who were less well-regulated displayed greater executive function and behavioral control after undergoing mindful awareness practices.


 

Froh, J. J., Sefick, W. J., & Emmons, R. A. (2008). Counting Blessings in Early Adolescents: An Experimental Study of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being. Journal of School Psychology, 46(2), 213-233.

Early adolescents’ subjective well-being are studied when they are encouraged to have more grateful outlooks on life.


 

Gerdes, K.E., Segal, E.A., Jackson, K.F., & Mullins, J. (2011). Teaching Empathy: A Framework Rooted in Social Cognitive Neuroscience and Social Justice. Journal of Social Work Education, 47: 109–119.

The relationship between empathy and social work and how social work educators can implement these ideas to teach empathy.


 

Jennings, P. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2009). The Prosocial Classroom: Teacher Social and Emotional Competence in Relation to Student and Classroom Outcomes. Review of Educational Research, 79(1), 491-525.

Theoretical article about the importance of teacher social emotional competence (SEC) in promoting student learning, positive classroom climate, and reduced teacher burnout.


 

Meiklejohn, J., et al. (2010). Integrating Mindfulness Training into K-12 Education: Fostering the Resilience of Teachers and Students. Mindfulness, 1(1).

Summarizes established research on mindfulness practices implemented into K-12 education that finds benefits for both teachers and students.


 

Rabinowitch, T., et. al. (2013). Long-term musical group interaction has a positive influence on empathy in children Psychology of Music, 41: 484-498.

Study suggests that interacting with others through music makes us more emotionally attuned to other people, even beyond the musical setting.


 
 

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Family & Couples

Algoe, S. B., Gable, S. L. & Maisel, N. C. (2010). It's the Little Things: Everyday Gratitude as a Booster Shot for Romantic Relationships. Personal Relationships, 17: 217–233.

Higher levels of gratitude after receiving thoughtful benefits (e.g. gifts, favors, etc.) predicted higher relationship connection and satisfaction.


 

Burke, C. (2009). Mindfulness-Based Approaches with Children and Adolescents: A Preliminary Review of Current Research in an Emergent Field. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 18(3), 1062-1024.

A comprehensive review of current research on mindfulness-based approaches to interventions with children and adolescents.


 

Coyle, C. T., Enright, R. D. (1997). Forgiveness Intervention with Postabortion Men. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65(6), 1042-1046.

Explores the effectiveness of a program designed to foster forgiveness in men who are upset after their partner had an abortion.


 

Fincham, F. D., Beach, S. R., & Davila, J. (2007). Longitudinal relations between forgiveness and conflict resolution in marriage. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(3), 542.

Forgiveness and benevolence of husbands predict better conflict resolution in marriages.


 

Fincham, F. D., Hall, J., & Beach, S. R. (2006). Forgiveness in marriage: Current status and future directions. Family Relations, 55(4), 415-427.

Discusses the role of forgiveness in marriage and provides recommendations for future research and practice.


 

Fincham, F.D., Paleari, F.G., Regalia, C. (2002). Forgiveness in marriage: The role of relationship quality, attributions, and empathy. Personal Relationships, 9(1), 27-37.

Provides an overview of forgiveness within marriage.


 

Gordon, A. M., Impett, E. A., Kogan, A., Oveis, C., & Keltner, D. (in press). To Have and to Hold: Gratitude Promotes Relationship Maintenance in Intimate Bonds. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, doi: 10.1037/a0028723

Three studies on appreciation in relationships provides evidence that gratitude is important for the successful maintenance of intimate bonds.


 

Hoyt, W. T., Fincham, F., McCullough, M. E., Maio, G., & Davila, J. (2005). Responses to interpersonal transgressions in families: Forgivingness, forgivability, and relationship-specific effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 375-394.

Describes the role of dispositional forgivingness, forgivability,and relationship effects in interpersonal transgressions within family.


 

McCullough, M. E. (2000). Forgiveness as Human Strength: Theory, Measurement, and Links to Well-Being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19(1), 43-55.

Discusses forgiveness as a prosocial change that reduces revenge-seeking, and explores its role in relationships and well-being.


 

McCullough, M. E., Fincham, F. D., & Tsang, J. (2003). Forgiveness, forbearance, and time: The temporal unfolding of transgression-related interpersonal motivations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 540-557.

Discusses the role of forgiveness, forbearance, and time within transgression-related interpersonal motivations.


 

McCullough, M.E., et. al. (1998). Interpersonal Forgiving in Close Relationships: II. Theoretical Elaboration and Measurement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 1586-1603.

Considers relationship, offense, and cognitive-level variables in the motivation process to forgive.


 

McNulty, J. K. (2008). Forgiveness in marriage: Putting the benefits into context. Journal of Family Psychology, 22(1), 171-175.

Examined long-term outcomes to forgiveness within marriage such as greater marriage satisfaction.


 

Nelson, S.K., et. al. (in press). In Defense of Parenthood: Children Are Associated With More Joy Than Misery. Psychological Science.

Contrary to recent studies suggesting that parenthood is linked to unhappiness, parents are found to report higher levels of happiness, positive emotion, and meaning in life than non-parents.


 

Wade, N. G., Worthington E. L. (2005). In Search of a Common Core: A Content Analysis of Interventions to Promote Forgiveness. Psychotherapy: Theory, Practice, Research, Training, 42(2), 160-177.

Collective review of forgiveness-based interventions in clinical settings.


 
 

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Work & Career

Lilius, J.M., et. al. (2008). The Contours and Consequences of Compassion at Work. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29(2), 193-218.

Work colleagues respond to suffering in a whole host of ways that reshape understandings of themselves and of their organizations. Compassion, here, is a co-worker, and this paper evidences its powerful consequences.


 

Wade, N. G., Worthington E. L. (2005). In Search of a Common Core: A Content Analysis of Interventions to Promote Forgiveness. Psychotherapy: Theory, Practice, Research, Training, 42(2), 160-177.

Collective review of forgiveness-based interventions in clinical settings.


 

Worthington Jr., E.L., Wade, N.G. (1999). The Psychology of Unforgiveness and Forgiveness and Implications for Clinical Practice. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 18(4), 385-418.

