4 years ago

Trait emotional intelligence and social deviance in males and females

High trait Emotional Intelligence (trait EI) is often considered a positive attribute, but some studies have suggested that it may facilitate deception or manipulative relational behaviours, and that the effects differ according to gender. In two studies, we examine the influence of trait EI factors on social deviance, from adolescence through to adulthood. A total of 455 participants (243 females) completed the Trait EI Questionnaire and provided self-reports of deviant behaviours during adolescence and emerging adulthood (Study 1) or in adulthood (Study 2). For males, adolescent and emerging adult deviance related negatively to Emotionality and Self-control, in accordance with positive views of trait EI, but in adulthood deviance was predicted only by high Sociability. For females, the opposite pattern was seen, with high levels of Emotionality and Sociability associated with deviance in adolescence and high Sociability in emerging adulthood. Adult female social deviance was negatively correlated with Self-control and Emotionality, replicating the adolescent male profile. Trait EI is not inevitably positive, and is an under-researched personality determinant of social deviance. Further consideration of the developmental trajectory of trait EI may provide insights to inform intervention with at-risk individuals in adolescence, and beyond.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0191886917306141

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