Emotional Intelligence in Social Phobia and Other Anxiety Disorders

  • Laura J. Summerfeldt
  • Patricia H. Kloosterman
  • Martin M. Antony
  • Randi E. McCabe
  • James D. A. Parker


This study examined the associations between clinical anxiety, domains of emotional intelligence (EI), and three clinician-rated indices of maladjustment. Of key interest was whether social phobia (SP) is unique among anxiety disorders in being characterized by lower levels of Interpersonal and, particularly, Intrapersonal EI, and whether these differentially predict maladjustment. Individuals with SP (n = 169) obsessive-compulsive disorder (n = 65) and panic disorder (n = 64), and nonclinical controls (n = 169) completed the short form self-report Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i: S). All anxiety disorder groups showed lower total EI than controls, and differed among themselves with the SP group displaying the lowest levels of total EI and lower scores on two EQ-i:S subscales (Interpersonal and, more robustly, Intrapersonal). The Intrapersonal dimension alone predicted all indices of greater maladjustment in the SP group. These findings indicate a negative relationship between anxiety disorders and EI, and reaffirm the foremost link between Intrapersonal EI and SP and its functional outcomes.


Emotional intelligence Anxiety disorder Social phobia Adjustment Comorbidity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura J. Summerfeldt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Patricia H. Kloosterman
    • 1
    • 3
  • Martin M. Antony
    • 2
    • 4
  • Randi E. McCabe
    • 2
  • James D. A. Parker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTrent UniversityPeterboroughCanada
  2. 2.Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre, St. Joseph’s Healthcare & Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral NeurosciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada

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