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British Journal of Developmental Psychology (2007), 25, 263–275 q 2007 The British Psychological Society

The British Psychological Society
www.bpsjournals.co.uk

Trait emotional intelligence, psychological well-being and peer-rated social competence in adolescence
Stella Mavroveli1, K. V. Petrides1*, Carolien Rieffe2 and Femke Bakker2
1 2

Institute of Education, University of London, UK Leiden University, The Netherlands
The trait emotional intelligence (trait EI or trait emotional self-efficacy) framework provides comprehensive coverage of emotion-related self-perceptions and dispositions. In this study, we investigated the relationship between trait EI and four distinct socioemotional criteria on a sample of Dutch adolescents (N ¼ 282; 136 girls, 146 boys; mean age ¼ 13.75 years). As hypothesized, trait EI was positively associated with adaptive coping styles and negatively associated with depressive thoughts and frequency of somatic complaints. It was also negatively associated with maladaptive coping styles, in boys only. Adolescents with high trait EI scores received more nominations from their classmates for being co-operative and girls gave significantly more nominations to classmates with high trait EI scores for having leadership qualities. The discussion focusses on the operationalization of trait emotional self-efficacy in adolescents.

The general concept of emotional intelligence (EI) is partly rooted in Thorndike’s (1920) idea of ‘social intelligence’ and Gardner’s (1983) theory of multiple intelligences (especially ‘intrapersonal’ and ‘interpersonal’ intelligence). In the current context, EI as a construct was discussed in a dissertation by Payne (1986), even though as a term it had appeared in the literature much earlier (Leuner, 1966). Salovey and Mayer (1990) put forward a theoretical model that viewed the construct as a subset of social intelligence and Goleman (1995) provided a broad and highly influential account that has nonetheless attracted concerted criticism for its unsubstantiated claims about the vital importance of EI in people’s personal, social and professional lives. The fact that the field still lacks a universally accepted operational definition has contributed significantly to the emergence of inconsistent and sometimes, contradictory findings that have often been discussed in the scientific literature (e.g. Davies, Stankov, & Roberts, 1998; Epstein, 1998; Mathews, Zeidner, & Roberts, 2002).
* Correspondence should be addressed to K. V. Petrides, Institute of Education, University of London, 25 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA, UK (e-mail: k.petrides@ioe.ac.uk). All TEIQue forms are available, free of charge, for research purposes.
DOI:10.1348/026151006X118577