Explores the interpersonal and environmental factors that help determine whether we forgive or not.


 
 

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Mind & Body

Baskin, T. W. and Enright, R. D. (2004). Intervention Studies on Forgiveness: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Counseling & Development, 82(1), 79–90.

A review on the clinical effectiveness of forgiveness-based intervention practices.


 

Cardaciotto, L., et al. (2008). The Assessment of Present-Moment Awareness and Acceptance: The Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale. Assessment, 15(2), 204-223.

Explores the effects of mindfulness practices on present-moment awareness and acceptance.


 

Davidson, R. J., et al. (2003). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(4), 564–570.

Explores the biological (brain & immune) processes associated with reported mental and physical health changes from mindfulness meditation.


 

Davis, T.S. (2012). Mindfulness-Based Approaches and their potential for educational psychology practice. Educational Psychology in Practice, 28(1), 31-46.

Identifies current uses of MBA (Mindfulness-Based Approaches) in clinical and educational settings.


 

Enright, R.D. (1996). Counseling Within the Forgiveness Triad: On Forgiving, Receiving Forgiveness, and Self-Forgiveness. Counseling and Values, 40(2), 107-126.

Defines, discusses, and explores the implications of the “forgiveness triad”—forgiving others, receiving forgiveness from others, and self-forgiveness.


 

Enright, R.D., Gassin, E.A., Wu, C.R. (1992). Forgiveness: A Developmental View. Journal of Moral Education, 21(2), 99-114.

Explores how people think about and go about forgiving others.


 

Freedman, S. R., Enright, R. D. (1996). Forgiveness as an intervention goal with incest survivors. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64(5), 983-992.

Incest survivors who underwent interventions focusing on forgiving their abusers displayed greater levels of forgiveness and hope and lower levels of post-trauma anxiety and depression.


 

Hölzel, B.K., et al. (2011). Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 191(1), 36-43.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction interventions increase gray matter density in brain regions associated with learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.


 

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Context: Past, Present, and Future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144-156.

Summarizes the definition, history, spread, cultural views, applicability, implications, and future opportunities for mindfulness-based practices.


 

Kemeny, M.E., et al. (2012). Contemplative/emotion training reduces negative emotional behavior and promotes prosocial responses. Emotion, 12(2), 338-350.

Contemplative practices and emotion training reduces negative emotional behavior and increases prosocial emotional behavior.


 

Keng, S., Smoski, M.J., & Robins, C.J. (2011). Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: A review of empirical studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 31(6), 1041-1056.

Explores Western versus Buddhist conceptions of mindfulness as well as the effects of mindfulness on psychological health including positive emotion and well-being, behavioral regulation, and less negative psychological symptoms.


 

McCullough, M. E. (2000). Forgiveness as Human Strength: Theory, Measurement, and Links to Well-Being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19(1), 43-55.

Discusses forgiveness as a prosocial change that reduces revenge-seeking, and explores its role in relationships and well-being.


 

McCullough, M. E. (2001). Forgiveness: Who does it and how do they do it?, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10(6), 194-197.

Discusses the process of fostering dispositional forgiveness including agreeableness and emotional stability as well as empathy, positive attribution, and reduced rumination.


 

McCullough, M. E., Bellah, C. G., Kilpatrick, S. D., & Johnson, J. L. (2001). Vengefulness: Relationships with forgiveness, rumination, well-being, and the Big Five. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(5), 601-610.

Dispositional vengefulness is associated with less forgiveness, greater rumination, higher negative affect, and lower life, as well as less Agreeable and more Neurotic personality traits.


 

Meiklejohn, J., et al. (2010). Integrating Mindfulness Training into K-12 Education: Fostering the Resilience of Teachers and Students. Mindfulness, 1(1).

Summarizes established research on mindfulness practices implemented into K-12 education that finds benefits for both teachers and students.


 

Murphy, M. J., Mermelstein, L. C., Edwards, K. M., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012). The Benefits of Dispositional Mindfulness in Physical Health: A Longitudinal Study of Female College Students. Journal of American College Health, 60(5), 341-348.

Explores the benefits of dispositional mindfulness on health behaviors (such as sleep, eating, and exercise) and physical health.


 

Shapiro, S.L., Brown, K.W., & Biegel, G.M. (2007). Teaching self-care to caregivers: Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on the mental health of therapists in training. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 1(2), 105-115.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs reduces stress, negative affect, rumination, and anxiety, and increases positive affect and self-compassion in mental health therapists in training.


 

Shapiro, S.L., et al. (2005). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Health Care Professionals: Results From a Randomized Trial. International Journal of Stress Management, 12(2), 164-176.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction interventions reduce stress and increase quality of life and self-compassion in health care professionals.


 

Van Oyen Witvliet, C., Ludwig, T.E., Vander Laan, K.L. (2001). Granting Forgiveness or Harboring Grudges: Implications for Emotion, Physiology, and Health. Psychological Science, 12(2), 117-123.

Discusses physiological and health-related effects of forgiveness (or lack thereof) in interpersonal offenses.


 

Worthington Jr., E.L., Scherer, M. (2004). Forgiveness is an Emotion-Focused Coping Strategy That Can Reduce Health Risks and Promote Health Resilience: Theory, Review, and Hypotheses. Psychology and Health, 19(3), 385-405.

Explores how forgiveness can protect us from the negative effects of stress, enable us to bounce back from challenges, and improve our overall health picture.


 
 

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Big Ideas

Exline, J.J., Worthington Jr., E.L., Hill, P., McCullough, M. E. (2003). Forgiveness and Justice: A Research Agenda for Social and Personality Psychology. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7(4), 337-348.

Identifies the role of forgiveness and retribution within the context of justice.


 

Lyubomirsky, S., & Layous, K. (2013). How do simple positive activities increase well-being?. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22(1), 57-62.

Investigators have recently begun to study the optimal conditions under which positive activities increase happiness and the mechanisms by which these effects work.


 
 

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Forgiveness

Baskin, T. W. and Enright, R. D. (2004). Intervention Studies on Forgiveness: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Counseling & Development, 82(1), 79–90.

