Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Measuring Perceived Emotional Intelligence in the Adolescent Population: Psychometric Properties of the Trait Meta-Mood Scale

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Measuring Perceived Emotional Intelligence in the Adolescent Population: Psychometric Properties of the Trait Meta-Mood Scale

Article excerpt

The Trait Meta-Mood Scale (TMMS; Salovey, Mayer, Goldman, Turvey, & Palfai, 1995) is a well-established measure of perceived emotional intelligence, an aspect of emotional intelligence that includes people's beliefs and attitudes about their own emotional experience. Although the TMMS has been widely used in adult populations, until now no data have been reported on its validity in the adolescent population. In the present work we analyzed the psychometric properties of the TMMS in a sample of 1,497 adolescents aged 12 to 17. The results of the confirmatory factor analysis corroborated the 3-factor structure of the original scale (attention to feelings, clarity of feelings, and mood repair); moreover, these dimensions showed adequate reliability and correlated among themselves in the expected fashion. We also found evidence of discriminant validity with the Big Five personality factors and analyzed differences in the TMMS dimensions according to participants' age and sex. We discuss both the implications of these results and the utility of this scale in research on the emotional intelligence construct.

Keywords: perceived emotional intelligence, Trait Meta-Mood Scale, adolescents, personality, psychometric properties.

In recent years the scientific literature has reflected particular interest in the study of individual differences in the ability to process and utilize emotional information (Mayer, Roberts, & Barsade, 2008). This perspective is based on the hypothesis that people who are capable of expressing and understanding emotions, of assigning meaning to emotional experience, and of regulating their feelings will be better adjusted psychologically and socially (Ciarrochi, Chan, Caputi, & Roberts, 2001).

Such abilities have been conceptuali/ed in general under the term emotional intelligence (EI; Mayer & Salovey, 1997). Although there are different theoretical approaches to EI (for a review see Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2000), its most widely accepted definition forms part of Mayer and Salovey's (1997) ability model, according to which it is understood as "the ability to perceive accurately, appraise, and express emotion; the ability to access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought; the ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the ability to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth" (Mayer & Salovey, 1997, p. 10).

A large part of the work in the field of EI has been focused on the creation of valid instruments for assessing aspects associated with EI (Extremera, Salguero, Fernández-Berrocal, & Ruíz, 2009). Following the model of Mayer and Salovey (1997), different measures have been developed that permit the assessment of EI as an ability (such as the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, MSCEIT; Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2001), or that are used to assess perceived emotional intelligence (PEI). Within this group, one of the most widely used instruments has been the Trait Meta-Mood Scale, or TMMS (Salovey, Mayer, Goldman, Turvey, & Palfai, 1995). The TMMS was the first instrument developed by the authors who originally identified the construct, and was designed to assess individual differences hi the process of emotional regulation, involving what is called emotional meta-knowledge, which combines the monitoring, appraisal, and regulation of one's own feelings and emotions (Salovey et al., 1995).

It is, then, a measure of people's beliefs and attitudes, stable over time, about the importance of paying attention to their emotions and feelings ("I do not pay much attention to my feelings"), about their capacity for understanding their own emotions ("I am often aware of my feelings on a matter"), and about their ability to regulate negative emotional states and prolong positive ones ("When I become upset I remind myself of all the pleasures in life"). It is an index of perceived emotional intelligence dealing with basic aspects of EI from an intrapersonal perspective (Salovey, Stroud, Woolery, & Epel, 2002). …

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