According to our hypothesis the parenting style
affects the emotional intelligence of children in their adult life.
intelligence is an interesting and growing concept which seems to be relevant
to patient centered approach in the field of medicine.
study explored the level of emotional intelligence of undergraduate medical
students and linked it to parenting style.
study we focused on examining the relationship between perception of parenting
style and perceived emotional intelligence & our findings provided
important information about the role of parenting style in the development of
emotional intelligence in children.
findings of the present study suggest that parenting styles and their
dimensions are positively correlated with the development of emotional
intelligence and are in accord with some past studies (Barber et al, 2005; Ryan
et al, 2006; Saarni, 1997; Sillick & Schutte, 2006; Tsay et al, 2006).
results revealed that “perceived autonomy support” of father and then mother’s
autonomy support is the most influential factor in the growth of emotional
intelligence in children. These results are somehow opposing to previous
findings, as those of Shun-Chi, 2006 who found that “perceived warmth” can
predict the changes of “emotional intelligence”. Delale et al, 2007 of the
opinion that supervision and control better predict emotional intelligence and
regulation of emotions.
difference in results highlights the cultural variations and demand of time. The
study in different cultural perspective ensures that different groups of people
possess diverse beliefs and practice that may be normal in their own culture
but may not be acceptable in another culture (Bornstein & Lansford, 2010;
Harkness et al., 2007). It is apparent that to have an appropriate understanding
about the process of parenting it is necessary to study it in respective culture
fathers and mothers have different perception and practice, different parenting
style for boys and girls, but the most of researches on parenting still focus
on mothers. In the present study, mother’s autonomy support is the second most
influential predictor of emotional intelligence, whereas mother’s involvement
appeared as the third powerful factor in the development of emotional intelligence.
According to Desi and Ryan (1985) as per self-determination theory, which is a
motivational model, the achievement of satisfaction by parents for their basic
needs increase the motivation and make them to follow parental values. Also
promote their self-awareness and regulation of emotions and which ultimately leads
to development of competencies and better social interactions. Parental warmth
is the parents’ ability to generate and internalize values in their offspring.
This develops a capacity of appraisal, to regulate and express the emotions. If
parents’ way of regulating the behaviour is not suitable then ultimately child
will become incompatible. (Asghari & Basharat, 2011).
concept of autonomy has emerged as to be an individual, different and self-competent
(e.g., Emde & Buchsbaum, 1990; Matas, Arned & Sroufe, 1978), and the way
it is inculcated termed as autonomy support. It is in fact parents’ behaviour
in context of their responsiveness, valuating child’s opinions, and feelings. In
other words it is the adeptness of a
person for another’s perspective and to encourage self-initiated expression and
action (Ryan & Solky, 1996). In an ideal situation, the autonomy support would
lead to high independence in the behavior, cognition and emotions (Collins,
Gleason & Sesma, 1997; Steinberg & Silverberg, 1986). As opposed to it is
dependence on parents for decisions making.
the recent researches it found that autonomy support is in 2 forms, one in
terms of promotion of independence (PI) and second as promotion of volitional
number of authors have described parental autonomy support as promotion of
adolescents’ independent expression, their thinking and decision making by the parents
(Gray & Steinberg, 1999; Silk et al.,
2003; Steinberg , 2002). According to the view of promotion of
independence (PI), parents can react either by granting them freedom and
independence or may decline and maintain dependence of adolescents (Steinberg
& Silk, 2002). In later situation it
leads to development of relations in which the adolescents remain dependent on
contrast to the view of promotion of independence (PI), self-determination
theory (SDT) suggests autonomy support is the development of more volitional
functioning, and the adolescents’ behaviour built up on internal values and
interests (Ryan, Deci & Grolnick, 1995). This approach enables the parents to
empathize with their children’s perspective, and provide choices if possible.
There is minimum use of control and assertive attitude rather parents’ help
their children to find and act upon their true internal values and interests
(Grolnick, 2003; Ryan et al., 1995). Thus autonomy support welcomes the other’s
views, feelings and favour self-initiated expressions and actions (Ryan &
Solky, 1996). However, PI and PVF both
are strong predictors of children’s well-being, adjustment (e.g., self-esteem)
and academic excellence (e.g., Grolnick, 2003; Grolnick, Ryan & Deci,
perceived warmth plays the key role in the growth of emotional intelligence,
but experiencing the feeling of autonomy is crucial for the necessary energy
for appraisal, utilization and regulation of emotions. So autonomy support by
both parents is as much important as parent’s warmth because autonomy support
in adolescence cultivate the strength and motivation in children to achieve the
necessary skills for self-regulations and achieving emotional intelligence. As
adolescence begins, these warm relationships complemented by recognition of
emotions, thoughts and choices and giving the child permission of autonomy, in
order to lead to reinforcing the ability of self-confidence, self -initiation,
self – regulation and to experiencing the feeling of emotional integrity.
support is a critical component of parenting to manage children’s behavior and
crucial strategy to boost the effectiveness of their abilities.
is the opposite to autonomy support that ruins the psychological needs of
children and force them to think, feel and behave in a specific way, whereas
autonomy support provides and helps to develop children’s inner motivational
who support autonomy, they accept children’s perspective and appreciate their
thoughts, feelings and actions. They allow their children for autonomous
Autonomy support nurture inner
motivational resources by providing explanatory rationales. Parents giving
autonomy support show patience to allow time for self-paced learning and they
acknowledge and accept the expressions of negative affect.
Furthermore, adolescents high in self-knowledge are
more likely make wiser career choices (Gelso & Fretz, 2001) and of course,
social competence will enhance the probability of career success in any field
that involves relating to other people.
present study also analyzed demographic details of participants to see the
relationship between emotional intelligence and demographic characteristics.
