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We are interested in understanding how children and adolescents become grateful for what they have and for the help that they receive, and the consequences (for individuals, communities, and the planet) of encouraging gratitude. 

What role do parents and teachers play in the development of gratitude?  Do children and adolescents who feel and express more gratitude feel better about themselves, their family, and their community?  Are they less materialistic than less grateful individuals?  Can parents and teachers help reduce excessive materialism by encouraging gratitude, and thus do something to sustain life on this planet?

We are most grateful for the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation, which is allowing us to gather data in Brazil and the United States, where we'll be collecting data from African American and European American parents and children (equally divided by social class), as well as immigrants from Mexico, China, and Brazil.  The Templeton-funded research will last from August 2014 until July 2017.  We're also planning to collect data in China and Mexico, and are seeking additional funding for that purpose.

Students interested in pursuing their PdD with me at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, focusing on the development of gratitude, should contact me at jrtudge@uncg.edu