Emotional intelligence: a protective factor against the stress and social anxiety of teenagers?
Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to perceive, assimilate, understand, and regulate one’s own emotions and those of others. To date, it has been shown that high emotional intelligence is associated with greater psychological well-being, but what about our teenagers?
In May 2018, Javied Cedujo and colleagues in Spain published a study measuring the link between social anxiety, stress and emotional intelligence in adolescents. In this study, 505 youth aged 12 to 18 years were asked to complete questionnaires that measured stress, social anxiety and emotional intelligence. The researchers showed that teenagers with high emotional intelligence are better at managing their stress as they have a greater understanding of their emotions and those of others.
Furthermore, the researchers noted that these same adolescents had lower levels of social anxiety. By having a better understanding of other’s emotions, these teenagers were found to have developed better interpersonal strategies to cope with social pressure. In contrast, teenagers with more stress and social anxiety symptoms were those with less developed emotional intelligence.
These findings suggest that emotional regulation allows adolescents to effectively cope with stressful situations and develop healthy relationships with others more easily.
Let’s continue to conduct research in this direction to better equip our teenagers!