A review on the clinical effectiveness of forgiveness-based intervention practices.


 

Coyle, C. T., Enright, R. D. (1997). Forgiveness Intervention with Postabortion Men. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65(6), 1042-1046.

Explores the effectiveness of a program designed to foster forgiveness in men who are upset after their partner had an abortion.


 

Enright, R.D. (1996). Counseling Within the Forgiveness Triad: On Forgiving, Receiving Forgiveness, and Self-Forgiveness. Counseling and Values, 40(2), 107-126.

Defines, discusses, and explores the implications of the “forgiveness triad”—forgiving others, receiving forgiveness from others, and self-forgiveness.


 

Enright, R.D., Gassin, E.A., Wu, C.R. (1992). Forgiveness: A Developmental View. Journal of Moral Education, 21(2), 99-114.

Explores how people think about and go about forgiving others.


 

Exline, J.J., Worthington Jr., E.L., Hill, P., McCullough, M. E. (2003). Forgiveness and Justice: A Research Agenda for Social and Personality Psychology. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7(4), 337-348.

Identifies the role of forgiveness and retribution within the context of justice.


 

Fincham, F. D., Beach, S. R., & Davila, J. (2007). Longitudinal relations between forgiveness and conflict resolution in marriage. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(3), 542.

Forgiveness and benevolence of husbands predict better conflict resolution in marriages.


 

Fincham, F. D., Hall, J., & Beach, S. R. (2006). Forgiveness in marriage: Current status and future directions. Family Relations, 55(4), 415-427.

Discusses the role of forgiveness in marriage and provides recommendations for future research and practice.


 

Fincham, F.D., Paleari, F.G., Regalia, C. (2002). Forgiveness in marriage: The role of relationship quality, attributions, and empathy. Personal Relationships, 9(1), 27-37.

Provides an overview of forgiveness within marriage.


 

Freedman, S. R., Enright, R. D. (1996). Forgiveness as an intervention goal with incest survivors. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64(5), 983-992.

Incest survivors who underwent interventions focusing on forgiving their abusers displayed greater levels of forgiveness and hope and lower levels of post-trauma anxiety and depression.


 

Hoyt, W. T., Fincham, F., McCullough, M. E., Maio, G., & Davila, J. (2005). Responses to interpersonal transgressions in families: Forgivingness, forgivability, and relationship-specific effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 375-394.

Describes the role of dispositional forgivingness, forgivability,and relationship effects in interpersonal transgressions within family.


 

Macaskill, A., Maltby, J., Day, L. (2002). Forgiveness of Self and Others and Emotional Empathy. The Journal of Social Psychology, 142(5), 663-665.

Empathy is crucial to forgiveness, but that’s only half the story. Macaskill and Maltby suggest that individuals with higher levels of empathy find it easier to forgive others, but find it no easier to forgive themselves.


 

McCullough, M. E. (2000). Forgiveness as Human Strength: Theory, Measurement, and Links to Well-Being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19(1), 43-55.

Discusses forgiveness as a prosocial change that reduces revenge-seeking, and explores its role in relationships and well-being.


 

McCullough, M. E. (2001). Forgiveness: Who does it and how do they do it?, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10(6), 194-197.

Discusses the process of fostering dispositional forgiveness including agreeableness and emotional stability as well as empathy, positive attribution, and reduced rumination.


 

McCullough, M. E., Bellah, C. G., Kilpatrick, S. D., & Johnson, J. L. (2001). Vengefulness: Relationships with forgiveness, rumination, well-being, and the Big Five. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(5), 601-610.

Dispositional vengefulness is associated with less forgiveness, greater rumination, higher negative affect, and lower life, as well as less Agreeable and more Neurotic personality traits.


 

McCullough, M. E., Fincham, F. D., & Tsang, J. (2003). Forgiveness, forbearance, and time: The temporal unfolding of transgression-related interpersonal motivations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 540-557.

Discusses the role of forgiveness, forbearance, and time within transgression-related interpersonal motivations.


 

McCullough, M. E., Worthington, E. L. (1995). Promoting Forgiveness: A Comparison of Two Brief Psychoeducational Group Interventions With a Waiting-List Control. Counseling and Values, 40, 55–68.

Finds that forgiveness interventions based on its physical and psychological benefits to the forgiver reduced feelings of revenge and increased positive and conciliatory emotions toward the offender more effectively than interventions based on its interpersonal relational benefits.


 

McCullough, M.E., et. al. (1998). Interpersonal Forgiving in Close Relationships: II. Theoretical Elaboration and Measurement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 1586-1603.

Considers relationship, offense, and cognitive-level variables in the motivation process to forgive.


 

McNulty, J. K. (2008). Forgiveness in marriage: Putting the benefits into context. Journal of Family Psychology, 22(1), 171-175.

Examined long-term outcomes to forgiveness within marriage such as greater marriage satisfaction.


 

Van Oyen Witvliet, C., Ludwig, T.E., Vander Laan, K.L. (2001). Granting Forgiveness or Harboring Grudges: Implications for Emotion, Physiology, and Health. Psychological Science, 12(2), 117-123.

Discusses physiological and health-related effects of forgiveness (or lack thereof) in interpersonal offenses.


 

Wade, N. G., Worthington E. L. (2005). In Search of a Common Core: A Content Analysis of Interventions to Promote Forgiveness. Psychotherapy: Theory, Practice, Research, Training, 42(2), 160-177.

Collective review of forgiveness-based interventions in clinical settings.


 

Wade, N.G., Worthington Jr., E.L., (2005). In Search of a Common Core: A Content Analysis of Interventions to Promote Forgiveness. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 42(2), 160-177.

A review of forgiveness-based interventions in clinical settings.


 

Worthington Jr., E.L., Scherer, M. (2004). Forgiveness is an Emotion-Focused Coping Strategy That Can Reduce Health Risks and Promote Health Resilience: Theory, Review, and Hypotheses. Psychology and Health, 19(3), 385-405.

Explores how forgiveness can protect us from the negative effects of stress, enable us to bounce back from challenges, and improve our overall health picture.


