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FAMILY AND FRIENDS: THEIR EFFECT ON EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IN PREADOLESCENCE. Tara Cox Brett Spitzer Faculty Sponsor: Teddi Deka, Ph.D. Results.
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Faculty Sponsor: Teddi Deka, Ph.D.
Middle School children (n=102) from two schools were given questionnaires to examine whether age, sociability/loneliness and family cohesion predicted trait emotional intelligence. A regression demonstrated that sociability level of the child and family cohesion, but not age, predicted trait emotional intelligence.
For both hypotheses, a multiple linear regression was calculated predicting participants’ TEI based on their age, family cohesion level, and sociability. A significant regression equation was found (F (2,63) = 31.168 p < 0.0001), with an R² of 0.497. Both family cohesion and sociability were significant predictors of emotional intelligence, supporting Hypothesis 2.
Correlations between the variables suggest that high TEI is related to high family cohesion and high sociability.
102 middle-school participants, 2 K-12 schools
66 participants completed all measures used in the analysis.
Grade: Sixth (16%), Seventh (42%), Eighth (40%)
Age: 11-14 year-olds, mean= 12.7
Gender: 53% male
Ethnicity: 80% Caucasian
Hypothesis 1 was not supported: TEI performed like a trait, remaining stable with age.
Hypothesis 2 was supported: Greater cohesion and sociability predicted higher emotional intelligence, suggesting that emotional intelligence may develop with the support of good social framework.
Our research raises some interesting thoughts on how Emotional Intelligence can be increased. For instance, parents could encourage greater family cohesion by creating a “special night” once a week to play games, or get out of the house with the child and to have more sit-down dinners. Things that might increase sociability include: having friends over and classroom activities that include opportunities for more interaction between students.
Presented at the 2010 Great Plains Undergraduate Psychology Convention, Saint Joseph, MO