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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Problem Statement: Much has been documented on the impact of emotional intelligence (EI) on adolescents in terms of their problem-solving skills (Ajawani, 2012), creativity (Vijaykumar, 2012), and academic performance (Shenoy & Thingujam, 2012). Increasingly, emphasis has been paid on the effect of EI on health among this population. For example, EI has been shown to interact with personality traits to affect psychological well-being (Salami, 2012). EI, based on literature focusing on the adult population, shows that it is a protective factor and can buffer against psychological distress (e.g. Hunt & Evans, 2004; Schmidt & Andrykowski, 2004). However, little is known regarding the role that EI could play in influencing such outcome among traumatized adolescents. Whilst one study has shown that low EI predicted the likelihood for being bullied by peers (Lomas, 2012), no research has focused on the effect of childhood trauma. To what extent EI could interact with the experience of childhood trauma in influencing different degrees of psychological distress among adolescents is unknown.Purpose of Study: The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, it aims to provide a brief review of literature pertaining to the relationship between psychological well-being and emotional intelligence among adolescents. Secondly, it aims to point out the gap in research looking at the link between EI and childhood trauma and to formulate a theoretical model for understanding the foregoing relationship. The theoretical postulate is integrated with theories from trauma and EI literature. In brief, it postulates that the experience of childhood trauma would have a significant impact on the development of traumatized self (Brewin, 2002) among these adolescents. This traumatized self is characterized by altered self-capacities of which interpersonal conflicts or difficulties with oneself and others are part (Briere & Spinazolli, 2005).Conclusions: This would hinder the development of EI which would in turn affect different degrees of psychological well-being. This theoretical model will be relevant for not only researchers investigating childhood trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in general but also it will have significant clinical implications for counselor and psychotherapists who work with adolescents




Elsevier BV



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Social and Behavioral Sciences


Emotional intelligence among adolescents, Childhood trauma, Integrative theoretical model of EI

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series