 

Worthington Jr., E.L., Wade, N.G. (1999). The Psychology of Unforgiveness and Forgiveness and Implications for Clinical Practice. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 18(4), 385-418.

Explores the interpersonal and environmental factors that help determine whether we forgive or not.


 
 

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Gratitude

Learn more about the science of gratitude through our Expanding Gratitude project.

Algoe, S. B. (in press). Find, Remind, and Bind: The Functions of Gratitude in Everyday Relationships. Social and Personality Psychology Compass.

Posits that gratitude is an evolutionarily developed emotion which strengthens our relationships with our partners.


 

Algoe, S. B., Gable, S. L. & Maisel, N. C. (2010). It's the Little Things: Everyday Gratitude as a Booster Shot for Romantic Relationships. Personal Relationships, 17: 217–233.

Higher levels of gratitude after receiving thoughtful benefits (e.g. gifts, favors, etc.) predicted higher relationship connection and satisfaction.


 

Bartlett, M.Y., & DeSteno, D. (2006). Gratitude and Prosocial Behavior: Helping When It Costs You. Psychological Science, 17(4), 319-325.

Finds that feeling gratitude produces kind and helpful behavior, even when that behavior is costly to the individual actor.


 

Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377-389.

Examines the effect of a grateful outlook on one’s well-being through three different studies involving the use of participants recording their moods and experiences with gratitude.


 

Friasa, A., Watkins, P.C., Webbera, A.C., Frosh, J.J. (2011). Death and Gratitude: Death Reflection Enhances Gratitude. Journal of Positive Psychology, 6(2), 154-162.

This study found that people become more grateful for what they have in life when they recognize that none of it was inevitable and all of it is temporary—in other words, when they recognize their own mortality. Visualizing their own deaths “in a vivid and specific way” boosted people’s levels of gratitude significantly.


 

Froh, J. J., et al. (2011). Measuring Gratitude in Youth: Assessing the Psychometric Properties of Adult Gratitude Scales in Children and Adolescents. Psychological Assessment, 23(2), 311-324.

An empirical investigation on the validity of existing gratitude scales with youth as opposed to adults.


 

Froh, J. J., Kashdan, T. B., Ozimkowski, K. M., & Miller, N. (2009). Who Benefits The Most from a Gratitude Intervention in Children and Adolescents? Examining Positive Affect as a Moderator. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4, 408–422.

Do some benefit more from gratitude than others? This study finds that children with lower positive affect levels are impacted more from gratitude interventions than those whose levels are higher.


 

Froh, J. J., Sefick, W. J., & Emmons, R. A. (2008). Counting Blessings in Early Adolescents: An Experimental Study of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being. Journal of School Psychology, 46(2), 213-233.

Early adolescents’ subjective well-being are studied when they are encouraged to have more grateful outlooks on life.


 

Gordon, A. M., Impett, E. A., Kogan, A., Oveis, C., & Keltner, D. (in press). To Have and to Hold: Gratitude Promotes Relationship Maintenance in Intimate Bonds. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, doi: 10.1037/a0028723

Three studies on appreciation in relationships provides evidence that gratitude is important for the successful maintenance of intimate bonds.


 

McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J-A. (2002). The Grateful Disposition: A Conceptual and Empirical Topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(1), 112-127.

Four studies examine the correlates of the disposition towards gratitude, finding that self and observer ratings of a grateful disposition are associated with well-being, prosocial behaviors, and spirituality.


 

McCullough, M. E., Kimeldorf, M. B., & Cohen, A. D. (2008). An Adaptation for Altruism? The Social Causes, Social Effects, and Social Evolution of Gratitude. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17(4), 281-285.

Provides a look at what gratitude is, where it comes from both socially and evolutionarily, and its effects on others.


 

Sheldon, K. M., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2006). How to Increase and Sustain Positive Emotion: The Effects of Expressing Gratitude and Visualizing Best Possible Selves. Journal of Positive Psychology, 1(2), 73-82.

regularly practicing counting one’s blessings and visualizing best possible selves are shown to raise and maintain positive mood.


 

Watkins, P. C., Woodward, K., Stone, T., & Kolts, R. L. (2003). Gratitude and Happiness: Development of a Measure of Gratitude and Relationships with Subjective Well-Being. Social Behavior and Personality, 31, 431-452.

Evaluated the reliability of the Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test (GRAT), finding it to have internal consistency and temporal stability, then used GRAT to find the importance of gratitude to subjective well-being.


 

Wood, A. M., et al. (2008). A Social-Cognitive Model of Trait and State Levels of Gratitude. Emotion, 8, 281-290.

Three studies test a new model of gratitude which looks at the link between state and trait gratitude, finding benefit appraisals to play a critical role in this link.


 

Wood, A. M., et al. (2009). Gratitude Influences Sleep through the Mechanism of Pre-Sleep Cognitions. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 66(1), 43–48.

This study finds that Gratitude predicts greater subjective sleep quality and sleep duration, and less sleep latency and daytime dysfunction.


 

Wood, A. M., et al. (2010). Gratitude and Well-Being: A Review and Theoretical Integration. Clinical Psychology Review, doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2010.03.005.

Presents a new model of gratitude incorporating both gratitude that arises following help from others and habitual appreciations of the positive aspects of life.


 
 

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Altruism

Aknin, L.A., Dunn, E.W., Norton, M.I. (2012). Happiness Runs in a Circular Motion: Evidence for a Positive Feedback Loop Between Prosocial Spending and Happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 13(2), 347-355.

This article offers up good news about the relationship between prosocial spending and happiness: spending money on others makes us feel happy, and the happier we feel, the more likely we are to spend money on others.


 

Apicella, C.L., Marlowe, F.W., Fowler, J.H., Christakis, N.A. (2012). Social Networks and Cooperation in Hunter-Gatherers. Nature, 481(7382), 497-501.

This study takes a closer look at the structure of social networks. We form ties with kin and non-kin—and we have since the time of the Hadza hunter-gatherers in Tanzania—a tendency which may have contributed to the emergence of large-scale cooperation.


 

Batson, C.D., et. al. (1981). Is Empathic Emotion a Source of Altruistic Motivation? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40(2), 290-302.

A look at whether empathy causes an altruistic desire to help rather than an egotistical one.


