A moderated mediation model of trait gratitude and career calling in Chinese undergraduates: Life meaning as mediator and moral elevation as moderator

Abstract

This study aimed to examine whether life meaning mediates the effect of trait gratitude on career calling in a Chinese sample. Further, we explored the moderating role of moral elevation on trait gratitude’s direct and indirect effect on career calling. Using a cross-sectional design, a sample of five hundred and twelve Chinese undergraduates participated and completed measures of trait gratitude, life meaning, moral elevation, and career calling. The results showed that trait gratitude positively predicted a career calling, and life meaning mediated this pathway from trait gratitude to career calling. Moral elevation significantly moderated the mediation effect of life meaning and the direct effect of trait gratitude on career calling. Among undergraduates with low moral elevation, the indirect effect via life meaning and the direct effect of trait gratitude on career calling were significantly positive but weaker than those with high moral elevation. These results offer implications for experiencing a career calling and highlight the importance of moral elevation for grateful people to perceive their career calling.

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Availability of Data

The datasets generated during and analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Code Availability

The datasets were analyzed by SPSS 24.0 and AMOS 23.0. Particularly, the mediating effect of life meaning and the moderating effect of moral elevation were analyzed by the PROCESS 3.3 macro of SPSS 24.0 (Model 4 and 8, Hayes, 2013).

Funding

This study is funded by a major project of Philosophy and Social Science Research, the Ministry of Education, called “the research on the construction of high-quality kindergarten principals in China” (Project Approval No. 16JZD050).

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by Feifei Li. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Feifei Li, and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Feifei Li.

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This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Psychology school of Northeast Normal University.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Li, F., Jiao, R., Yin, H. et al. A moderated mediation model of trait gratitude and career calling in Chinese undergraduates: Life meaning as mediator and moral elevation as moderator. Curr Psychol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-01455-7

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Keywords

  • Trait gratitude
  • Career calling
  • Life meaning
  • Moral elevation