A study of emotional intelligence in individuals with bipolar disorder

Arowolo, I., 2019. A study of emotional intelligence in individuals with bipolar disorder. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

Existing research predominantly focused on aspects of emotional intelligence (EI) such as perception and regulation of emotion in individuals with bipolar disorder (BD). Moreover, previous research used participants with BD as a clinical control group when studying other types of psychiatric disorders, for example schizophrenia and unipolar depression. Therefore, the current research aimed at investigating all aspects of EI (perception and understanding, use of emotion to facilitate thought and regulation) in individuals with BD.

The first study was a questionnaire-based quantitative study that aimed to identify if individuals with BD differ in their EI from people in the general population and find if participants’ responses indicates a relationship between EI and alexithymia. Study two was an experiment that measured perception and recognition of emotion with a face emotional performance recognition accuracy, error and response time task. Study three was qualitative. It aimed to provide an in-depth understanding of positive and negative emotions in individuals with BD.

The questionnaire-based study had 96 participants; participants with BD (n= 44) were recruited through support groups, and the remainder (n=52) were adults from the general population (controls). Thirty-five participants from the questionnaire-based study participated in the experiment and qualitative studies. In study 1, the results show that individuals with BD had a low level of EI in comparison to healthy controls. In addition, individuals with BD had more emotion regulation difficulties. Thirdly, alexithymia was negatively correlated with EI. Lastly, correlation analysis found mood symptoms of BD (depression and mania) to be correlated with EI, particularly depression. In study 2, participants with BD did not differ from the controls in their emotion recognition accuracy and the BD group had significant misattributions of anger. In study 3, three themes emerged from semi-structured interviews with individuals with BD and controls: emotion recognition, psychological wellbeing, and psychological states.

In conclusion, the findings showed that people with BD have limited levels of EI. Therefore, psychological treatment for people with BD should focus on facilitating improvement of EI, and prevention of maladaptive strategies to communicate and deal with emotion. Future research could build on these findings, for example through researching what strategies to communicate and deal with the emotion individuals with BD are likely to adopt in the phases of BD.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Arowolo, I.
Date: January 2019
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 03 Apr 2019 09:13
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2019 09:13
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/36173

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