Perceived emotional intelligence as a risk or protective factor in anxiety: Its mediatingrole in undergraduate students

  1. Paloma Gil-Olarte
  2. Rocío Gómez-Molinero
  3. Ana Merchán-Clavellino
  4. Paula Ruiz-González
  5. Lucía Morales-Sánchez
  6. Rocío Guil
VIII ICEI 2022. International Congress on Emotional Intelligence

Argitaletxea: COLLAGE

Argitalpen urtea: 2022

Orrialdeak: 37

Mota: Biltzar ekarpena


University students are affected by numerous changes, representing a risk factor on anxiety. The psychological impact may be caused directly by the experience of negative affect and/or low self-steem. However, perceived emotional intelligence (PEI) may mediate these relationships, being a risk/protective factor for anxiety. In this line, our research has identified the following results: Concerning the mediating role of PEI (TMMS-24) between negative affect (PANAS) and state anxiety (STAI) in 467 undergraduates, it is evidenced that the experience of negative affect leads to higher emotional attention which may increase state anxiety. On the other hand, when negative affect is associated with a low ability to understand emotions, anxiety symptoms may also appear. Finally, state anxiety may also be increased by the negative serial effect of emotional clarity on repair. However, when attention and clarity are connected, the negative effect is inverted into a positive one, decreasing state anxiety. Nevertheless, PEI would also act as a protective factor if emotional attention is combined with adequate levels of clarity or, in turn, emotional repair. Regarding the mediating role between self-esteem (Rosernberg Scale) and state-trait anxiety (STAI) in 153 undergraduates, it is evidenced a decrease in state anxiety due to the indirect effect of emotional repair. Besides, trait anxiety is increased in two ways. Firstly, high self-esteem in students is associated with lowerattention scores, and in turn with worse clarity scores, increasing trait anxiety. Secondly, high self-esteem is associated with lower emotional attention, reducing the repair of negative emotions, resulting in higherlevels of trait anxiety. In conclusion, a differentiated profile of PEI could be a protective/risk factor in the experience of anxiety. Specifically, emotional attention will be a risk factor increasing the vulnerability to manifest emotional distress if it is not associated with adequate emotional clarity and mood repair.