Emotional competence allows the expression and regulation of the emotions: learning to modulate one's own reactions by considering the social context allows to respond empathically to others. A good emotional competence, in particular during childhood, help to gain better social interactions and expressing feelings reduces the behavioural problems of children by increasing their well-being. It seems therefore important to carry out interventions that promote emotional competence, especially in contexts where children meet and live, first of all the school. The prime aim of this study was in fact to analyse, with the purpose to enhance, the relationship between emotional competence and psychosocial adjustment, evaluating these constructs in an environment, such as the school, where children are constantly in contact with each other. Two meetings have been scheduled during the school hours in the classrooms and several activities have been submitted. 314 children of the fourth and fifth primary class (8-9 years) from seven different schools in the Northern Italy participated. The first meeting began with a moment of introduction to make children familiar with researchers: everyone said his/her name and his/her favourite colour, explaining why. This activity allowed creating a positive atmosphere in order to feel free in sharing thoughts and emotions. An excerpt from the beginning of the Disney-Pixar "Inside Out" (2015) was proposed since the movie shows the emotions of the protagonist, a young girl named Riley. This technique allowed introducing the features of emotions in a familiar and cute way. Every child compared the seen emotions with his/her private ones and shared his/her thoughts, explaining them to the mates. After that, children filled in the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ; [1]) in order to evaluate critic and positive areas related to psychosocial adjustment. Meanwhile the referring teachers of every class filled in the proxy report version of SDQ for every single student. During the second meeting the final scene of Inside Out was shown in order to make children explore the importance of negative emotions and the possibility to live them along with different kinds of emotions experienced in the same situation. Children told each other their related experiences. The Emotional Basic Knowledge Interview (ICEB - 2, [2]) was then submitted to evaluate global emotional and specific basic emotion (Fear, Joy, Sadness and Anger) competences. Before leaving each other, researchers gave children a rhyme on emotions as a present to remind them and their teachers what they have done together. The results of the study showed that emotional competence was strongly connected to psychosocial adjustment. Specifically, emotional competence and prosocial behaviour were positively related, while negative correlations emerged between children's emotional competence and global difficulties, mainly concerning peer problems. This confirms the relationship between emotional competence and psychosocial adjustment because children who experience less difficulty and better interactions are just those who feel emotionally competent. Increasing interventions focused on improving emotional education in schools may therefore have a pivotal role since schools are the privileged context where children have the opportunity to meet and confront with each other.

Emotional competence and psychosocial adjustment. A Research Intervention in primary schooled children

Mannarini S.;Balottin l.;
2017

Abstract

Emotional competence allows the expression and regulation of the emotions: learning to modulate one's own reactions by considering the social context allows to respond empathically to others. A good emotional competence, in particular during childhood, help to gain better social interactions and expressing feelings reduces the behavioural problems of children by increasing their well-being. It seems therefore important to carry out interventions that promote emotional competence, especially in contexts where children meet and live, first of all the school. The prime aim of this study was in fact to analyse, with the purpose to enhance, the relationship between emotional competence and psychosocial adjustment, evaluating these constructs in an environment, such as the school, where children are constantly in contact with each other. Two meetings have been scheduled during the school hours in the classrooms and several activities have been submitted. 314 children of the fourth and fifth primary class (8-9 years) from seven different schools in the Northern Italy participated. The first meeting began with a moment of introduction to make children familiar with researchers: everyone said his/her name and his/her favourite colour, explaining why. This activity allowed creating a positive atmosphere in order to feel free in sharing thoughts and emotions. An excerpt from the beginning of the Disney-Pixar "Inside Out" (2015) was proposed since the movie shows the emotions of the protagonist, a young girl named Riley. This technique allowed introducing the features of emotions in a familiar and cute way. Every child compared the seen emotions with his/her private ones and shared his/her thoughts, explaining them to the mates. After that, children filled in the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ; [1]) in order to evaluate critic and positive areas related to psychosocial adjustment. Meanwhile the referring teachers of every class filled in the proxy report version of SDQ for every single student. During the second meeting the final scene of Inside Out was shown in order to make children explore the importance of negative emotions and the possibility to live them along with different kinds of emotions experienced in the same situation. Children told each other their related experiences. The Emotional Basic Knowledge Interview (ICEB - 2, [2]) was then submitted to evaluate global emotional and specific basic emotion (Fear, Joy, Sadness and Anger) competences. Before leaving each other, researchers gave children a rhyme on emotions as a present to remind them and their teachers what they have done together. The results of the study showed that emotional competence was strongly connected to psychosocial adjustment. Specifically, emotional competence and prosocial behaviour were positively related, while negative correlations emerged between children's emotional competence and global difficulties, mainly concerning peer problems. This confirms the relationship between emotional competence and psychosocial adjustment because children who experience less difficulty and better interactions are just those who feel emotionally competent. Increasing interventions focused on improving emotional education in schools may therefore have a pivotal role since schools are the privileged context where children have the opportunity to meet and confront with each other.
978-84-697-6957-7
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3270682
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