The effects of trait emotional intelligence on adolescent substance use: findings from a Hungarian representative survey

Kun, B., Urbán, R., Paksi, B., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, Richman, M.J. and Demetrovics, Z., 2019. The effects of trait emotional intelligence on adolescent substance use: findings from a Hungarian representative survey. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10: 367. ISSN 1664-0640

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Previous research has emphasized the importance of emotions in the development of adult and adolescent substance use. There is substantial evidence for deficits in emotional processing among teenagers with substance use, but few studies have investigated the association between emotional intelligence and adolescent substance use. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs and level of emotional intelligence among adolescents. A representative sample of high school students participated in the study (N = 2,380). Substance use patterns were assessed using data from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) Survey, and emotional intelligence was assessed with the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory Youth Version. Self-esteem and depressive symptomatology were also assessed to compare their effects on the frequency of substance use with the effect of emotional intelligence. Results demonstrated that greater difficulty in stress management and empathy predicted a higher frequency of tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis use. However, the level of emotional intelligence showed only a weak relationship to substance use habits. Latent profile analyses supported the hypothesis that different emotional patterns and problems underlie different types of psychoactive substances. Using a multiple linear regression model, the present study found that although emotional intelligence is not a key factor underlying substance use habits, it has an individual effect on substance use beyond depressive tendencies and self-esteem. These results can be applied to both drug prevention programs and interventions in substance abuse treatment.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Frontiers in Psychiatry
Creators: Kun, B., Urbán, R., Paksi, B., Griffiths, M.D., Richman, M.J. and Demetrovics, Z.
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Date: 7 June 2019
Volume: 10
ISSN: 1664-0640
Rights: © 2019 Kun, Urbán, Paksi, Griffiths, Richman and Demetrovics. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 10 Jun 2019 10:32
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2019 10:32

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