The variables of sex, age, household income, fathers and mothers’ level of
education, number of siblings, marital status and location of residence were
used as independent variables in a regression model with EI as the dependent
tests showed no significant relationship between emotional intelligence and
age, marital status, number of siblings and residential area.
The mean score
of males’ emotional intelligence is 128.83+ 13.43 ranged from 82.00 to
151.00 and females’ mean score is 130.50+16.03 ranged from 87.00 to
162.00, which is slightly higher than males. As other studies confirmed that
females have better level of emotional intelligence than males (Brackett &
Mayer, 2003; Mayer et al., 2002; Schutte,
Malouff, Hall, Haggerty, Cooper, Golden & Dornheim, 1998; Thingujam &
general, findings suggest that females tend to favor social support, emotion
focused and avoidant coping strategies relative to males (e.g., Ptacek, Smith
& Zanas, 1992; Stein & Nyamathi, 1999). Females have good Interpersonal
social skills, which are closely linked to emotional intelligence (Argyle,
1990). Further, Schutte et al.,(1998) proposed and found gender differences in
their measure of trait EI with females scoring higher than males.
researches suggested that females have high effortful control and lower
dispositional anger and frustration than do boys (Kochanska et al., 2000;
Esinberg, zhou, et al., 2003). Parents also tend to be warmer with their girls
as compare to boys (Eisenberg, Losoya, et al., 2001).
have higher peer group acceptance, more mutual friendships and stronger
prosocial orientation than boys (Coie, Dodge & Coppotelli 1982; Ladd,
Kochenderfer & Coleman, 1996). Boys appear more competitive with friends
(Berndt, 1981) and have more difficulty resolving conflicts with friends
(Parker & Asher, 1993).
education appeared as a strong predictor in the development of emotional
intelligence. As parents’ education increase, the level of emotional
intelligence is also improves especially mother’s education plays important
role in this domain. The EI scores rose steadily with increasing education
levels of mothers.
support is the crucial feature and dimension of authoritative parenting style.
The present study indicated the authoritative style (especially autonomy
support factor) is the powerful predictor of emotional intelligence. Other two
parenting styles: authoritarian parenting style (high control and less
responsiveness) and permissive parenting style (less control and high
responsiveness) have a negative association with EI. The most harmful and
non-recommended style is neglectful style that lack dimensions, control and
warmth. The results show negative association between household income and
emotional intelligence. As household income increases above 50,000 the
emotional intelligence level decreases. Those students have higher score in
emotional intelligence who belong to middle class families. This difference may
be due to cultural values that are more appreciable and considerable in such
families in our country.
are many potential, social and societal benefits of incorporating a focus on
emotional intelligence, which has been shown to be moldable (Cohen, 1999;
Goleman, 1995; Topping, Holmes & Bremmer, 2000) into higher education. As
it has been recommended that the learning of emotional intelligence in primary
and secondary school syllabus plays important role to improve emotional
intelligence and reduce emotional and behavioral problems which can interfere
with the education processes (Caplan et al., 1992; Cohen, 1991).
is need to develop structures that strengthen the emotional bonds between
teachers and learners. Many researches also advocate the teaching of positive
strategies in order to promote optimism and positive thinking, and to produce
resilient and confident students. Teachers should support this approach by
creating classroom environment that promote optimism and by using positive and
findings of the study recommend that parents should have and show warmth during
early relations with their children and gradually when child develops and gets
maturity, he needs autonomy in order to gain self-confidence, self-initiation,
self-regulation and to experiencing the emotional integrity. At theoretical
level, this finding can provide a better understanding of the role of the
parent’s parenting and the child’s perception of it. At practical level,
findings show the necessity to educate parents, students and also therapists to
increase cognitive skills.
The present research
supports the notion that authoritative parenting cultivates high emotional
level in children that facilitate them throughout their academic and social
life. The basic characteristic of authoritarian parents is autonomy support
that has proved the most crucial quality of parenting through this study.
Students gained high scores in emotional intelligence test who have autonomy
support from their parents, because it encourages them to become fully aware of
and act upon their interests and personal values.
This study also
indicates the way an adolescent perceive his parent’s parenting predicts
changes in the amount of his emotional intelligence.
This study has shown
various statistically significant relationships, differences and predictive
variables that may help guide future EI research in the area of adolescence and
The results of this
study also call for further exploration of the variables identified as
predictors of emotional intelligence, such as female gender, household income
and parents’ education. Emotional intelligence is linked to success in life and
everyday social interactions; therefore any environmental factor that has an
effect upon EI development is important to take into consideration for
personality and individual development.
The first limitation of
this study was related to the population of the research that was students of a
medical college. Second, this study was correlational, in which self-report
measures were used because they provide an efficient, cost-effective method of
collecting data. Although self-report measures are identified as the reliable
resources but not ideal, because participants have to answer about long-ago
information that may be inaccurate due to recall difficulties.
The prospective and
longitudinal studies provide the most thorough information but such studies are
time-consuming and expensive. However for generalizing the findings, these
should be taken into consideration. In addition, possible problems related to
the validity of POPS should not be ignored. To get the most accurate and
reliable data, future studies may wish to apply multiple measures of each
variable. There is scope to run similar projects using widespread samples from
different colleges and universities of the country and from general public.
The present study is
based upon a segment of population. While this study suggests the link between
emotional intelligence and parenting may be worth pursuing, much work remains
to be done to fully explore the relationship between parenting and emotional
intelligence in students in various health professions.
It is suggested a prospective study may be
conducted involving wider a population may be from various colleges and
universities or general public.