and depression and affect intensity (Dawda & Hart. There is a well-established association between depression and persistent pain symptomatology (Harma. & Mavroveli. Petrides & Furnham. with only a few studies focussing explicitly on children or adolescents. which trait emotional self-efficacy may moderate. The trait EI framework aims to provide comprehensive coverage of personality facets relating to affect. 2005) and organizational (Wong & Law. respectively. & Rantanen. Martinez-Pons. in press) and extant empirical findings. It is important to understand that this construct is not related to intelligence as traditionally defined (i. 2003. 2004). it was hypothesized (H6) that trait EI will be negatively related to antisocial behaviours (disruption and aggression) and positively . It should be emphasized that trait EI and ability EI are two different constructs conceptually. 2004). 2002. life satisfaction and loneliness (Palmer. Perez-Gonzalez. Petrides. 2001) proposed a distinction between two emotional intelligence constructs: trait EI (or trait emotional self-efficacy) and ability EI (or cognitive-emotional ability). Pita. somatic complaints and maladaptive coping styles (H1. 1997) and a positive relationship with adaptive coping styles (H4. Trait EI concerns behavioural dispositions and self-perceived abilities and is measured through self-report.g. we hypothesized that trait EI will show a negative relationship with depression. Kaltiala-Heino. Warwick & Nettelbeck. Trait EI is defined as a constellation of emotion-related self-perceptions and dispositions at the lower levels of personality hierarchies (Petrides & Furnham. Donaldson. A growing body of evidence supports the predictive validity of trait EI in different areas.e. Petrides and Furnham (e. Research evidence has consistently supported this distinction by revealing low correlations between the two (e. 2007). 2000. cognitive ability). H2 and H3. Frederickson. Van der Zee & Wabeke. Based on the theoretical nature of the construct (e. 2002).g. Rimpela. This differentiation is based on the type of measurement used in the operationalization process. Petrides. 2004). & Furnham. Trait EI versus ability EI In order to address misconceptions and help organize the literature. 2002) psychology. 2006. & Menil. & Furnham. 2003. such that high trait EI individuals with depression may be less likely to experience somatization due to an advantage in emotional self-regulation (H5). Trait EI should be investigated with reference to personality hierarchies. The discriminant and incremental validity of the construct have also been demonstrated in many different studies (Mikolajczak. 2001. Luminet. experimental (Austin. see also Dawda & Hart. Any such effect. 2000). With respect to peer-rated social competence.. & Minski. 2007. 2003).g. including educational (Petrides. Petrides & Furnham. Saklofske et al. 2003. & Kokkinaki. methodologically and empirically. whereas ability EI concerns actual emotion-related abilities and must be measured through maximum-performance tests. see ´ ´ also Petrides.264 Stella Mavroveli et al. The present study Hitherto. however. Austin. psychological wellbeing and peer relations on a sample of Dutch adolescent pupils. The present study seeks to help restore the balance by exploring the relationships between trait EI. 2001). whilst ability EI should be investigated with reference to cognitive ability hierarchies. Other correlates include goal orientation and reduced depressive symptomatology (Martinez-Pons. will be relatively small because of the restricted variation of the conditional distribution of trait EI at high levels of depression. O’Connor & Little. & Stough. Furnham. 2000. Saklofske. 1997). most trait EI research has been carried out on adult samples.

Furnham. & Frederickson. seven distinct subscales.g. Petrides. avoidant coping (ignoring the problem or running away from it). The internal consistencies of the inventory were generally high. Higher scores on the TEIQueASF indicated higher levels of trait EI. 2006) is a simplified version. The internal consistency of the overall scale was . 1994) is a Dutch measure of coping styles in adolescence. depressive coping (becoming overwhelmed by the problem). Ten translated items were further simplified as a result of this process. Method Participants The sample comprised 282 children (146 boys and 136 girls). of the adult short form of the TEIQue. in order to identify clusters of variables in the UCL-A that share variation. The internal consistency of the Dutch TEIQue-ASF was . Children identified by their teachers as having special needs were excluded from the analyses. The alphas of these subscales. Measures Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire-Adolescent Short Form Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire-Adolescent Short Form (TEIQue-ASF. 2000). & Kelloway. Further information about the UCL-A subscales is presented in Table 1.81 on the total sample (N ¼ 282). ‘I often find it hard to understand other people’). two factors. accounting for 49. showing emotions (revealing frustration and anger about the problem) and optimistic coping (developing reassuring and comforting thoughts). Jackson. It consists of 47 items responded to on a four-point Likert scale (e. with the exceptions of depressive coping (a ¼ :53). palliative coping (seeking distraction to avoid thinking about the problem). The first factor (adaptive coping styles) comprised . Petrides et al. seeking social support (looking for comfort and understanding from other people). Barling. Utrechtse Coping Lijst voor Adolescenten Utrechtse Coping Lijst voor Adolescenten (UCL-A. Zacharatos. The inventory was translated into Dutch and initially piloted on a sample of 18 children.. & Bosman. showing emotions (a ¼ :56) and avoidant coping (a ¼ :67). The sample varied considerably in ethnic and social background. especially depressive coping. The scale includes 30 short statements responded to on a seven-point Likert scale (e.87 years (SD ¼ 0:75). were extracted. indicate some degree of heterogeneity in the items. Based on the aims of the study and the Scree test.g. Participants from four Dutch state high schools were recruited via telephone. Megerian & Sosik.81. in line with the general Dutch population. A principal component analysis with VARIMAX rotation was conducted at the subscale-level. ranging in age from 10 to 12 years. 2004.8% of the variance. The seven subscales are confrontation (disentangling the situation and working in a goal-oriented way to solve the problem).Trait emotional intelligence 265 related to prosocial behaviours (co-operation and leadership. Sangareau. ‘I often share my worries with someone’) assessing. in terms of wording and syntactic complexity. in total. in order to ensure comprehensibility. 1996. Bijstra. All items are sampled from the 15 subscales of the adult trait EI sampling domain (two items per subscale). ranging in age from 11 to 15 years with a mean of 13.

