Gratitude Journal - Single Subject Design

Faculty Sponsor

Rachel Murray


Arts and Sciences


Social Work

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 2021


Practicing gratitude has been shown to improve mental health, physical health, relationships with others, and increase positivity. For this ABA Single Subject Design, I worked with one participant over a period of four weeks. The goal was to see how using a gratitude journal would impact their daily outlook on their life and on the world.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, life has become harder for almost everyone. Mental health struggles have gone up and the outlook on life has become increasingly negative. I started to wonder how do we recognize and validate the bad without totally blocking out the good. These thoughts turned into conversations with the person who would become the participant in this research project. The participant was having a hard time seeing any good in the world so we decided to use the intervention of a gratitude journal.

For one week the participant would record their mood and outlook via a google form without any intervention. After the one-week period, the participant was educated about the use of gratitude journals and the most effective way of using them. The following two weeks they used a gratitude journal every day and continued filling out the same google form. After the two-week use of the gratitude journal, the participant was interviewed for qualitative information. During the last week, the participant was instructed to stop using the gratitude journal and continue filling out the form to see if the effects lasted after the participant stopped writing in the journal.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Rachel Winkler is a senior social work major from St. Louis, Missouri. She is currently interning at Michigan City High School in the Student Support Services Department. She is going on to earn her Master of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis next year.

This document is currently not available here.