The Role of Dispositional Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence in Adolescent Males

Abstract

Emotional intelligence (EI) and dispositional mindfulness are two constructs that have been implicated in well-being, particularly in males, and are often part of student well-being programs. This study examined the relationships between EI, dispositional mindfulness, and well-being in adolescent boys. It was hypothesised that EI would mediate the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and well-being. The sample consisted of 294 adolescent male school students aged 13–17 years (M = 14.13, SD = 1.26). Participants completed self-report questionnaires related to dispositional mindfulness (Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale for Adolescents), EI (Adolescent Swinburne University Emotional Intelligence Scale), subjective happiness (Subjective Happiness Scale) and psychological distress (General Health Questionnaire). Two multiple mediation models were developed to assess the extent to which EI mediates the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and (1) subjective happiness and (2) psychological distress. The results indicated that three EI dimensions: Emotional Recognition and Expression (ERE), Emotional Management and Control (EMC), and Understanding the Emotions of Others (UEO), were significantly positively correlated with dispositional mindfulness (p < 0.01). In addition, two EI dimensions (ERE and EMC) partially mediated the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and subjective happiness (ERE: PM = 0.22[0.08], 95% CI = 0.09, 0.39; EMC: PM = 0.28[0.11], 95% CI = 0.10, 0.54), and between dispositional mindfulness and psychological distress (ERE: PM = 0.14[0.06], 95% CI = 0.04, 0.26; EMC: PM = 0.31[0.08], 95% CI = 0.17, 0.48). It was concluded that the development of programs incorporating aspects of dispositional mindfulness and EI could provide tangible benefits to the psychological well-being of adolescent males.

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Authors

Contributions

CT: designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and drafted the paper. LD: collaborated with the design of the study, analysis of the data, and the drafting and finalising of the paper. TF: conducted the final analyses of the data and collaborated with editing and finalising the paper. JL and CS: collaborated with the design and execution of the study. EB: conducted the initial analysis of the data.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Con Stough.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Swinburne University Ethics committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants and from the parents of each child included in the study.

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Teal, C., Downey, L.A., Lomas, J.E. et al. The Role of Dispositional Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence in Adolescent Males. Mindfulness 10, 159–167 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0962-8

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Keywords

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Dispositional mindfulness
  • Well-being
  • Happiness
  • Psychological distress