November27, 2022

Abstract Volume: 6 Issue: 1 ISSN:

Emotional Intelligence in Adolescent and Impact on their life: A Case Study

Shivangi Singh *

Corresponding Author: Shivangi Singh, M.Phil. in Child and Adolescent Psychology, Expressive Art therapist and Psychological Counsellor, Cognitive behavior Therapist.

Copy Right: © 2022 Shivangi Singh, This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received Date: September 16, 2022

Published Date: October 01, 2022



As an unfortified group in society, Adolescent are faced with various social issues as well as lack of healthy social skills that can lead to high-risk behaviours. The objectives of this study were to examine the effect of emotional intelligence skills training on the social skills of adolescents. This is a theoretical paper, wherein patterns are drawn from the existing review of literature as well as Mayer and Salovey’s Model (1997) of Emotional Intelligence, the Bar-On Model (1997) of Emotional Intelligence, along with Goleman’s Model (2000) of Emotional Intelligence. The discussion of these theories and literature shows that higher emotional intelligence among adolescents has a positive impact on their holistic development, including academics, psychological well-being, lifestyle choices, and adjustment among peers. To make an improvement in emotional intelligence in adolescents in the Indian setting, this paper attempts to understand it & also makes some suggestions upon it.

Keywords: Emotional intelligence, Adolescents, Mayer & Salovey.

Emotional Intelligence in Adolescent and Impact on their life: A Case Study


Emotional intelligence is highly significant function in human life. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions and to handle interpersonal relationship judiciously and empathetically. Emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success.

“Emotional Intelligence has been directly linked to scholastic success among adolescents” (Downey, Mountstephen, Lloyd & Stough, 2008). Even though some studies point out the Emotional Intelligence does not significantly contribute to social and academic success among teenagers (Woitaszewsky & Aalsma, 2003); It has been popularly portrayed as important to success and even more critical than Intelligence Quotient (Goleman, 1995).

This paper tries to understand the influence of emotional intelligence on different aspects of an adolescent’s life and development. It also attempts to draw out some patterns about how emotional intelligence makes a significant impact. Adolescence has often been described as a time of physical and emotional changes that every young person between the ages of 13-19 goes through. It is a transition from childhood to adulthood, and is a crucial time for young individuals to develop their thinking patterns, emotional patterns, and form close relationships. It is also a time for exploration of their own self, societal norms, sexuality, career choices, and peer groups.

With the world changing so fast, and the focus now shifting to qualities such as empathy, proactiveness, social intelligence, adolescents also need to keep pace with not only what is happening with them, but to others as well. They need to learn to respond to other people’s behaviour, and regulate their own emotions and responses too.

There are a number of roles emotional intelligence plays in the transition from childhood to adulthood, which we will try and understand further. But first, let us understand what exactly emotional intelligence is. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use that information to guide one’s thinking and actions (Salovey & Mayer, 1990).

It consists of three adaptive abilities – appraisal and expression of emotion; regulation of emotion; and utilization of emotion in solving problems. The first component is the ability to understand emotions in one self as well as others and also understand how it is expressed. The second component deals with the ability to control emotions and ensure their appropriation. The third component is the ability to use emotions in creative as well as rational thinking to ensure overall emotional and intellectual development in one’s life (Mayer & Salovey, 1997).

Emotional intelligence is not only associated with assessing and assimilating emotions, but also motivation and global personal and social functioning of a person (Bar-On, 1997; Goleman, 1995). “Emotional-Social Intelligence is a cross-section of inter-related emotional and social competencies, skills and facilitators that determine how effectively we understand and express ourselves, understand others and relate with them, and cope with daily demands” (Bar-On, 1997). Martinez (1997) refers to emotional intelligence as being “an array of non-cognitive skills, capabilities and competencies that influence a person’s ability to cope with environmental demands and pressures” (Len Tischler et al., 2002)

Goleman (1997) also provides a very useful definition of emotional intelligence, which is about: 

  • Knowing what you feel and being able to handle those feelings without having them overpower you.
  • Being able to motivate yourself to get jobs done, and being creative and performing at your peak.
  • Sensing what others may be feeling and handling interpersonal relationships? effectively. In other words, Emotional Intelligence is the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in us and in our relationships. His model of Emotional Intelligence has five components: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.

All three models of Emotional Intelligence are assumed to be playing a role (positive or negative) in adolescent development throughout this paper.

Indians have a different approach to behaviour and emotional development because of the collectivist culture we reside in. It has also been shown that other collectivist cultures such as the East Asians tend to have a more holistic thought process, which can also be viewed as “dialectical” reasoning (Nisbett et. Al., 2001).

