Effects of Emotional Intelligence on Marital Adjustment of Couples in Nigeria

By Ortese, Peter Terfa; Tor-Anyiin, Saawua Apeon | Ife Psychologia, September 2008 | Go to article overview

Effects of Emotional Intelligence on Marital Adjustment of Couples in Nigeria


Ortese, Peter Terfa, Tor-Anyiin, Saawua Apeon, Ife Psychologia


Abstract

Emotional Intelligence (EQI) has been identified as a factor in success, in work, business and life adjustment. This paper examined the effects of Emotional Intelligence on marital adjustment of couples in Nigeria. A sample of 286 couples sampled in Makurdi; Abuja and Jos was used in the study. Emotional Intelligence - Marital Adjustment Inventory (EIAI) that measures Emotional Intelligence components (Emotion Management Emotional sensitivity skills and social relationship skills) was used as an instrument of data collection. Three hypotheses were tested using chi-square at 0.05 level of significance. Findings revealed that emotion management has significant effect on marital adjustment of couples (Cal. Val. 71.35>Crit. Val. 3.84). Emotional sensitivity skills were found to have significant effects on marital adjustment of couples (Cal. Val. 107.55>Crit Val. 3.84). Social relationship skills had significant effect on marital adjustment of couples (Cal. Val. 137.20>Crit. Val. 3.84). Based on the findings, it was recommended that in both premarital and marital counselling, couples should be introduced to the competencies of Emotional intelligence. Through conjoint marital therapy, couples should be taught interpersonal relationship (communication) skills. Couples should be helped to develop emotion management skills. Couples should be taught emotional sensitivity skills. Our educational systems should not only develop learners' Intelligence (IQ) but their Emotional intelligence (EQI) competencies too. Emotional intelligence should form part of the criteria for marital choice of mate selection.

Introduction

There has been an avalanche of conflicts in marriages across a broad spectrum of the Nigeria society. Our media is replete with such conflicts. Our courts are inundated with cases of divorce and separation. Cases of wife battering and family neglect are very common.

Researchers have attributed this development to a number of socio-economic factors, poverty, employment and in-laws. Others point to personality factors such as aggression, infidelity, masculinity and impatience. Recent researchers (Uwe 2002, Dada & Idowu 2006 and Usman 2006) point to lack of emotional intelligence necessary for marital adjustment or life in general.

Emotional Intelligence (EQI)

In general terms, Emotional Intelligence (EQI) refers to a set of non- cognitive abilities that influence human ability to succeed in life and workplace. EQI works synergistically with intelligence (IQ) to enhance human performance. The term Emotional intelligence was first coined by Mayer and Salovey in 1985 (and popularized by Goleman in 1998). They identified that emotional intelligent people were skilled in the following non-cognitive areas:

* Identifying emotions;

* Using emotions;

* Understanding emotions; and

* Regulating emotions.

Later, Mayer and Salovey (1999) concluded that EQi is the capacity to perceive emotions, assimilate emotion- related feelings and understand the information of those emotions, and manage them.

Since its emergence, the concept of emotional intelligence has attracted diverse definitions from various scholars. For instance, Q-metrics defines it as the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, trust, creativity and influence. Akinboye (2003) on the other hand, sees it as the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human creativity, innovation, energy information, connection, intuition and influence.

Effects of EQI

Akinboye (2002) highlighted the success of the use of components of EQI towards life adjustment. These include impulse control, empathy, trust, good character, among others. These competencies require understanding feelings of partners, paying attention to partner's feelings, deciding when and how to act to marriage, life and work. …

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