Based on a sample of Israeli adolescents living in a city which was under missile attack 2½ months prior to this study, we examined the possible affective and cognitive mechanisms through which gratitude may serve as a protective factor against PTSD symptoms. Speciﬁcally, we focused on how this process might be mediated by positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction. These are widely understood as the emotional and cognitive components of subjective wellbeing and have each been signiﬁcantly associated with gratitude and with pathology in the literature. Using pathway analysis, our ﬁndings revealed that life satisfaction and negative affect, but not positive affect, mediated the relationship between gratitude and PTSD symptoms. Our study suggests that gratitude may serve as a protective factor primarily through cognitive appraisal processes tied to greater appreciation of life in a way that distinguishes it from other positive emotions.
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