 

Darley, J.M., Batson, C.D. (1973). "From Jerusalem to Jericho": A Study of Situational and Dispositional Variables in Helping Behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 27(1), 100-108.

This article on bystander intervention in emergency situations suggests that we are likely to help a “shabbily dressed” person slumped by the side of the road—unless we’re in too much of a hurry to reach our own destination.


 

de Waal, F.B.M. (2008). Putting the Altruism Back into Altruism: The Evolution of Empathy. Annual Review of Psychology, 59: 279-300.

De Waal explores the evolutionary basis behind altruistic behavior, from its ancient origins to the more complex forms in humans that came with an increase in cognition.


 

Fowler, J.H., Christakis, N.A. (2010). Cooperative Behavior Cascades in Human Social Networks. PNAS, 107(12), 5334-5338.

This experimental study explores the ways in which cooperative (and uncooperative) behaviors spread from person to person to person, “cascading” in other words, in human social networks.


 

Hamilton, W.D. (1963). The Evolution of Altruistic Behavior. The American Naturalist, 97(896), 354-356.

This 1963 paper writes about altruism as a story of evolution. Among its theories is that altruistic behavior arises conditionally—that is, only when the risk is very slight and the recipient is not too distantly related.


 

Harbaugh, W.T., Mayr, U., Burghard, D.R. (2007). Neural Responses to Taxation and Voluntary Giving Reveal Motives for Charitable Donations. Science, 316(5381), 1622-1625.

If money is good, then why are people willing to give it away? This article distinguishes between “pure altruism” and “warm glow” as two different, but equally important, motives for making charitable contributions.


 

Latane, B., Darley, J.M. (1969). Bystander "Apathy." American Scientist, 57(2), 244-268.

Apathy, indifference, and unconcern are all inadequate to account for why we in 1964 failed to help Kitty Genovese when we knew she was being murdered. This article tells us exactly why we as bystanders won’t always be quick to intervene.


 

Moll, J., et al. (2006). Human Front-Mesolimbic Networks Guide Decisions About Charitable Donation. PNAS, 103(42), 15623-15628.

This article offers up a neural basis for human altruism. It uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while participants donate to charitable organizations related to major societal causes, illustrating that altruistic choices prevail over selfish material interests.


 

Over, H., Carpenter, M. (2009). Eighteen-Month-Old Infants Show Increased Helping Following Priming with Affiliation. Psychological Science, 20(10), 1189-1193.

Eighteen-month-old infants offer help more often and more spontaneously when primed with photographs hinting at affiliation. This suggests that social primes influence—and can promote—prosocial behavior in young children.


 

Post, S.G. (2005). Altruism, Happiness, and Health: It's Good to be Good. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 12(2), 66-77.

This article suggests that there exists a positive correlation between altruistic (other-regarding) emotions and behaviors and mental and physical health. As long as we are not overwhelmed by helping tasks, our compassionate emotions and behaviors are associated with our well-being, happiness, health, and longevity.


 

Rand, D.G., Greene, J.D., Nowak, M.A. (2012). Spontaneous Giving and Calculated Greed. Nature, 489(7416), 427-430.)

If choosing to cooperate requires us to incur a personal cost to benefit others, then do we cooperate only through exercising self-control? Or are we intuitively cooperative? This study uses economic games as a framework to find out.


 

Simpson, B., Willer, R. (2008). Altruism and Indirect Reciprocity: The Interaction of Person and Situation in Prosocial Behavior. Social Psychology Quarterly, 71(1), 37-52.

This paper eschews theories of kin selection and reciprocal altruism in favor of a model of indirect reciprocity. It still explains prosocial behavior among unrelated individuals in large populations, but it accounts for the possibility that individuals are motivated by the incentive to receive long-term benefits for short-term prosocial behaviors.


 

Smith, M.J. (1964). Group Selection and Kin Selection. Nature, 201(4924), 1145-1147.

This article takes up the idea that behaviors which favor the survival of the group and not of the individual have evolved by a process of group selection.


 

Trivers, R.L. (1971). The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism. Quarterly Review of Biology, 46(1), 35-57.

Trivers presents a model to account for human reciprocal altruism. It suggests that we possess both altruistic and cheating tendencies, the development and expression of which depends on our social and ecological environment.


 

Warneken, F., Tomasello, M. (2009). Varieties of Altruism in Children and Chimpanzees. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(9), 397-402.

This research focuses on the origins of human altruism by making cross-species comparisons between children and their closest primate relatives, chimpanzees.


 

Weng, Y.H., et. al. (2013). Compassion Training Alters Altruism and Neural Responses to Suffering Psychological Science, E-pub

Study shows results that suggest that compassion can be cultivated with training and that greater altruistic behavior may emerge from increased engagement of neural systems implicated in understanding the suffering of other people, executive and emotional control, and reward processing.


 

Wilson, D.S., O'Brien, D.T., Sesma, A. (2009). Human Prosociality From an Evolutionary Perspective:Variation and Correlations at a Citywide Scale. Evolution and Human Behavior, 30(3), 190-200.

Looking first at evolutionary theory and next at experimental economic and social capital literature, this paper takes a cross-disciplinary approach to understanding the uniquely human capacity to cooperate in large groups of unrelated people.


 
 

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Compassion

Gilbert, P., McEwan, K., Matos, M., Rivis, A. (2011). Fears of Compassion: Development of Three Self-Report Measures. Psychology and Psychotherapy. 84(3), 239-255.

We can have compassionate feelings for others and from others, but we can also have compassion for ourselves—that is, as long as we’re not fearful of it. This paper suggests the importance of of how and why some highly self-critical persons resist receiving compassion and what this means for therapeutic interventions.


 

Goetz, J.L., Keltner, D., Simon-Thomas, E. (2010). Compassion: An Evolutionary Analysis and Empirical Review. Psychological Bulletin. 136(3), 351-374.

Compassion evolved as a distinct affective experience whose function is to enable cooperation and protection of those who suffer. That’s just the beginning, though, of this empirical review on compassion—on what it is, and how it evolved, and how it facilitates prosocial behavior.