For example, the emotion of “Lajya” is seen as a positive emotion in India, which may be viewed negatively in the western countries (Hejmadi, Davidson & Rozin, 2000). The Indian perspective on human development also recognizes the role of contextual factors and children embeddedness in a more notable manner (Misra, Srivastava & Gupta, 1999). As such, the Indian Model of emotional intelligence encompasses dimensions such as: Social Sensitivity, Pro-Social Values, Action Tendencies and Affective States (Sibia, Srivastava & Misra, 2003, 2004a).

This model conceives emotional intelligence as rooted in the traditional, religious and philosophical context, and focuses on the role of family and society in the development of one’s emotions. However, the research on the impact of low Emotional Intelligence on many aspects is limited, which serves as the motivation to assimilate this paper.

The implications of emotional intelligence among the adolescent population are understood through already established trials and the existing theories in this area. It is supplemented by some patterns observed in the existing literature and theories.

Most of the analysis higher than and therefore the theories of Emotional Intelligence all signify that EI plays an awfully necessary role within the development of adolescents, and will even impact them throughout life. It is thanks to the actual fact that EI helps a private perceive themselves and others’ emotional and social capabilities in an exceedingly higher manner. Adolescents with higher EI levels is also able to cope well with the pressures of puberty, academic pressure, and changes in other’s people’s perception of them moving towards adulthood and resuming a lot of responsibility. a lot of discussion in office of this lies ahead.

According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, there are five key elements to it:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self- regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social skills

The four domains of Emotional intelligence-

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship management

Positive impact on academic achievement

One thing that most researchers agree on is that higher levels of EI have a positive impact on a teenager's academic performance. Adolescents with a higher EI trait are less likely to be truant (Petrides, Frederickson, & Furnham, 2004). Schoolchildren who perform better on EI (using the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale) are rated by their peers as more pro-social and less aggressive (Rubin, 1999).

Strong prosaically behaviour and consistent school attendance can automatically improve a student's academic ability. Emotionally more intelligent students can also have emotionally more intelligent parents, which in turn can empower these teenagers to pay more attention to excellence in school and create an environment conducive to learning. It can even ease the transition to higher education, giving them more scope for development in their college years and ultimately a higher success rate in later years.

Difference in impact on male and female adolescents

Although emotional intelligence has been proven to be better in ladies, there are researches displaying that this will now no longer be the case. Brody and Hall (2008) say of their take a look at entitled Gender and Emotion: “Girls and boys analyse special classes in handling their emotions. Parents talk to their daughters extra than their sons approximately emotions and emotions (besides anger). Because women grasp the language quicker than boys, they're extra skilled in expressing their emotions. Children in whom emotional expression has now no longer been emphasised are in all likelihood to be in large part blind to their personal and different people's emotional states” (Scharfe, 2000).

This may want to thoroughly be why many guys, specifically teenagers, are reluctant to explicit their emotional issues openly. Parents, TV and famous subculture also can make a contribution to this aspect. Apart from this, it has additionally been determined that decrease emotional intelligence in guys is related to better alcohol and drug use, bad relationships with pals and deviant conduct, at the same time as no such affiliation changed into determined in ladies (Brackett, Mayer & Warner, 2004).

We can adequately count on those ladies have better EI on average, however better EI rankings in guys may want to function a predictor of higher conduct and relationships for them. However, extra studies are wanted at the elements inflicting this distinction and to peer if it has extra implications for enhancing EI degrees in each sex.

Higher EI has a positive impact on lifestyle choices

EI additionally appears to have an effect at the life-style picks that kids make. Lower trait EI tiers were related to terrible impulse control (Schutte et. al., 1999) and more alcohol and drug-associated problems (Riley and Schutte, 2003). Adolescents take to drug and substance abuse because of some of reasons: peer pressure, own circle of relative’s warfare or terrible demographics, intellectual pressure or depression, and for short-term pleasure. Studies have mentioned the tremendous courting among better EI and well-being and problem-centred coping (Por, Barriball, Fitzpatrick, Roberts, 2011).

This should thoroughly suggest that kids with a better EI degree deal with pressure in an extra powerful manner, and might not reply negatively to peer-pressure. They may have a better experience of duty which leads them to lesser drug and substance abuse, or making healthful life-style picks in general. Emotional Intelligence can function a legitimate predictor for life-style picks amongst kids.

