Gina Stepp has a master's degree in forensic psychology with an emphasis on trauma and resilience. As family and relationships editor for Vision, she examines the role interpersonal connection plays in ensuring human well-being.
For some time now in America there has been a minor (and until fairly recently rather obscure) debate over where and when the first Thanksgiving celebration occurred. What early settlement was really the first to host a gathering of harvest gratitude? While New England certainly has well-documented reason to lay claim to the title, some historians point to a Thanksgiving celebration that occurred more than fifty years earlier in St. Augustine, Florida.
All debate aside, however, the point of Thanksgiving is to promote thankfulness, and according to researchers this is an attitude that can be good for individuals as well as families.
Some interesting specifics from findings in positive psychology are noted here in a joint project undertaken by the University of California, Davis and the University of Miami:
All things considered, gratitude would seem to be an important ingredient to be sprinkled liberally around the family table at Thanksgiving celebrations this year—and every year to follow.
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