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EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND ADOLESCENTS’ BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS
The purpose of this study is to investigate the Emotional Intelligence and Adolescents’ Behaviour Problems in Kosofe Local Government of Lagos State .The study covered a total of Ojota /Ogudu Zone of Education District II, encompassing five Senior Secondary Schools. A total of 150 students were selected for the study .In addition, the research questionnaire titled Emotional Intelligence and Adolescents’ Behaviour Problems Questionnaire( EIABPQ) was constructed by the researcher were administered for data collection. The data collected were analyzed in tables and percentages. Results from the study revealed that there was no significant influence of self-awareness on adolescents’ behavior problems among secondary school students. Self-management has significant influence on adolescents’ behaviour problems among secondary school students. Social awareness has no significant influence on adolescents’ behaviour problems among secondary school students. Lastly, there is no significant influence of relationship management on adolescents’ behaviour problems among secondary school students. However, based on these findings, it was recommended that adolescents in secondary schools should be taught emotional intelligence skills and competencies that will help in reducing aggression, hostility and personal distress which will equip them in building healthy social relationships .Also, that adequate attention should be given to the social and emotional development of adolescents at home and the schools so that they can properly nurture their emotional intelligence capabilities which will eventually make them an adjusted and productive adult to self and the society at large in future.
Background to the Study
In recent times, emphasis has been placed on the attitude and behavior of children and young people which to a large extent determined how successful they will cope with life’s issues and challenges. Unfortunately, the care taker of these children, who include parents, teachers, care-givers and other significant others are becoming too engaged in other activities, leaving these young ones to get little or no attention to the development and nurturing of their personalities and potentials. Since adequate and proper grooming can help them to become a more successful and responsible human beings. It is worth noting that the ability to develop and maintain interpersonal relationship during childhood and adolescence is an important predictor of present and future adjustment (.Nasir and Seena,2011).
Psychologist refers to this ability as emotional intelligence while others considered it to be more important than intelligent quotient. It is one of such characteristics that can help an individual to be productive and successful in life. Emotional intelligence is when an individual is able to recognize his or her emotions, understand what these emotions are saying and realize how those emotions affect people around him or her.( Salovey and Mayer 1996). It also involves one’s perception of others because when one understands how people feel, it will allow one to manage relationship more effectively.
With the prevalence of disruptive and maladaptive behaviours among young people and which has been attributed to their inability to understand their emotions and of others resulting to these disturbing behaviours. It is important to understand that an individual behaviour is based on the learning processes he or she is exposed to and is rooted and expressed through emotions. The ability to express and control emotions is essential but more importantly is the ability to understand , interprete and respond to the emotions of others.
Emotion intelligence is an area of cognitive ability trait and social skills that facilitate interpersonal behaviour. ( Goleman ,1995). Intelligence can be broadly defined as the capacity for goal oriented adaptive behaviour which Emotional 1ntelligence focuses on the aspect of intelligence that govern self-knowledge and social adaptation. It is the ability of an individuals to recognize their own emotions and that of others, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately and use these emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.(Colman, 2008). It also reflects abilities to connect intelligence, empathy and emotions in order to enhance thought and understanding of inter-personal dynamics.( Mayer ,2008)
The formation and development of Emotional 1ntelligence among children and adolescence is an important component in establishing qualitatively adaptive personality in living conditions of modern life. The importance of actuality of existence of Emotional Intelligence in adolescence is the ability to control one’s own emotions and emotions of others. Due to the fact that the age of adolescence is characterized by process of rapid psychological development and formation of the personality the resulting emotional and behavioural instability may contribute to the formation of certain behavioural strategies for the future adult life. The system of value which is formed based on the available experiences of the adolescents can also influence the intellectual, psycho-physiological and emotional components of his personality during the processes of life activity.
Studies have shown that children’s abilities to recognize other’s emotions and to produce recognizable emotions are related to important variations in their social competence (Lemerise and Arsenio, 2000, Saarni, 1999).
But recently, Halberstadt, Denhoim and Dunsmere (2001) argued that a third less study ability, emotion experience, that include “awareness and recognition of one’s own emotions” may also play a significant role in the children’s interaction with peers in certain situations.
The understanding of emotional experience by children stem from the way they conceived and link the effect of the situation or event with each other. For example (Harris, 1985) stressed that many of our behavioural decisions are influenced by “an anticipation of the way we feel in some future situation. A child’s readiness to go to school, to face the dentist, to seek out a new friend or to run away from punishment is based on an appraisal of how he or she will feel when facing these situations”. This is to show that the claim that we often remember emotional antecedents and consequences of various events and that, in turn, these emotion expectancies are especially useful for anticipations over likely responses to different situations and planning potential behaviours.