Positive Implications for mental health, physical health and well-being

Most of the studies factors toward emotional intelligence having a great effect at the intellectual fitness in teens. Poor use of feelings in teens may also result in better stages of trouble behaviour, including depression, aggression, and delinquency (Siu, 2009). It is likewise to be stated that the cap potential to manipulate and manage feelings in teens is predictive in their cap potential to manipulate lifestyles’ challenges, consequently contributing to better mental and bodily fitness (Downey, Johnston, Hansen, Birney & Stough, 2010).

Even new-age addictions including internet, video games and playing were determined to be expected with the aid of using stages of emotional intelligence in younger adults (Parker et. al., 2008) Dimensions of perceived emotional intelligence, especially temper readability and repair, have additionally been connected to lifestyles satisfaction (Rey, Extremera & Pena, 2011).

It is secure to mention that emotional intelligence is in truth a solid predictor of adolescent adjustment and mental well-being (Salguero, Palomera and Fernandez-Berrocal, 2012). Hence, EI has long-time period effects for an adolescent’s fitness and well-being, which have to set off us to set off greater interventions aiming to enhance EI from a younger age.

Creating solutions for the times ahead: From an Indian Perspective

Emotional Intelligence does affect the improvement of younger children in an important manner. Not most effective does it have an effect on their vocational improvement, it additionally influences the manner they reply to stressors of their normal lifestyles, their interpersonal relationships, and the manner they range in expressing themselves. In the Indian context, emotional intelligence in faculty going children is frequently neglected, and is related to adulthood, without thinking about the reality that the roots of growing EI lie at a younger age.

Indian Parents can also additionally generally tend to consciousness extra on supplying familial values which includes extending the own circle of relative’s tree, respecting elders, and fabric contribution acquired from them in rearing youngsters. Considering that emotional intelligence may be expanded thru schooling in adults (Nelis et. al., 2009), we are able to expect that it might paintings with children as well.

Keeping all of this in mind, locating a few answers to paintings at the emotional aspect, particularly with Indian children, will become utmost essential. The paper tries to offer some approaches to paintings on EI with children: 

  • It is thought that parenting patterns can have an effect on and expect youngsters’ emotional intelligence, and poor parental demandingness can result in decrease EI in them. Even children’ perceptions in their dad and mom’ have an effect on their EI appears to be an essential predictor in their real emotional and social functioning (Martinez-Pons, 1998).

Research additionally suggests us that youngsters with decrease emotional and social intelligence are extra regularly discovered in households wherein dad and mom explicit extra adversarial parenting, interact in extra conflict, and supply extra interest to a child’s poor behaviours than superb ones (Cummings, 1994). This does display us that Parent Education of Emotional Intelligence is step one in the direction of making emotionally strong children.

Gottman, Katz and Hooven (1996) in a studies paper gave the idea of Scaffolding Praising, at the same time as speaking approximately parenting patterns. Parents excessive in this size furnished their youngsters with shape for a task, mentioning the policies and guidelines in a comfortable manner, and waited for the kid to act, giving reward and cheering at each proper act the kid did. This may be one of the dimensions to be pointed out with dad and mom as it would paintings even higher than an authoritative parenting style.

  • Developing a gadget of schooling that consists of lifestyles talents schooling and emotional education for children and goals to inculcate emotional literacy in more youthful youngsters additionally looks like a potential idea. Socio-emotional intervention packages at faculty do achieve enhancing emotional talents in youngsters (Alegre, 2011).

A exact instance is a curriculum called the “Dinosaur School” designed for primary faculty within side the US which specializes in growing social, emotional and educational competence and lowering trouble behaviour within side the classroom. It has been a hit and is being followed via way of means of an increasing number of colleges (Webster-Stratton, Reid, 2004). This curriculum includes function playing, puppets getting used as function models, institution sports with college students, and video games that concentrate on constructing robust peer relationships.

NIMHANS, Bangalore additionally created lifestyles talents software for rural children (Vranda, Rao, 2011). The software targeted on instructing college students approximately intellectual health, look at methods, interpersonal members of the family and student-instructor relationship, amongst different things. Another software via way of means of NIMHANS in collaboration with WHO-SEARO targeted on college students of grades 8th, 9th, and 10th, the usage of instructors as facilitators. The modules blanketed have been Nutrition, Hygiene, Interpersonal Relationships, Academics, Gender Issues, Sexuality, Career, and Social Responsibility. More of such packages being delivered in faculty wherein college students find out about emotional intelligence thru easy discussions and attractive sports is required, particularly in India.