2004. disruption.g. 2001) is the Dutch version of a 28-item questionnaire measuring cognitive and somatic symptoms of depression (e.73 . We focussed on two prosocial and two antisocial descriptions. A global score for social competence was calculated for each pupil by summing up nominations on cooperation and leadership and subtracting nominations on disruption and aggression. High scores on this scale indicated more severe self-reported depressive symptoms. which assesses how often children and adolescents experience pain.266 Stella Mavroveli et al. ‘I have a headache. Somatic Complaints List Somatic Complaints List (SCL. The responses were processed to show the proportion of classroom peers nominating each pupil as fitting each description. Table 1. Thus. 1985. Guess Who peer assessment Guess Who peer assessment is an adaptation of Coie and Dodge’s (1988) peer assessment model based on unlimited nominations and proportion scores. The alphas of the two factors were .71 .67 .84.53 . High scores on this scale indicated a higher frequency of complaints.’) to which participants respond on a three-point Likert scale. 2006) is a Dutch scale.76 and . The internal consistency of the scale on this sample was . Internal consistencies of the UCL-A subscales (N ¼ 282) Scale Confrontational coping Palliative coping Avoidant coping Social support Depressive coping Showing emotions Optimistic coping Number of items 7 8 8 6 7 3 5 Alpha . it is my fault’). Items are rated on a threepoint scale of symptom severity. seeking social support. Children’s Depression Inventory Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI. Children were asked to nominate all classmates who fitted the following behavioural descriptions: cooperation. Factor scores were estimated by taking the mean of the relevant subscale scores. The SCL exhibited good internal consistency on this sample (a ¼ :80).75. Rieffe. respectively. In all cases. Rieffe. and optimistic coping).71 adaptive reaction strategies (confrontational. Kovacs. The SCL includes 10 items (e. Oosterveld.83 . . Interested schools were visited and further details were provided to the head teachers. Timbremont & Braet. whereas the second factor (maladaptive coping styles) comprised maladaptive reaction strategies (avoidant. & Meerum Terwogt. aggression and leadership. ‘When something bad happens. Meerum Terwogt.56 . Procedure Schools were contacted via telephone and were given details about the study. larger positive scores were indicative of higher social competence.g. & Bosch. palliative and depressive coping).