 

Hofmann, S.G., Grossman, P., Hinton, D.E. (2011). Loving-Kindness and Compassion Meditation: Potential for Psychological Interventions. Clinical Psychology Review. 31(7), 1126-1132.

Mindfulness-based meditation interventions are wildly popular in contemporary psychology, and for good reason. This paper explores the ways in which loving-kindness meditation and compassion meditation enhance unconditional, positive emotional states of kindness and compassion.


 

Jazaieri, H., et al. (2012). Enhancing Compassion: A Randomized Control Trial of a Compassion Cultivation Training Program. Journal of Happiness Studies, in press. Epub ahead of print.

Psychosocial interventions have become increasingly focused on cultivating positive emotional states and qualities. With its focus on mental health and well-being, this experimental design asks whether compassion can be cultivated.


 

Klimecki, O.M., Leiberg, S., Lamm, C., Singer, T. (2013) Functional Neural Plasticity and Associated Changes in Positive Affect After Compassion Training. Cerebral Cortex. 23(7), 1552-1561.

For as much as we know that prosocial emotions are crucial to our successful navigation of the social world, we still know very little about the neural mechanisms supporting the training of these emotions. This study on affective plasticity is a step toward this understanding.


 

Lilius, J.M., et. al. (2008). The Contours and Consequences of Compassion at Work. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29(2), 193-218.

Work colleagues respond to suffering in a whole host of ways that reshape understandings of themselves and of their organizations. Compassion, here, is a co-worker, and this paper evidences its powerful consequences.


 

Mikulincer, M., Shaver, P.R., Gillath, O., Nitzberg, R.A. (2005). Attachment, Caregiving, and Altruism: Boosting Attachment Security Increases Compassion and Helping. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 89(5), 817-839.

This article conceptualizes altruistic helping behavior in terms of Bowlby and Ainsworth’s attachment theories. It suggests that secure attachment allows for compassionate caregiving whereas insecurity interferes with these behaviors.


 

Oveis, C., Horberg, E.J., Keltner, D. (2010). Compassion, Pride, and Social Institutions of Self-Other Similarity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 98(4), 618-630.

This study seeks to understand the differential roles that compassion and pride play in human societies. Where compassion promotes identifying with weak and vulnerable others, motivating altruistic behavior, pride promotes identifying with strong others, maintaining social hierarchies.


 

Pace, T.W., (et al.) (2009). Effect of Compassion Meditation on Neuroendocrine, Innate Immune and Behavioral Responses to Psychosocial Stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 34(1), 87-98.

Meditation literature is quick to claim that practicing calms the mind, focuses attention, and generally develops mindfulness. But this study takes a new look at meditation focused on compassion—and suggests that it may reduce stress-induced immune and behavioral responses.


 

Simon-Thomas, E.R., et al. (2012). An fMRI Study of Caring vs Self-Focus During Induced Compassion and Pride. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 7(6), 635-648.

The emotions of compassion and pride don’t only feel different; they also have their own discrete neurological pathways. This study examining neural activation during the experience of caring (compassion) and self-focus (pride) illustrates why this distinction shouldn’t be surprising.


 

Sprecher, S., Fehr, B. (2005). Compassionate Love for Close Others and Humanity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 22(5), 629-651.

Compassionate love can be measured. At least now it can, with this paper having published a “compassionate love scale” that assesses compassionate or altruistic love for close others and all of human kind.


 

Stellar, J.E., Manzo, V.M., Kraus, M.W., Keltner, D. (2012). Class and Compassion: Socioeconomic Factors Predict Responses to Suffering. Emotion. 12(3), 449-459.

There’s a new form of poverty for the lower-class, and it’s negative emotions. But whereas lower-class individuals experience elevated negative emotions as compared with their upper-class counterparts, at least they feel and behave more compassionately—in other words, with concern for the suffering or well-being of others. This paper investigates the class disparity in dispositional compassion.


 

Valdesolo, P., DeSteno, D. (2011). Synchrony and the Social Tuning of Compassion. Emotion. 11(2), 262-266.

Valdesolo and DeSteno suggest that synchronized movement evokes compassion and altruistic behavior toward victims of moral transgressions.


 

Weng, Y.H., et. al. (2013). Compassion Training Alters Altruism and Neural Responses to Suffering Psychological Science, E-pub

Study shows results that suggest that compassion can be cultivated with training and that greater altruistic behavior may emerge from increased engagement of neural systems implicated in understanding the suffering of other people, executive and emotional control, and reward processing.


 
 

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Empathy

Batson, C.D., et. al. (1981). Is Empathic Emotion a Source of Altruistic Motivation? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40(2), 290-302.

A look at whether empathy causes an altruistic desire to help rather than an egotistical one.


 

Ben-Ami Bartal, I., Decety, J., & Mason, P. (2011). Empathy and Prosocial Behavior in Rats. Science, 334, 1427-1430.

The researchers look for prosocial behavior in rats by placing them in cages and testing whether they would free another rat while tempted with chocolate.


 

Bernhardt, B.C., & Singer, T. (2012). The Neural Basis of Empathy. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 35, 1-23.

How the brain shows empathy, specifically in neural networks associated with social cognition.


 

Davis, M.H. (1980). A Multidimensional Approach to Individual Differences in Empathy. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 10, 85.

The study suggests a way to measure to empathy through several tests including taking the perspective of others and showing concern. It then compares how the sexes measure up against each other.


 

de Waal, F.B.M. (2008). Putting the Altruism Back into Altruism: The Evolution of Empathy. Annual Review of Psychology, 59: 279-300.

De Waal explores the evolutionary basis behind altruistic behavior, from its ancient origins to the more complex forms in humans that came with an increase in cognition.


 

Decety, J. (2010). The Neurodevelopment of Empathy in Humans. Developmental Neuroscience, 32, 257-267.

Decety argues that empathy involves multiple components including affective arousal, emotion understanding, and emotion regulation, and explores the neural regions involved in these experiences.


 

Decety, J. (2011). The Neuroevolution of Empathy. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1231, 35-45.

The neurological basis of empathy, particularly the brain’s the response to pain and distress, that triggers the motivation to help.