  • Consistent mental counselling in colleges and instructor schooling want to be extra in consciousness for the reason that faculty is the only area younger children spend the maximum time at. Teachers document that 16-30% of college students they train pose ongoing troubles in phrases of emotional, social and behavioural difficulties (Raver & Knitzer, 2001), because of this those instructors want on the way to deal with such cases.
  • Even aleven though the studies remain within side the nascent tiers as a long way as India is concerned, we do understand that many colleges do understand the significance of getting full-time counsellors on campus, and preserving normal trainings for his or her instructors. But the bulk of colleges, particularly in smaller cities, nevertheless have an extended manner to go.

Background of the Adolescent in the Present Study

The index adolescent was born of a normal delivery. Birth place of the child was in Mumbai India. Child was overly pampered as he was first and single child. The mother started working as a teacher when he was just 1 year old and child was staying with his grandparents, the child was overly pampered by his parents and grandparents, he got whatever he wants. When he was 17-year-old, he started being so aggressive and rude at moments when he did not get what he wants for which he started being impulsive and rude to his parents.

His parents now started using authoritarian parenting style, they started being strict and always wanted him to be obedient and perfect. This leads to difficulty in social situations into the child due to lack of social abilities in him. This parenting style leads to display aggressive behaviour outside and inside home. Children cannot accept failure and they suffer from anxiety. The child does not have secure attachment with his mother as she was working and very strict, she was not able to give enough quality of time.

In the words of Satterstrom et al., 2018, genes may load the gun, but it is the environment that pulls the triggers which supports the case of this child. Later, when the child was around 17 years his mother was told that her son was shy, introvert and impulsive when he did not get what he wants and being aggressive then mother decided to left her job and started taking care of him.

After that the child started behaving properly and listen to his mother. When the child came for the consultancy, he was 17 years old and preparing for NEET exam in Kota, Rajasthan. He could not adjust and got traumatized due to various reasons and was withdrawn and hence continued his preparation. This was his first time when he was staying away from his parents.

 The Adolescent was having lot of aggressive tendencies, anxieties and emotional inappropriateness when he was referred to me for Behavioural/Emotional Interventions at around when he was 17 years old.

Statement that Client’s consent is obtained

Consent from the client as well as his parents had been taken before the presentation of this research study.

Case Presentation

This case study is about 17-year-old adolescent with Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and anxiety are a set of chronic and often recurrent psychiatric disorder that are associated with significant impairment in quality of life, productivity, and interpersonal functioning (let me call him DC) whom I worked with a few years ago.

According to DC’s parents, their son did not listen to them and being so rude and clumsy who avoids behavioural issues involving restlessness, shouting.

DC loves to be left alone all by him. He does just opposite what his parents told him to do. He speaks less and rude. He had been angry and irritable since last 6 months and his strong defence is isolation. Many time adolescents become rude and aggressive because they have been expressing and testing independent ideas and values so. There will be times when parents will disagree. Adolescents will be having emotional and physical changes sometime little thing triggers them as brain is filled up with bullets and environment triggers.

People develop cognitive distortions as a way of coping with adverse life event. The more prolonged and severe those adverse events are, the more likely it is that one or more cognitive distortions will form and then emotions hijack our brain and people will not be able to think rationally/logically. It will lead to emotional dysregulations and sometime parents used authoritarian parenting style that’s why adolescent feel unaccepted and unappreciated by parents will become rude and aggressive.

In this case, DC’s parents were extremely sensitive and overly protective and pampering in his childhood as he was single child and when he came into adolescent age, he started being aggressive and rude to his parents and does not listen to them when he did not get what he wants then parents started being strict when he was 17 years old, it places high expectations from DC, they focus more on obedience, discipline, control rather than nurturing him.

Some studies suggest that adolescents with anxiety and depression exhibit differences in neural functioning compared to non-depressed peers during deliberate emotion regulation. Evidence to date suggests that some of these differences may be similar to disruptions in emotion regulation neural circuitries observed in adults. Existing models of emotion regulation make inferences based on directional connectivity between prefrontal and subcortical brain regions.  

Adolescents experience more varied variations of emotions than children but do not have many variations of emotional regulation skills. Although emotional regulation skills will increase with age and experience, this increase does not always occur linearly. As stated by Zimmer-Gembeck and Skinner (2011) the temporary increase is potentially more maladaptive. Therefore, there is a need to guide adolescent emotional regulation skills. 

Researchers has been done, on adolescent’s experience more varied variations of emotions than children but do not have many variations of emotional regulations skills. Although emotional regulation skills will increase with age and experience, this increase is potentially more maladaptive. Therefore, there is a need to guide adolescent emotional regulation skills. Thus, it is suggested for future research, there is a need for a program to develop the regulation of adolescent emotions.

