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Title: Psychometric validation of trait emotional intelligence in middle and late childhood
Author: Mavroveli, Stella
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 9806
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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Trait emotional intelligence (trait EI or trait emotional self-efficacy) is a constellation of emotion-related self-perceptions and dispositions located at the lower levels of personality hierarchies (see Petrides & Furnharn, 2000,2003; Petrides, Furnham, & Mavroveli, 2007). Trait EI provides comprehensive coverage of the affective aspects of personality and has been validated in several studies with adults and, less often, with adolescent samples. Research with children within the domain has been generally neglected. Therefore, the main goal of the thesis was the psychometric validation of trait EI in middle and late childhood where research was lacking. This venture included both the development of an age-appropriate conceptual definition and a measure of trait EI. The initial operationalisation of the construct was based on data generated through a qualitative method, which aimed at identifying and defining salient facets of children's affective personality. The preliminary pool of facets in children's trait EI sampling domain included 11 theoretical constructs, which were subsequently reduced to 9 constructs based on correlational methods (see Robinson, Shaver, & Wrightsman, 1991). The Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire-Child Form (TEIQue-CF) was developed to measure trait EI in children. The structure of the measure mirrored the conceptual definition of trait EI and provided comprehensive coverage of children's trait EI sampling domain. The psychometric properties of the TEIQue-CF were examined in a string of seven studies, which provided sufficient evidence for the measure's internal consistency, temporal stability, and construct validity. Specifically, internal consistency indices varied from 73 to 84, and the evidence for construct validity was consistent with the theoretical postulates of trait EI and related research with adults and adolescents. Overall, the empirical findings showed low to zero correlations between trait EI and indices of cognitive ability, such as verbal and nonverbal IQ, reading and spelling scores, and SAT scores on English, math, and science. Additionally, trait EI scores differentiated between a) pupils with unauthorised absences or exclusions from school and their well-adjusted peers and b) pupils with special educational needs and those without such needs. Higher trait EI scores were also positively related to teacher- and peer-rated positive (prosocial) behaviour, negatively related to negative (antisocial) behaviour, and predicted emotion perception accuracy. The data from all seven studies showed that the TEIQue-CF has sound psychometric properties and is a potentially useful trait EI tool. On the whole, our findings provided support for the validity of trait EI and for its saliency in predicting and explaining important psychological, socioemotional, and behavioural criteria in middle and late childhood.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available