 
 

Gerdes, K.E., Segal, E.A., Jackson, K.F., & Mullins, J. (2011). Teaching Empathy: A Framework Rooted in Social Cognitive Neuroscience and Social Justice. Journal of Social Work Education, 47: 109–119.

The relationship between empathy and social work and how social work educators can implement these ideas to teach empathy.


 

Ickes, W., Funder, D.C., & West, S.G. (1993). Empathic Accuracy. Journal of Personality, 61(4), 587-610.

A look at people’s motivations to understand the psychological states of others and how those motivations influence the empathy felt toward that person.


 

Lamm, C., Decety, J., & Batson, C.D. (2007). The Neural Substrate of Human Empathy: Effects of Perspective-Taking and Cognitive Appraisal. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19(1), 42-58.

Participants watched someone in pain and were told to either imagine how that person felt or imagine themselves in that situation, which affected their neural responses to seeing the pain.


 

Lamm, C., Decety, J., & Singer, T. (2011). Meta-Analytic Evidence for Common and Distinct Neural Networks Associated with Directly Experienced Pain and Empathy for Pain. Neuroimage, 54(3), 2492-2502.

How empathy for pain is shown similarly in the brain to actually experiencing pain, using fMRI scans to document that relationship.


 

Mar, R.A., Oatley, K., Djikic, M., & Mullin, J. (2011). Emotion and Narrative Fiction: Interactive Influences Before, During, and After Reading. Cognition & Emotion, 25, 818-833.

The connections between emotions and literary narrative fiction, specifically how emotions can influence how people choose, read, and experience books.


 

Masten, C., Morelli, S., & Eisenberger, N. (2011). An fMRI Investigation of Empathy for ‘Social Pain’ and Subsequent Prosocial Behavior. NeuroImage, 55(1), 381-388.

The neural activation involved when watching social exclusion, and how the neural processes involved in empathy correspond with prosocial behavior toward the excluded person.


 

Pfeifer, J.H., Iacoboni, M., Mazziotta, J.C., & Dapretto, M. (2008). Mirroring Others' Emotions Relates to Empathy and Interpersonal Competence in Children. NeuroImage, 39, 2076–2085.

This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the relationship between mirror neurons (which respond to the behaviors of others) and empathy in children.


 

Preston, S.D., & de Waal, F.B.M. (2001). Empathy: Its Ultimate and Proximate Bases Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 25, 1–72.

A model of empathy focusing on perception-action processes such as imitation, group alarm, and mother-infant responsiveness which drive the evolution of empathy.


 

Rabinowitch, T., et. al. (2013). Long-term musical group interaction has a positive influence on empathy in children Psychology of Music, 41: 484-498.

Study suggests that interacting with others through music makes us more emotionally attuned to other people, even beyond the musical setting.


 

Riess, H., et al. (2012). Empathy Training for Resident Physicians: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Neuroscience-Informed Curriculum. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 26(1).

Testing a new training program for physicians to see its effects on physicians’ empathy scores as rated by their patients.


 

Rodrigues, S.M., et. al. (2009). Oxytocin Receptor Genetic Variation Relates to Empathy and Stress Reactivity in Humans. PNAS, 106(50), 21437-21441.

How oxytocin relates to empathy and stress reactivity, specifically in relation to one polymorphism of the oxytocin receptor.


 

Rumble, A.C., Van Lange, P.A.M., & Parks, C.D. (2010). The Benefits of Empathy: When Empathy May Sustain Cooperation in Social Dilemmas. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 856−866.

Empathy-motivated cooperation in social situations can lessen the effects of unintended errors in behavior.


 

Weng, Y.H., et. al. (2013). Compassion Training Alters Altruism and Neural Responses to Suffering Psychological Science, E-pub

Study shows results that suggest that compassion can be cultivated with training and that greater altruistic behavior may emerge from increased engagement of neural systems implicated in understanding the suffering of other people, executive and emotional control, and reward processing.


 

Zaki, J., & Ochsner, K. (2012). The Neuroscience of Empathy: Progress, Pitfalls and Promise. Nature Neuroscience, 15(5), 675-680.

A survey of the current research on the neuroscience of empathy including its strengths and weaknesses.


 
 

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Happiness

Diener, E. (2000). Subjective Well-Being: The Science of Happiness and a Proposal for a National Index. American Psychologist, 55(1), 34-43.

Examines subjective well-being (that is, one’s cognitive and affective evaluations of one’s own life), suggesting that a representative selection of subjective well-being could be used to produce national indicators of happiness.


 

Dunn, E.W., Aknin, L.B., & Norton, M.I. (2008). Spending Money On Others Promotes Happiness. Science, 319, 1687-1688.

Looks at the impact of happiness levels when one spends money on others as opposed to oneself.


 

Easterlin, R., et al. (2010). The Happiness-Income Paradox Revisited. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(52), 22463-22468.

A recent study on the Easterlin Paradox (the theory over the long-term happiness does not increase as a country’s income rises) finds evidence that it is also true for a number of developing countries while responding to critiques of the paradox.


 

Gruber, J., Mauss, I.B. & Tamir, M. (2011). A Dark Side of Happiness? How, When and Why Happiness Is Not Always Good. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(3), 222–233.

looks to question the often made assumption in positive psychology research that happiness is always good, suggesting that it is more context dependent than we realize.


 

Kahneman, D., et al. (2004). A Survey Method for Characterizing Daily Life Experience: The Day Reconstruction Method. Science, 306, 1776-1780.

Tests the Day Reconstruction Method which assesses how people spend their time and experience activities in their life and suggests its potential for well-being research.


 

Killingsworth, M., & Gilbert, D. (2010). A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind. Science, 330 (6006), 932.

This study used a smartphone application to sample people’s thoughts, feelings and actions at random times throughout the day. It found that people are least happy at times when their minds are not focused on the action they’re performing in the present moment—and, unfortunately, their minds and actions are out of sync almost as often as they’re in sync.


 

Lyubomirsky, S., & Layous, K. (2013). How do simple positive activities increase well-being?. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22(1), 57-62.

Investigators have recently begun to study the optimal conditions under which positive activities increase happiness and the mechanisms by which these effects work.