 I used interview method to gather information from parents and took emotional intelligence questionnaire Assessment, through that I came to know that DC was low in emotional intelligence, as he was not aware about his own emotions and self-regulation.

It made me ponder that if we could help such adolescent on the Dark emotions through Expressive Art therapy to express their feelings, emotions or needs and desires through art / music / movement. If they are not able to express their feeling in words and face difficulty expressing through verbalization, so that it would help them become emotionally stable and gain confidence leading to much developed self-regulatory skills.

After a consultation session with DC’s parents, I decided that the best way to understand or explore DC was to spend few sessions just to observe him. Initially, he was guarded but I encouraged him to write down his thoughts or draw your feeling on paper or something that is related to him after few minutes he started writing down his thoughts, and gradually tried to build rapport and befriends with him as he was old enough to take his decisions whether he wants to talk or connect with me or not.

After taking few rapport building sessions with him through various journaling/expressive Art and one way communication as he was not reciprocating initially, but fortunately he started interacting while drawing and writing down his feelings.


Management and Outcome:  The interventions that were conducted for DC involved Behavioural/Emotional Intervention along with expressive Art therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy to him and his mother Whereas, on the other hand, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy along with Parental Psychoeducation was provided to the parents of DC and maintained mood chart for DC.

Psychological interventions helped him vent out his pent-up emotions, which he had inside him that was adding on to his externalizing aggressive behaviours. It also helped overcome his anxiety issues along with enhancing his self-confidence and self-esteem. Emotional interventions also helped him develop trust, courage and strength to explore the world the way he wanted.

Parental interventions included Acceptance and Commitment Therapy along with Psycho-education that added on to their ability to cope up with their own stresses and anxious thoughts that restricted them to work with the adolescent with complete acceptance and commitment. As it is said that the more positive and committed the parent can be, the more effectively they could work and parent their child.

Observational findings: Within few months of intervention, the adolescent started exploring himself through expression of drawing and writing which surprising shocked us every now and then. He accepted that he was misbehaving and being rude with his parents and committed to regulate his difficult emotions effectively, he also apologised to his parents and his mother also accepted that she was being strict with him.  It was seen that when he was asked some questions He replied very calmly and assertively.

The observations about DC revealed that he had a lot of understandings regarding his life and He has learned how to regulate his difficult emotions and he was always very much acceptant towards his own self. he intentionally keeps avoiding interacting with people having stereotype and prejudiced thoughts regarding Parents and any single child.


Emotional Intelligence truly does have an effect on the lifelong improvement in youngsters. Even in adults, emotional intelligence stays a predictor for more delight in relationships, social talents and marital delight (Schutte et. al., 2001). Even at as younger an age as 10, better emotional intelligence has been proven to be undoubtedly associated with behavioural tendencies like “co-operation” and “dependence” (Petrides, Sangareau, Furnham and Fredrickson, 2006).

The case highlighted that DC shows dark emotions and disruptive behaviour without any reason, adolescents are the most sensitive phrase of human’s life, we should manage it with understanding, acceptance and letting go.

In this case, DC has beautifully expressed his emotions through Expressive Art therapy and he also recognised his irrational thoughts through (CBT) Cognitive behaviour therapy. Initially, he did not speak properly even he was guarded in initial sessions but after building a rapport he started expressing his dark emotions and their causes. He also explained that his mother always wanted him to be obedient and perfect every time and always compare him with his friends due to which he started doubting on himself.

This case shows DC’s qualities, talents, his unique personality go unnoticed and ignored. He had always been compared with his friends that leads to his disruptive behaviour and emotional dysregulation. As he was in adolescent age, he was not able to manage the effective ways to regulate his emotions and mange his behaviour effectively.

It was not a miracle that happened with DC, it was just that he needed to make him aware about his qualities and his unique personality and a way of expression to present him, that fortunately happened with him in the Expressive Art therapy session he started expressing his dark emotions and desires through Cognitive behaviour therapy he was aware about his cognitive distortions and understand the ways to manage them effectively.

Adolescent always need acceptance, appreciation which keeps enhancing their self-confidence and self-esteem. Hence, we need to open up our minds and help them explore their highest potentials of every individual along with allowing them to be the way they are or they want to be. As every individual has their own unique personality.

Implication for Future Research

The subject matter has superb scope of studies, mainly with appreciate to the Indian context. More studies on what impacts low EI ratings in younger people, and the way they may be progressed stays to be studied. Even the outcomes of strategies inclusive of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Transactional Analysis will be beneficial in expertise this in a higher light, even extra so with an empirical approach.


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