However, emotional intelligence provides the capacity to carry out reasoning in regards to emotions and to use them to enhance reasoning. More, specifically Emotional Intelligence is said to involve the ability to perceive and accurately express emotion, to use emotion to facilitate thought to understand emotions and to manage emotions for emotional growth (Mayer and Salovey, 1997).
Some researchers suggest that Emotional Intelligence can be learned and strengthened while others claimed it is an inborn characteristics . It is based on how to recognize emotions, find their meanings relationships in order to reason out a way of solving problems in day to day life.
It is obvious that emotions are actually the basis for any reaction or behaviour that is been display at any given situation.
However, emotion seems to rule our daily lives, decisions are made based on whether we are happy, angry, sad, bored or frustrated. We get involved in different activities due to what our emotions incite.
An emotion is a complex psychological state that involves three distinct components, that is a subjective experience, a psychological response and a behavioural or expressive response. (Hockenbury and Hockenbury (2007).
In addition to understand emotions, researchers have tried to identify and classify the different types of emotions. Eckman (1972) suggested six basic emotions that are universal throughout human cultures. They include: Fear, disgust, anger, suspense, happiness and sadness. In 1999, he explained that the list included other basic emotions like embarrassment, excitement, contempt, shame, pride, satisfaction and amusement.
In 1980, Phutchuck introduced another emotional classification system known as the “wheel of emotion”. This model demonstrated how different emotions can be combined or mixed together; He suggested that there are Eight (8) primary emotional dimensions; Happiness, Versus Sadness, Anger Versus Fear, Trust Versus Disgust and Surprise Versus Anticipation. These emotions can then be combined in variety of ways. For example happiness and anticipation might be combined to create excitement.
However, emotions can be best understood by focusing on these three key elements.
Researchers believed that experience of emotions can be highly subjective. While there might be broad labels for certain emotions such as “anger” “sadness” or happiness” the unique experience of these emotions is probably much more multi-dimensional as individual’s experiences emotions in different forms. People do not always experience “pure” forms of each emotions, but mixed emotions are different events of situation in our lives are common. For example, when faced with starting a new job, one might feel both excitement or nervousness. These emotions might occur simultaneously or one might feel them one after another.
Emotions also cause stronger psychological reactions. Many of the physical reactions one experience during an emotion such as sweaty palms, racing heartbeat, or rapid breathing are controlled by the systematic nervous system; a branch of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system control involuntary body response such as blood flow and digestion. The sympathetic nervous system is charged with controlling the body’s fight or flight reactions when faced with a threat; these reactions automatically prepare the body to flee from danger or face the threat head on.
Meanwhile, early studies of psychology of emotions tended to focus on these autonomic response, but more recent research have targeted the brain’s role in emotions. The Brain Scan had shown that the Amygdala, which is a part of the limbic system, plays on important role in emotion and fear in particular. Amygdala which is a tiny, almond shaped structure that has been linked to motivational states such as hunger and thirst as well as memory and emotions.
Researchers have used brain imaging to show that when people are shown threatening images, the Amygdala becomes activated. It has been noted that damage to the Amygdala has shown to impair the fear response.
This component is the one people are most familiar with because it is the actual expression of emotions. This is because a significant amount of time is spent on interpreting the emotional expressions of the people around us. Our ability to accurately understand these expression is tied to what psychologist called emotional intelligence and they played major part in our overall body language.
Researchers believed that many expressions are universal, such as a smile indicating happiness or pleasure or a frown showing sadness or displeasure. Cultural rules also play an important role on how individual express and interpret emotions. For example in Japan, people tend to mask display of fear or disgust when they are in the presence of an authority figure.
Moreover, emotional intelligence consists of interaction between emotion and cognition that leads to adaptive functioning (Salovey and Grenal, 2005). It increases mental and psychological flourishing; moreover it also decides mental and physical illness.
According to Edward Thorndike (1930) he described the concept of “social intelligence” as the ability to get along with other people, while Wechler suggested that effective components of intelligence may be essential to successful life.
Also Payne (1985) introduced the term emotional intelligence in his doctoral dissertation title” A study of emotion; developing emotional intelligence; self-integration; relating to fear; pain and desire (theory, structure or reality, problem-solving, contraction or expansion, turning in or coming or letting go).
Caruso said “it is very important to understand that Emotional Intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, that it is not the triumph of heart overhead, but it is the unique intersection of both”. While Mayer and Cobb, described it as the ability to process emotional information particularly as it involves the perception, assimilation, understanding and management of emotions.
