Associations Between Materialism, Gratitude, and Well-Being in Children of Overseas Filipino Workers


  • Allan B. I. Bernardo
  • Roseann Tan-Mansukhani
  • Mary Angeline A. Daganzo


Children left behind by parents who are overseas Filipino workers (OFW) benefit from parental migration because their financial status improves. However, OFW families might emphasize the economic benefits to compensate for their separation, which might lead to materialism among children left behind. Previous research indicates that materialism is associated with lower well-being. The theory is that materialism focuses attention on comparing one’s possessions to others, making one constantly dissatisfied and wanting more. Research also suggests that gratitude mediates this link, with the focus on acquiring more possessions that make one less grateful for current possessions. This study explores the links between materialism, gratitude, and well-being among 129 adolescent children of OFWs. The participants completed measures of materialism, gratitude, and well-being (life satisfaction, self-esteem, positive and negative affect). Results showed that gratitude mediated the negative relationship between materialism and well-being (and its positive relationship with negative affect). Children of OFWs who have strong materialist orientation seek well-being from possessions they do not have and might find it difficult to be grateful of their situation, contributing to lower well-being. The findings provide further evidence for the mediated relationship between materialism and well-being in a population that has not been previously studied in the related literature. The findings also point to two possible targets for psychosocial interventions for families and children of OFWs.