respectively) and cooperation (r ¼ :348. . . . Gender-specific analyses revealed that. p . Results Gender differences We tested for gender differences in trait EI through an independent samples t-test. Trait EI and psychological well-being Table 2 presents the correlations between the TEIQue-ASF and the other variables in the study. in both boys and girls. .01.01) and negatively to depressive coping (r(boys) ¼ 2 . .01) in both boys and girls. r ¼ :225.01) and positively with optimistic coping (r ¼ :265.Trait emotional intelligence 267 consent was obtained from participants’ parents. . The pattern of correlations was generally consistent with expectations.01). The t-test did not reveal significant mean differences (tð252Þ ¼ :965. . high trait EI scores were related to more nominations for social competence (r ¼ :230. The questionnaires were completed under supervision during normal class periods. p . .189. but not in boys (r ¼ 2:062. p . . somatic complaints (r ¼ 2:395. . A very similar pattern of correlations was obtained across gender. p . . Trait EI and peer-rated social competence The analyses in this section examined whether trait emotional self-efficacy (trait EI) bears on how children are perceived by their classmates.01). & Silva. p . Although we did not have theoretical grounds to expect differential relationships. the teacher and in some cases both. . p .01). were present to ensure confidentiality and independent responding. p . All children were informed that they could withdraw from the study at any point. . . respectively).422.05). p ¼ ns and r ¼ :117.05.01).01. p . we thought it useful to carry out gender-specific analyses in addition to the analyses on the total sample. it correlated negatively with showing emotions (r ¼ 2:328. trait EI was negatively correlated with depression (r ¼ 2:604. respectively). p . Rutter. p ¼ ns). Girls. p . In contrast. the absence of gender differences in a construct’s mean does not indicate that its relationships to other variables are invariant across gender. On the total sample.01) in girls. 2001) and the sufficient size of our sample.127. p . and maladaptive coping styles (r ¼ 2:222.05). p ¼ ns. p . As regards gender-based discrepancies. . However. .01) and positively correlated with adaptive coping styles (r ¼ :347. p ¼ ns).01. p . gave more nominations for leadership to their high trait EI classmates (r ¼ :201.329. Caspi. The researcher. r(girls) ¼ . Table 3 shows that trait EI was related positively to social support (r(boys) ¼ .01. given the conspicuousness of gender differences during adolescence (Moffit. as can be seen in Table 2. . but not in girls (r ¼ 2:051. with the sole exception of the correlation between trait EI and maladaptive coping styles (r(boys) ¼ 2 .308. p . . The relationship between trait EI and coping was further explored using the seven coping styles subscales.432. Specifically. . r(girls) ¼ 2 . p . p . p . trait EI correlated with avoidant coping in boys (r ¼ 2:198. trait EI was positively related to nominations for social competence (r ¼ :244. Verbal and written instructions describing the procedure were given to the children.05. p .01. r ¼ :299. r(girls) ¼ 2 . . but not boys. p .05).

244**.a 2 .395**.251** – .416** 2.564** 2 .a 2 . and intercorrelations for the variables in the study CDI SCL Adaptive coping Maladaptive coping Social competence 268 Stella Mavroveli et al.a – 2. SDs.200* .81 1.239** .496** 2.01.336** 2. girl.258** – 2 .218** .214* .61 0.194* .199** .24 0.043 – 2 .01 0. *p .652**. **p .05.057 – – .106 – – .32 – 2.396** 2 .308** .367** 2. .40 12.399** 2. 3.567** 2.127 .5 SD) was eliminated from the boy sample.43 6.319** 2 .347** 2 . Boy.054 – 2 .604**.15 1.154** 2.326** Boys (N ¼ 146) Trait EI CDI SCL Adaptive coping Maladaptive coping Social competence Girls (N ¼ 136) Trait EI CDI SCL Adaptive coping Maladaptive coping Social competence Total sample (N ¼ 282) Trait EI CDI SCL Adaptive coping Maladaptive coping Social competence – 2.Table 2. .17 – 2 . Variables Trait EI – 2 .230**. and total sample means.299** – 2.066 – 2 .a .02 1.10 2.502** .205* .183* 2.264** Mean Standard deviation 5.139* – .080 16.137 – .167** .222** .160 .277**.59 a One outlier (standardized residual .123 2.a .a – . .