In conclusions, Freedman et al defined Emotional Intelligence as a way of recognizing, understanding and choosing how we think, feel and act; it shapes our interactions with others and our understanding of ourselves. It defines how and what we learn , allows us to set priorities and determines the majority of our daily actions.
Adolescence is marked by immerse turmoil in emotional and behavioural spheres. World Health Organization defined adolescence as the period of life between the ages of 10-19 years.The adolescent struggle to develop the indivisibility while still conforming to societal norms.
Rapid urbanization and modernization have exposed them to changes in society. The resultant break down in family structure, excessive or minimal control confuses the adolescent and makes him or her especially vulnerable to maladaptive patterns of thinking and behavior. Healthy adulthood depends upon successful resolution of these emotional and behavioural problems and treading on this high rope, most adolescents go through to adulthood normally.
However, it is not all adolescent that may be fortunate to get the ideal societal support for this smooth transition.
Some develop maladaptive pattern in emotional and behavioural spheres. This anger ills for the individual’s future resulting in depression, delinquency and suicidal among other problems.
Recently, there has been a rise in the prevalence of mental illness and maladaptive behaviours among adolescents. World Health Organization (WHO) estimate shows that up to 20% adolescents have one or more mental or behavioural problems. Studies conducted in different parts of the world show prevalence of behavioural and emotional problems in adolescence ranges from 16.5% to 40.8%.
More than 50% of school attending adolescents engage in problem behaviours such as skipping school, using alcohol, fighting, shoplifting and stealing. A smaller but significant number of adolescents were reported to have engaged in risky sexual behaviours.
Adolescents are usually in high risk for the development of problem behaviours that are distressing and socially disruptive (Bartlelt, Holditch-Davis and Belyea, 2005; Brooks, 1997). Some problem behaviour like having multiple sex partners can result to problem for the individual and others as well as the adolescents. Thus, these behavioural problems in these young people can have serious consequences for them, their family and friends, their schools and society.
The use of alcohol put adolescents at the risk for school problems, risky sexual behavious like failing to use condoms, victimization and criminal behaviours. Those that use alcohol also increase their risk of being involved in motor vehicle and other accidents which is the most common cause of death amongst adolescents in 2001 (Aderson and Smith, 2003).
Depression during childhood and adolescence has been associated to higher risk of developing several problems such as depressive disorder during the adulthood, suicidal behaviour, functional deterioration, antisocial behavior and academic related problem.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) more than 1-6 million people around the world die as a result of violent behaviour. Infact, violent behaviour is one of the major causes of death for young people.
Human aggressive is defined as any behaviour directed towards another individual that is carried out with the immediate intent to cause harm. In addition, the perpetrator must behave that the behaviour will harm the target and the target is motivated to avoid the behaviour (Anderson and Bushman, 2002).
Aggressive behaviour produces negative effect not only in the victims but also in the aggressors. More aggressive adolescents show clear psychosocial maladjustment, low academic performance, absenteeism from schools, involvement in delinquent act, substance abuse and various mental health problems, which include high level of depression.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent and recurrent condition in children and group people and it is associated with substantial impairment as seen in difficulties in school, interpersonal relationship, tobacco and substance, suicide attempt and a 30-fold increased risk of completed suicide Lewinsohn (1998).
There is a strong evidence that MDD is associated with impaired emotions regulation of which voluntary and involuntary (automatic) cognitive processes are key components Mayberg (2007).
Bullying is the most prevalent form of violence in schools and it has lasting consequences into adulthood. There had been an increased concern regarding school bullying has it has been raised in part of the world due to publicized suicide of childhood victims. Around 40% of middle school children are directly involved in bullying at least once a week according to the National Center of Education Statistics.
This act had continued to be a serious threat to the physical and emotional health of children and the youth. Incidence of violence and aggression in schools is common and expanding phenomenon, which has attracted the interest of scientist, educator and policy maker for over three decades in major part of Europe, North America and Australia.
Bullying is defined as a negative physical , verbal or relationship action that have hostile intent, cause distress to the victim and are repeated and involve a power imbalance between the perpetrators and victims. Also, it may take multiple forms varying from physical confrontation, such as spread of rumors or exclusion from the peer group and social marginalization of victims.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) involves the ideas that cognition and emotion are interrelated. This implies that emotion influence decision-making, relationships building and everyday behaviour.
In light of the relationship between emotional intelligence and variables that are related to social function, several authors have begins to investigate whether the inability to manage emotions is associated not only with conflict behaviour in relationship but also with more serious behavioural problems such as aggressive conducts (Loman, Stough, Hansen and Downey, 2012).
