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International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Abstract

The importance of gratitude in interpersonal relationships is well recognized, but less

is known about experiences of gratitude beyond this domain. The authors sought to

examine the lived experience of gratitude as it arises in a transpersonal context. Drawing

from interviews with 68 adults, the authors generated 110 items. In two separate studies

(n = 314; n = 385) the authors culled the scale to sixteen items by using a combination of

Cronbach’s alpha, exploratory factor analysis, and assessments of content validity. Internal

consistency for the overall scale and the subscales was high with a Cronbach’s alpha of

0.88. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed strong fit indices for the factor structure. The

final scale exhibited good convergent validity, as quantified by positive correlations with

positive reciprocity, grateful disposition, empathy, and spiritual transcendence. In addition,

the final scale exhibited good discriminant validity, as quantified by negative correlations

with negative reciprocity. These results indicate that our assessment of gratitude is similar

to previous assessments of gratitude, but also distinct from scales that quantify negative

reciprocity. Conclusions are drawn regarding the theoretical structure of gratitude and the

importance of adding a transpersonal and spiritual dimension to the construct.

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