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Emotional Intelligence, Listening Comprehension, and Reading Comprehension among Diverse Adolescents



Social perception is an important aspect of emotional intelligence that affects adolescent functioning at school and in everyday life. This study examined the relationship between Social Perception (affect labeling, matching prosody with facial expressions, and understanding the motives of a speaker) and Reading Comprehension, as well as Listening Comprehension. This is important to consider because understanding emotions, social expressions of emotion, and the motives of others may play a significant role in understanding conversations and stories.


Hierarchical linear regressions involving 40 diverse adolescents from across the United States were utilized to see if Social Perception tests administered by psychologists predicted Reading Comprehension and Listening Comprehension above and beyond education level, gender, and ethnicity.


Social Perception predicted Listening Comprehension and Reading Comprehension on the Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests, Second Edition (WIAT-II), when controlling for education level, gender and ethnicity. The model explained 36% of the variance in reading comprehension and 54% of the variance in listening comprehension.


The implications for research and educational practice are considered. For instance, future studies should examine whether listening comprehension, reading comprehension, and emotional intelligence can be increased as part of the same intervention package.

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Author Contributions

J. M. F. conceptualized the study, helped with study design, assigned roles for the study, and wrote the first draft of the paper. M. L. D. analyzed the data and wrote most of the results. Both authors collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to John Mark Froiland.

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Ethics Statement All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee (IRB approval provided by University of Minnesota) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Froiland, J.M., Davison, M.L. Emotional Intelligence, Listening Comprehension, and Reading Comprehension among Diverse Adolescents. J Child Fam Stud (2019).

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  • Emotional intelligence
  • Social perception
  • Achievement
  • Reading
  • Listening skills
  • Reading comprehension