Evidence in research has been in favour of Emotional Intelligence as a key concept in the study of adolescence mental health, since it is considered to be a protective factor against negative moods and therefore against mental illness. (Mayer and Salovey 1997)..
Some researchers illustrate a significance relationship between bullying and emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is a set of abilities related to the understanding, use and management of emotion as it relates to one’s self and others. Mayer et al (2008) defines the dimension of overall Emotional Intelligence as “accurately perceiving emotions, using emotions to facilitate thought, understanding emotion, and managing emotion”. The concept combines emotional and intellectual processes.
However, lower emotional intelligence appears to be related to involvement in bullying, as the bully and or the victim of bullying. Emotional Intelligence education could greatly improve bullying prevention and intervention initiatives. This is because the ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions may play an important role in preventing children from engaging in bullying behaviours.
Theoretical and Conceptual Framework
In theory, emotional intelligence refers to a collection of such self-control, determination, self-motivation and sensitivity to the feelings of other. Emotions are complex and dynamics as so it is no surprise is that many models that attempts to unravel them.
The theory underline these theories are:
a) Conceptualization of Behaviour Problem
b) Emotional Intelligence Defined
c) Ability Model Theory of Emotional Intelligence
d) Theory of Behaviour
a) Conceptualization Behavioural Problems
This is a behaviour that is socially defined as a problem and it is seen as source of concern or as undesirable by the social or legal norms of conventional society and its institution of authority. It is a behaviour that usually elicits some form of social control response, whether minimal, such as statement of disapproval, or extreme, such as incarceration Jesser (1960).
It is symptomatic expression of emotional or interpersonal maladjustment especially in children. For example nail biting, enuresis , negativism or by overt hostility of antisocial acts. This is when an individual is showing maladjustment by indulging in behaviour problems.
Emotional Intelligence Defined
Emotional intelligence is an area of cognitive ability trait and social skills that facilitate interpersonal behaviour (Goleman, 1995). Intelligence can be broadly defined as the capacity for goal oriented adaptive behaviour which Emotional intelligence focuses on the aspect of intelligence that govern self-knowledge and social adaptation. It is the ability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and that of others, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately and use
these emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour (Colman 2008). It also reflects abilities to coined intelligence, empathy and emotions in order to enhance thought and understanding of inter-personal dynamics. (Mayer, 2008).
The formation and development of Emotional Intelligence among children and adolescence is an important component in establishing qualitatively adaptive personality in living conditions of modern life. The importance of actuality of existence of Emotional Intelligence in adolescence is the ability to control one’s own emotions and emotions of others. Due to the fact that the age of adolescence is characterized by process of rapid psychological development and formation of the personality, the resulting emotional and behavioural instability may contribute to the formation of certain behavioural strategies for the future adult’s life. The system of value which is formed based on the available experiences of the adolescent can also influence the intellectual, psycho-physiological and emotional components of his personality during the processes of life activity.
Theories of Emotional Intelligence
Many researchers agreed that Emotional Intelligence theory will only be as successful as its forms of measurement. They have defined and explained the concept of emotional intelligence in terms of models consisting of various emotional skills. However, these models share common core concepts (Goleman, 2000a),Caruso, Mayer and Salovey (2002)
b) Ability Model Theory of Emotional Intelligence
Ability model (Mayer and Salovey’s Model) .
Ability Models approach Emotional Intelligence as a standard intelligence that utilized a distinct set of mental abilities that are:
1, Inter-correlated. 2. Relate to other extent intelligence, and 3. Develop with age experience (Mayer, Caruso and Salovey, 1999; Mayer, Salovey, Caruso and Sitarenios, 2003).
Mayer and Salovey four Branch Model of Emotional Intelligence (1997).
This model proposes that four fundamental emotion-related abilities comprise Emotional Intelligence. They include:
1) Perception of Emotion: This refers to people’s capacity to identify emotions in themselves and others using facial expression, tone of voice and body language (Braket et al, 2013). Those skilled in the perception of emotion also are able to express emotion accordingly and communicate emotional needs.
2) Use of Emotion to Facilitate Thinking: The use of emotions to enhance cognitive activities and adapt to various situations is component of Emotional Intelligence. People who are skilled in this area understand that some emotional states are more optimal for targeted outcomes than others.
Individuals who have developed and practice this area of Emotional Intelligence actively generate emotions that support certain tasks or objectives. For example a skilled teacher in this area, may decide to re-schedule a class after recess in order to get the students cheerful and happy after playing because he want them to experience positive emotions in order to succeed in a creative class like brain storming or art project.