 

Lyubomirsky, S., & Ross, L. (1997). Hedonic Consequences of Social Comparison: A Contrast of Happy and Unhappy People. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(6), 1141-1157.

Two studies test the hypothesis that self-rated unhappy individuals would be more sensitive than happy ones to social comparison information.


 

Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., Diener, E. (2005). The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success? Psychological Bulletin,131(6), 803-855.

compiles several other studies on the happiness-success link, examining both ways in which success makes people happy and how positive affect engenders success.


 

Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K.M., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing Happiness: The Architecture of Sustainable Change. Review of General Psychology, 9(2), 111-131.

Looking at past well-being researchers in this study divide three major factors which they believe to govern one’s chronic happiness and compare each factor’s potential to sustainably increase happiness.


 

Nelson, S.K., et. al. (in press). In Defense of Parenthood: Children Are Associated With More Joy Than Misery. Psychological Science.

Contrary to recent studies suggesting that parenthood is linked to unhappiness, parents are found to report higher levels of happiness, positive emotion, and meaning in life than non-parents.


 

Parks, A.C. & Biswas-Diener, R. (in press). Positive Interventions: Past, Present and Future. To appear in T. Kashdan & Ciarrochi, J. (Eds.), Bridging Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Positive Psychology: A Practitioner’s Guide to a Unifying Framework. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

A discussion of positive intervention research, defining what it is, its effectiveness and application, and its possible future directions.


 

Seligman, M.E.P., Steen, T.A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions. American Psychologist, 60(5), 410-421.

Reviewing developments in the field of positive psychology this article presents cross-cultural findings on strengths and virtues while presenting their own study on how positive intervention can lastingly increase happiness.


 

Sheldon, K.M., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2012). The Challenge of Staying Happier: Testing the Hedonic Adaptation Prevention Model. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(5), 670-680.

Uses the Hedonic Adaptation Prevention model to look at how well-being gains derived from a positive life change are eroded and how this erosion can be forestalled.


 

Wilson, T.D., & Gilbert, D.T. (2003). Affective Forecasting. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 35, 345-411.

Looks at people’s tendency to base decisions on predictions about their emotional reactions to future events (otherwise known as affective forecasting), and examines the causes and implications of the phenomenon.


 
 

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Mindfulness

Burke, C. (2009). Mindfulness-Based Approaches with Children and Adolescents: A Preliminary Review of Current Research in an Emergent Field. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 18(3), 1062-1024.

A comprehensive review of current research on mindfulness-based approaches to interventions with children and adolescents.


 

Cardaciotto, L., et al. (2008). The Assessment of Present-Moment Awareness and Acceptance: The Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale. Assessment, 15(2), 204-223.

Explores the effects of mindfulness practices on present-moment awareness and acceptance.


 

Davidson, R. J., et al. (2003). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(4), 564–570.

Explores the biological (brain & immune) processes associated with reported mental and physical health changes from mindfulness meditation.


 

Davis, T.S. (2012). Mindfulness-Based Approaches and their potential for educational psychology practice. Educational Psychology in Practice, 28(1), 31-46.

Identifies current uses of MBA (Mindfulness-Based Approaches) in clinical and educational settings.


 

Flook, L., et al. (2010). Effects of Mindful Awareness Practices on Executive Functions in Elementary School Children. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 26(1), 70-95.

Finds that children who were less well-regulated displayed greater executive function and behavioral control after undergoing mindful awareness practices.


 

Hölzel, B.K., et al. (2011). Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 191(1), 36-43.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction interventions increase gray matter density in brain regions associated with learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.


 

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Context: Past, Present, and Future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144-156.

Summarizes the definition, history, spread, cultural views, applicability, implications, and future opportunities for mindfulness-based practices.


 

Kemeny, M.E., et al. (2012). Contemplative/emotion training reduces negative emotional behavior and promotes prosocial responses. Emotion, 12(2), 338-350.

Contemplative practices and emotion training reduces negative emotional behavior and increases prosocial emotional behavior.


 

Keng, S., Smoski, M.J., & Robins, C.J. (2011). Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: A review of empirical studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 31(6), 1041-1056.

Explores Western versus Buddhist conceptions of mindfulness as well as the effects of mindfulness on psychological health including positive emotion and well-being, behavioral regulation, and less negative psychological symptoms.


 

Killingsworth, M., & Gilbert, D. (2010). A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind. Science, 330 (6006), 932.

This study used a smartphone application to sample people’s thoughts, feelings and actions at random times throughout the day. It found that people are least happy at times when their minds are not focused on the action they’re performing in the present moment—and, unfortunately, their minds and actions are out of sync almost as often as they’re in sync.


 

Meiklejohn, J., et al. (2010). Integrating Mindfulness Training into K-12 Education: Fostering the Resilience of Teachers and Students. Mindfulness, 1(1).

Summarizes established research on mindfulness practices implemented into K-12 education that finds benefits for both teachers and students.


 

Murphy, M. J., Mermelstein, L. C., Edwards, K. M., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012). The Benefits of Dispositional Mindfulness in Physical Health: A Longitudinal Study of Female College Students. Journal of American College Health, 60(5), 341-348.

Explores the benefits of dispositional mindfulness on health behaviors (such as sleep, eating, and exercise) and physical health.


 

Shapiro, S.L., Brown, K.W., & Biegel, G.M. (2007). Teaching self-care to caregivers: Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on the mental health of therapists in training. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 1(2), 105-115.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs reduces stress, negative affect, rumination, and anxiety, and increases positive affect and self-compassion in mental health therapists in training.


 

Shapiro, S.L., et al. (2005). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Health Care Professionals: Results From a Randomized Trial. International Journal of Stress Management, 12(2), 164-176.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction interventions reduce stress and increase quality of life and self-compassion in health care professionals.


 

Weng, Y.H., et. al. (2013). Compassion Training Alters Altruism and Neural Responses to Suffering Psychological Science, E-pub

Study shows results that suggest that compassion can be cultivated with training and that greater altruistic behavior may emerge from increased engagement of neural systems implicated in understanding the suffering of other people, executive and emotional control, and reward processing.


 
 

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