Child & Youth Care Forum

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 493–508 | Cite as

The Relation Between the Time Mothers and Children Spent Together and the Children’s Trait Emotional Intelligence

  • Albert Alegre
Original Paper



Parenting practices have been shown to predict children’s emotional intelligence. The time that mothers and children spend in joint activity is an important aspect of the parent–child relationship, and it has been found to be influential in different domains of children’s development. However, it has not been investigated in relation to children’s emotional intelligence. This is a void in the literature that needs to be filled.


This research gathers preliminary data to study the time mothers and children spent together in joint activity, the types of activities that they develop when they are together, and the relation that those activities have with the children’s trait emotional intelligence.


Data was collected for both mothers and children (N = 159) using self-report questionnaires. Correlations between time variables and trait emotional intelligence dimensions were computed using Pearson’s Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient. Partial correlations between the same variables controlling for responsive parenting were also computed.


The time mothers and children spent together in different activities correlated with different dimensions of trait emotional intelligence, even after partialling out the effect of responsive parenting. However, different mother–child joint activities correlated differently with trait emotional intelligence dimensions.


The amount of time mothers spent with their children and the quality of their interactions are important in terms of children’s trait emotional intelligence, not only because those times of joint activity reflect a more positive parenting, but because they are likely to promote modeling, reinforcement, shared attention, and social cooperation.


Emotional intelligence Parent involvement Joint activity Parenting 



Thanks to Dr. Mark J. Benson for his support and suggestions during the analysis of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.East Stroudsburg UniversityMount TaborUSA

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