Making decisions based on the impact that emotional experiences may have on actions and behaviours in an essential component of emotional intelligence.
3) Some Scholars view Emotional intelligence, or Emotional Quotient as equal to or even more important than intellectual intelligence or intelligent quotient in facilitating interpersonal functioning in relationship.
Emotional Intelligence also includes the ability to differentiate between emotional states as well as their specific causes and trajectories.
People skilled in this area are aware of this emotional trajectory and also have a strong sense of how multiple emotions can work together to produce another.
Successfully discriminating between negative emotions is an important skill that is related to understanding emotion and it may lead to more effective emotion management. (Barret, Gress, Christensen, and Benvenuto, 2001).
Emotion management includes the ability to remain open to a wide range of emotions, recognize the value of feeling certain emotions in specific situations, and understand which short and long-term strategies are most efficient for emotion regulation (Gross, 1998).
Behavioural theory is a branch of psychology that is primarily concerned with observable behavior, as opposed to internal event like thinking and emotion. It is the study of stimulus-response relationships. Behaviour is a response to a stimulus. The American School of Behaviourism was initially developed by John Watson. According to Watson, thinking and intentions were internal processes that could not be observed and therefore should not be studied. Only observable behaviours are of interest to scientific study. Through experiments with animals, B , F, Skinner developed the theory of operant conditioning, It is a learning in which voluntary behaviour is strengthened or weakened by consequences or antecedents (Walford, p. 205), This research showed that behaviour could be changed by events taking place before (antecedent) or after (consequences) the behaviour.
Theory of Behaviour
c) Psycho-Analytic Theory of Behavior
Psycho-analytic theory is the theory of personality organization and the dynamics personality development that guides psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology. This theory was first laid out by Sigmund Freud in the late 19th century , the psychoanalytic theory has under gone many refirements since his work.
Psychoanalytic theory came into full prominence in the last third of the twentieth century as part of the flow of the critical discourse regarding psychological treatment after the 1960s, long after Freud’s death in 1939(Basingstoke 2008) and its validity is now widely disputed and rejected(Straus Giroux,1984).
Freud has ceased his analysis of the brain and his psychological studies and shifted his focus to the study of the mind and the related psychological attributes making up the mind and on the treatment of using free association and the phenomena of transference. His study emphasized the recognition of childhood events that could potentially influence the mental functioning of adults. His examination of the genetic and then the developmental aspect gave the psychoanalytic theory its characteristics.
With the publication of the interpretation of dreams in 1899, his theory begins to gain prominence. Psychoanalytic simply meant relating to the analysis of human psyche while Psychoanalysis is a therapeutic method originated by Sigmund Freud, for treating mental disorders by investigating the interaction of conscious and unconscious elements in the patient’s mind and bringing repressed fear and conflicts into the conscious mind, using techniques such as dream interpretation and free association. Also it is a system of psychological theory that is associated with this method (O.ED Online, 2015).
Through the scope of the psychoanalytic lens, humans are described as having sexual and aggressive drives. Psychoanalytic theorists believe that human behavior is deterministic. It is governed by irrational forces and unconscious, as well as instinctual and biological drives. Due to this deterministic nature, psychoanalytic theorist does not believes in free will
(Fried man and Schustack, (2011).
Freud theorized that problems faced by hysterical patient could be traced to painful childhood experience that could not be recalled. The influence of last memories shaped the feeling thought and behavior of patient. These studies contributed to the development of the psycho-analytic theory. (Schacter, Gilbert and Wegner 2009/2011).
Statement of the Problem
Adolescents is marked by immerse turmoil in emotional and behavioural sphere. They exhibit maladaptive and social disruptive behaviours that have become prevalent in this contemporary society which runs contrary to the norms and values of this society. This has led to all manners of bizarre behaviours, for example terrorism, school violence, cultism, rape, prostitution, homosexualism , trans-genderism e.t.c. This has also resulted to high rate of drop outs among secondary school students which had lowered the educational capacity of this young generation.
However, stakeholders of Secondary School education had engaged in many approaches such as Workshops and seminars, group counseling, provision of mentor-mentee relationship in order to curb the behavioural problems among secondary students , but to no avail. This had been a source of concern to parents, school administrators, government, ministry of education, students themselves and the society at large.
With the prevalent of disruptive and maladaptive behavior, among young people and which have been attributed to their inability to understand their emotions and of others resulting into these disturbing behaviour.
This study , therefore seek to investigate the emotional intelligence and adolescent behaviour problems.
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