203* 2 .039 .035 2 . Co-operation 12.275** 2 .230** 2. and the nomination proportions for the four behavioural descriptions 3 .123 2.158 2.073 .254** 2 .244** – 2 .163* 2 .019 2 .160 .362** 2. Correlations above the diagonal are for girls (N ¼ 124).567** . Aggression 10.281** . .029 .225* .047 .052 2.106 .109 Trait emotional intelligence Note. .207* – .170* 2 .242** .147 2 .006 .109 2 .129 .121 .107 2.087 – .007 .344** 2.023 .265** .039 2.032 2. Optimistic coping 9.270** – .062 .100 . Confrontational coping 3.127 2. Trait EI 2.247* 2 .415** .108 2 .109 .189* 2 .008 2. Depressive coping 7.348** .112 2 .05.189* .015 2.003 .033 2.092 .422** 2 .01.023 .174* .201* . Correlations below the diagonal are for boys (N ¼ 130).243** – 2 . *p .044 2 .113 2 .129 .033 .045 2 .119 2 .248** .117 2 .008 2 .407** – . Leadership – .231** .085 .051 .049 . Palliative coping 4.022 2 .066 2 . Avoidant coping 5. Boy and girl intercorrelations between trait EI.098 2 .096 2 . Showing emotions 8.062 . Disruption 11.131 . 269 .448** 2 .095 2 .046 .013 .328** 2 .001 2.432** 2.009 2. Seeking social support 6.067 .133 .178* – .240** 2 .081 .067 2.198* .209* .216** 2 .016 .271** 2 .255** .068 .029 2.298** .344** .041 .421** – 2 .169* .029 .140 .Table 3.380** – 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Variables 1 2 1.503** .021 .110 .060 2. the UCL-A variables.073 .499** .197* 2 .165* . **p .041 2 .329** .170* 2 .073 .093 .422** .043 .092 .642** 2.546** – 2 .040 2.055 .214* 2 .069 – .

with the regression equation reaching statistical significance (Fð3. . . R 2 ¼ :28. 239Þ ¼ 33:28.104 2 . t ¼ :174. p . Trait EI and somatic complaints Possible trait EI effects (direct or moderating) on somatic complaints were examined through a series of moderated multiple regressions with trait EI. adj In this case. .01. p . however. . p ¼ ns. depression was the only reliable predictor in the model (b ¼ 0:432. direct or moderating. p .28* 5. p . 118Þ ¼ 28:30.06** 3. p . girls and the total sample Regression Boys Fð3. such that they became stronger with decreasing trait EI scores. R 2 ¼ :40 adj Trait EI CDI TEI £ CDI Total sample Fð3.174 3. t ¼ 3:90. 117Þ ¼ 9:80.89** 2 . . R 2 ¼ :18. . boy and girl samples are summarized in Table 4.270 Stella Mavroveli et al.01) and their interaction (b ¼ 20:219. until we reached the region of high trait emotional self-efficacy (þ 1 SD) wherein depression was only weakly associated with somatic complaints.382 2 . followed by trait EI (b ¼ 20:156.01). Trait emotional self-efficacy moderated the effects of depression on somatic complaints.01).01).34** 2. R 2 ¼ . Depression emerged as the strongest predictor of somatic complaints (b ¼ 0:382. . t ¼ 3:06. t ¼ 5:34. Table 4. in the boy sample (b ¼ 20:019. . there were no trait EI effects.01). The results of the regressions in the total.120 2. t ¼ 3:78. The regression for boys also reached significance (Fð3. t ¼ 2:89. Thus.01).01. Beta t 2 .40.260 .05). **p . see Figure 1 for the simple slopes data plot). depression and their interaction (trait EI £ depression) as the three regressors. 117Þ ¼ 9:80.019 . t ¼ 2:09. adj Depression again emerged as the strongest predictor in the model (b ¼ 0:349. followed by trait EI (b ¼ 20:260. R 2 ¼ :28 adj Trait EI CDI TEI £ CDI *p .90** 2. p . . p .78** . t ¼ :104.156 .009 . p .05.09* The model for the total sample was significant (Fð3.349 2 . t ¼ 2:28.01). A very similar pattern of results was obtained for girls. At low levels of trait emotional selfefficacy (2 1 SD). 239Þ ¼ 33:28.05) and their interaction (b ¼ 20:120. .219 3. respectively). . . p ¼ ns. adj p . This relationship gradually weakened as trait EI scores increased. b ¼ 20:009. there was a strong positive relationship between depression and somatic complaints. . 118Þ ¼ 28:30.432 2 . p . R 2 ¼ :18 adj Trait EI CDI TEI £ CDI Girls Fð3. Moderated multiple regression results for predictors of somatic complaints in boys.

