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Development of emotional intelligence in early adolescence


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Babić Čikeš, Ana. (2013). Development of emotional intelligence in early adolescence. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Psychology. [mentor Buško, Vesna].

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The aim of this study was to contribute to validation of emotional intelligence construct, its developmental aspects and role in inter- and intraindividual differences in interpretation of selected criterion activities according to ability models perspective. Previous research about emotional intelligence were mostly done on a student and adult samples while the data that associated with younger age groups is rather scarce. In this research the changes of emotional intelligence abilities in early adolescence, according to Mayer and Salovey's model (1997), have been explored. Emotional intelligence dimensions were operationalized by objective performance measures, and peers and teachers assessment. Longitudinal research with data collected in two points in time and 18 month interval period in between was conducted. Primary school pupils (N=561), 10 to 15 years old, completed several emotional intelligence tests (Perception of affective content in art test, Emotional analysis test and Emotion management test), rated their peers' emotional intelligence abilities and reported their school grades (grade point average and single subject grades) both times. At the first time point, they also completed Mill Hill Vocabulary Scale and Big Five personality traits measure (IPIP-35). Teacher ratings of EI abilities and social functioning of students were collected during the first school year of investigation. Correlation analysis showed that all EI measures are in low to moderate positive correlations. However, it was found that correlations between different measures of the same EI ability are not larger than correlations between the same type of measurement of different EI abilities. Verbal abilities are in low to moderate positive correlations with all EI measures, which confirms the preconception of EI being a mental ability. Correlations of EI measures with Big Five personality traits are insignificant or low as expected. Patterns of correlations between personality traits and EI dimensions are somewhat different in younger (fifth and sixth grade) as opposed to older (seventh and eighth grade) pupils. Correlations of extraversion with some EI measures are found to be larger in younger sample while correlations of agreeableness and openness with EI measures are found to be larger in older sample. Analysis of the data collected from the first time point showed that results of EI measures vary as far as age and gender are concerned. Girls and older students had higher results. On the other hand, teacher's ratings show different age trend by which eight graders have the lowest results. Longitudinal analysis confirmed positive changes between the first and the second measurement point. Changes of the EI tests results are larger in the girl sample. According to individual change analysis, verbal abilities are a significant predictor of changes in results in Perception of affective content in art test, gender and verbal abilities are significant predictors of changes in Emotion analysis test results, and gender is the only predictor of changes in Emotion management test results. Hierarchical regression procedures were conducted to investigate criterion validity of EI measures. EI variables independently explained 22.2% of the school achievement variance and 22.4% of the social functioning variance. Only peer ratings, of all EI measures, accomplished considerable contribution to the school achievement. Results of the study showed the existence of developmental changes in EI abilities in early adolescence, as well as those changes being gender specific. Also, results point to the importance of EI abilities in prediction of school success and social functioning and the necessity to include different types of measures in EI research.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: emotional intelligence, early adolescence, developmental changes, social functioning, school achievement
Subjects: Psychology > Kognitivna psihologija
Psychology > Razvojna psihologija
Departments: Department of Psychology
Supervisor: Buško, Vesna
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2015 10:17
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2015 10:17

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