Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Family Climate as a Predictor of Emotional Intelligence in Adolescents

Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Family Climate as a Predictor of Emotional Intelligence in Adolescents

Article excerpt

Adolescence is a developmental phenomenon unique to man. This is a time of building new relationships with people both within the family and with the outside world. Family is a source of strength, groupings in which everyone experiences enjoyment and emotional fulfilment (McKie, & Callan, 2012). It is the basic unit of society, a nursery that provides for growth and development of its members through human interaction, emotional bonding and enduring relationships. When family relationships become secure and smooth, it will reflect in one's emotional and social competencies. Accordingly, parenting provides a strong basis for promoting children's emotional well being. Along with the interaction between parents and children also how parents deal with their own emotions has an enormous influence on their children's emotional regulation and development. Thus, family has been found to play a crucial role in influencing individual mental health; it being an important locus of social network for the young child (Friedman, 1998). Hence, understanding and thereby enhancing family functioning patterns will help to improve one's social and emotional aspects of development.

In India, family as a key social institution has the responsibility for the development and growth of the child, providing physical, economic and emotional security and preparing the young for life. How well the family performs its functions is a key component to adolescent mental health and also determines the quality of an adolescent's relationship with his or her parents. Thus, the family climate ensures healthy personality as well as the strength of any society. Kaur and Jaswal (2005) conducted a study on the relationship between strategic emotional intelligence and family climate of Punjabi adolescents and found significant positive relationship between family climate and emotional intelligence.

Emotional development is affected by the emotional climate of the family via parenting style, the attachment relationship, family expressiveness and the marital relationship. Sonthalia and Dasgupta (2012) observed that attachment style significantly correlated with emotional intelligence of adolescent boys and girls. Female adolescents were seen to perceive their fathers as trustworthy and peers as communicative, as their level of emotional intelligence increased. Family context has a major impact on children and adolescent's social and emotional development, though the mechanisms through which the context impacts development are less clear (Darling, & Steinberg, 1993). Tiwari and Srivastava (2004) also found a positive relationship between emotional intelligence and perceived environmental quality of home and school.

Any behaviour of an individual has an emotional component. Emotional elements intensify, inhibit, or otherwise modify the behaviour in process at any given time and are an integral part of the whole pattern of behaviour. Ashforth and Humphrey (1995) attempt to broadly define emotions as a subjective feeling state that includes (a) basic emotions such as joy, love and anger, and (b) social emotions, namely shame, guilt and jealousy. This definition also includes related constructs of affect, sentiments and moods. A by-product of this construct is the concept of emotional intelligence, which has gained substantial recognition in recent times. Emotional intelligence refers to a combination of skills, such as empathy, self-control, and self-awareness (Salovey, & Mayer, 1997). Such skills can make us more flexible, adaptable, and emotionally mature (Bonanno, Papa, Lalande, & Westphal, 2004). People who excel in life tend to be emotionally intelligent (Fisher, &Ashanasy, 2000; Merhrabian, 2000). Indeed, the costs of poor emotional skills can be high. They range from problems in marriage and parenting to poor physical health. A lack of emotional intelligence can ruin careers and sabotage achievement. Perhaps, the greatest toll falls on children and teenagers. …

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