An exploration of parent-adolescent dyads' experiences of gratitude activities in a South African context
Available evidence strongly suggests that the parent-adolescent relationship, which is a foundational relationship, can play a crucial role in individuals' relational development as well as their experience of well-being. The various challenges experienced with regard to parent-adolescent relationships are indicative of the need for research in this regard, including the South African context. Research in the field of positive psychology suggests that the development of gratitude and participation in gratitude activities can strengthen relationships, but also identifies the need for research with adolescents in terms of gratitude and gratitude activities. This study therefore explores and describes parent-adolescent dyads' experiences of gratitude activities in a South African context. The study implemented a qualitative, explorative-descriptive research design. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with six parent-adolescent dyads (n=12) that were sampled purposively and were analysed through the use of thematic analyses. The findings entail identified themes and sub-themes: Positive experiences of participants regarding the gratitude activities (including doing something different, of a pleasant nature, a positive challenge and usefulness of activities); experiencing a deeper understanding of gratitude (including a realisation of taking things for granted, a realisation of how much there is to be thankful for, reflection in terms of gratitude, the uniqueness of the gratitude experience and the value of sharing gratitude); experiencing the relational value of gratitude (including spending time together, seeing the other person in a new light and improvement of the relationship); and recommendations (changes to activities and promoting the activities with others). The study's findings contribute to empirical data and knowledge concerning gratitude activities, specifically as experienced by parent-adolescent dyads in a South African context.
- Health Sciences