University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Emotional Intelligence as a Moderator of Stressor-mental Health Relations in Adolescence: Evidence for Specificity

Davis, Sarah K and Humphrey, Neil (2012) Emotional Intelligence as a Moderator of Stressor-mental Health Relations in Adolescence: Evidence for Specificity. Personality and Individual Differences, 52 (1). pp. 100-105. ISSN 0191-8869

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Emotional intelligence (EI) has been reliably linked to better mental health (Martins, Ramalho, & Morin, 2010), though descriptive associations reveal little about how and when such adaptive outcomes arise. Whilst there is some evidence to suggest that ‘trait’ EI may operate as a protective resource within stress-illness processes (e.g., Mikolajczak, Roy, Luminet, Fillée, & de Timary, 2007), the role of ‘ability’ EI in this regard appears unclear (e.g., Matthews et al., 2006). Moreover, few studies have simultaneously examined relations between EI, chronic stressors and mental health in adolescents. The current study explored whether EI moderated the relationship between a range of stressors (family dysfunction; negative life events; and socio-economic adversity) and self-reported mental health (depression and disruptive behaviour symptomotology) in a sample of 405 adolescents (mean age 13.09 years). Moderated regression analyses found that whilst high levels of trait EI attenuated stressor-mental health relations, high levels of ability EI amplified associations, although both effects showed specificity with respect to stressor type and disorder. Implications for the EI construct and related intervention programmes are discussed.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: emotional intelligence, mental health, depression, disruptive behaviour, stress, adolescence
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Health and Society
Depositing User: Sarah Davis
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2012 17:01
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2012 17:01

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