Trait EI also bears on the strategies individuals employ to cope with everyday problems.. 2002.5 Somatic complaints 2. although there were discrepancies across the boy and girl data in its relationships with other variables. somatic complaints and maladaptive coping styles. which included a significant interaction with depression in girls.0 1. Perez-Gonzalez et al. we found that adolescents who perceive themselves as being in touch with their emotions and able to regulate them tend to report less depression and physical pain. In other words. Dawda & Hart. psychopathology and overall psychological well-being. Martinez-Pons. Petrides. which echoes robust findings that have been replicated cross-culturally ´ ´ on adults (Petrides. high trait EI boys and girls have an advantage in terms of effective coping.5 0 Low Medium Depression High Low trait EI Medium trait EI High trait EI 271 Figure 1. but not in boys. 2007). & Seeley. Palmer et al. Rohde. Martinez-Pons. & Bajgar. 2006). the construct related negatively to depression..g. Chan. and positively to peer-rated social competence and adaptive coping styles. intellectual and social resources that are necessary for successful coping (Frederickson. The well-being component of trait EI may be especially relevant in the adjustment process. Sangareau et al.0 2. since positive emotions are conducive to the development of those physical.. Trait EI and psychological well-being In line with related research on adults (e. high trait EI adolescents seem to be less vulnerable to psychological disorders compared to their low trait EI peers. 1998).0 0. 2000. a significant finding given that approximately 28% of adolescents will have suffered an episode of major depressive disorder by the time they reach 19 years (Lewinsohn. Ciarrochi. Simple slopes data plots of the bilinear trait EI £ depression interaction for somatic complaints in girls. 1998). These were most salient in the effects on somatic complaints.5 1.Trait emotional intelligence 3. . 1997. 2001. Consistent with our hypotheses and previous findings (e. Discussion Our research complements existing evidence documenting the substantial impact of trait EI self-perceptions and dispositions on peer relations. 1997). There were no gender differences in trait EI.g. As this study shows.

These effects were statistically significant either in boys or in girls. which did not. where the equality at global level is the result of moderate-to-strong gender differences in opposite directions at subscale level (e. 2005). The gender-specific analyses revealed discrepancies in the relationship of trait EI with certain aspects of coping styles and peer-rated social competence as well as in its interaction with depression. there could be qualitative differences between the adolescent and adult sampling domains of the construct (see Petrides. . accurate (Petrides & Furnham. 2004). One should desist from invoking indirectly relevant facts. especially prosocial behaviour. As in Petrides. however. The results of the multiple regressions showed that. This relationship stemmed largely from a positive correlation with nominations for being cooperative. 1985). which they may be interpreting as leadership qualities. high trait EI adolescents seem to be more likely to enjoy fulfilling personal relationships during a period when they are crucial to personal development (Pellegrini & Blatchford. However. suggesting that high trait EI adolescents possess and exhibit social skills that are readily detected by their peers. (2006). at least partially. 2003). 2002) and poorer health in teenagers (De Matos. In contrast. Barrett. 1998). & Shortt. Depression co-occurs with persistent pain symptoms (Harma et al. as perceived by others who know them. social status has consistently emerged as a predictor of internalized disorders (Merrell & Gimpel. 2006). reach significance on this sample. 2000). Sangareau et al. Second. Gender-specific analyses There were no gender differences in trait EI scores on this sample. More important. 2003). Trait EI and peer-rated social competence Trait EI was positively associated with peer-rated social competence. This finding has been consistently replicated in studies with adults (Petrides. First. including psychosomatic complaints.272 Stella Mavroveli et al. Another replicated association. whereas peer rejection. the relationship between depression and somatic complaints is particularly strong. a male favouring difference on assertiveness counterbalances a female favouring difference on emotion expression).. Indeed. antisocial behaviour and delinquency (Austin. & Egan.. Our findings indicate that trait EI could act as a protective factor against psychological disorders. involved trait EI and peer-rated leadership. there was a negative correlation between trait EI and peer-rated aggression. & Martin. This is another indication that trait EI self-perceptions are. and consequently are more attuned to. although only in the girl sample. Furnham. the socioemotional facets of trait EI. but not in both. this specific pattern of results could not be corroborated in this study because the TEIQueASF cannot assess individual trait EI facets. for individuals with low trait EI scores. unpopularity and social withdrawal are typical causes of depression and isolated loneliness (Asher & Wheeler. The positive association of trait EI with peer-rated social competence has both theoretical and practical implications. Sangareau et al. which suggests that certain trait EI facets are involved in the prevention of depression somatization. Saklofske. The gender discrepancy suggests that girls place more value on.g. Dadds. for individuals with high trait EI scores it is considerably weaker. Peer popularity and larger social networks are part of the mechanisms helping high trait EI individuals to experience lower levels of psychopathology. which would render any comparison of adolescents on the facets of the adult domain difficult to interpret. it seems clear that a person’s trait emotional self-efficacy is related to their social skills.

