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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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116. A nomological network of emotional intelligence: Associations with psychopathology

This study examined various constructs putatively related to emotional intelligence, including emotion clarity (subjective knowledge/clarity of one's emotional experience), attention to emotion (subjective propensity to attend to one's emotional experiences), alexithymia (impoverished emotional knowledge), emotion differentiation (ability to distinguish between and find nuance in emotional experiences), emotional dialecticism (propensity to experience positive and negative emotion simultaneously) and emodiversity (range of emotional language) with the goal of examining how these constructs relate to each other and to indices of psychopathological symptoms and life satisfaction. A sample of 386 participants completed self-report measures of relevant variables in addition to a performance-based measure of emotion differentiation. A structural modeling approach was implemented to analyze hypothesized measurement models and associations between latent constructs. A model was retained based on goodness-of-fit that included two higher order latent constructs representing emotional awareness and emotional complexity. Awareness was comprised of two lower-order constructs representing self-reported emotion clarity and attention to emotion. Complexity was comprised of two lower-order constructs representing emotion differentiation and emotional dialecticism. Regressions revealed awareness, but not complexity, was strongly associated with a latent construct representing psychological health (including psychopathological symptom severity and subjective life satisfaction). It may be that the degree to which an individual is cognizant of their own emotional experiences with a high degree of clarity is an important protective factor as it pertains to psychopathological symptoms and life satisfaction, more so than the richness or complexity of one's emotional experiences.

Gregory Williams
University of Toronto Scarborough

Amanda Uliaszek
University of Toronto Scarborough


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