Petrides et al. and health correlates of trait emotional intelligence. H. H. & Stouthamer-Loeber. further significant progress in trait EI assessment depends on the development of an operational definition tailored specifically to children and adolescents. & Egan. This is because analyses with categorical moderators have a high likelihood of producing spurious results. . Personality and Individual Differences. 39. They also provide concrete construct validity evidence in support of the Dutch version of the TEIQue-ASF. V. De Utrechtse coping lijst voor adolescenten [The Utrecht coping list for adolescents]. E. 2004). In this quest.. 2006). 38. in the effort to provide post-hoc explanations for such results. 53. Sangareau et al. educators. J. A. New York: Guilford Press.g. in press. J. A.. S. 15. Regression analysis for categorical moderators. (1994). In the absence of a priori reasons for the existence of gender-specific effects. V. self-referent cognitions and mental health renders it an important variable to consider in the diagnosis of clinical disorders that are especially prevalent during and immediately after puberty ( John. & Wheeler. are to integrate insights from the literature on socioemotional development and to advance hypotheses that describe the mechanisms giving rise to adult trait emotional self-efficacy. Asher.. parents and policymakers. D. Personality and Individual Differences. (2005). Children’s loneliness: A comparison of rejected and neglected peer status. Acknowledgements This research was partially supported by grant SGS/01075/G from the Nuffield Foundation (KVP). J. 403–414. the results from the analyses on the total sample supported the hypotheses of the study and replicated previously observed relationships in both adults and adolescents. The findings of this paper highlight the relevance of trait EI in adolescence and point to potentially fruitful applications that will be of interest to clinicians. Austin. Moffit. theoretical explanations.. O. These findings shed light on the nature of the construct and help extend trait EI research into the important domain of child and adolescent psychology.. & Bosma. Overall. S. (1985). establishing the sampling domain of trait EI at childhood has to be the first priority. especially when the data at hand do not meet certain data analytic assumptions (Aguinis. it is always necessary to replicate the findings before offering tentative. R. Future directions Two important tasks for future trait EI research. Austin.. Saklofske. The fact that trait EI affects behaviour. E. especially research focussing on children and adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Bijstra.. (2005).Trait emotional intelligence 273 like the higher prevalence of depression in females. Caspi. (2004). Kind en Adolescent. H. This is a common assumption in the literature. However. Jackson. 547–558. well-being. References Aguinis. 98–109. Emotional intelligence and emotional information processing. From a psychometric perspective. whose limitations we have discussed in several articles (e. often speculative. Robins. Personality. 1994). Petrides. which can be recommended for the efficient measurement of trait emotional self-efficacy in adolescents. it is unwarranted to assume that the constituent facets of a construct remain unaltered (developmentally invariant) over the lifespan. 500–505.

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