Emotional intelligence structure and level in deaf adolescents
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Emotional intelligence enables people to recognize their own emotions and those of others and to use them in everyday life as valuable information that determines success in social interactions. Inaccurate recognition of emotions or inability to control them can have a significant impact on interpersonal relationships and the ability to cope with difficult life situations. Hearing impairments result in various consequences - both in emotional and social functioning. The article presents the findings of a research study on emotional intelligence and recognition of facial expressions in deaf adolescents. The data were collected with the use of two tools: the self-report INTE Questionnaire and the Emotional Intelligence Scale - Faces (SIE-T). Study participants were 80 secondary school students, including 40 hearing adolescents and 40 deaf adolescents using sign language. A quantitative method, Student's t-test for independent samples, was used to analyze the significance of the findings. The research study showed that the deaf people had lower scores than the hearing people both in the level of emotional intelligence and in the level of individual skills that constitute its structure, such as: recognizing emotions, using emotions to guide thinking and action, and recognizing facial expressions. Furthermore, deaf adolescents from deaf families where sign language was the main communication means achieved higher scores in the ability to recognize facial expressions as compared to deaf adolescents from hearing families. The study suggests the need for broader emotional education and more intensive support for the development of socioemotional skills in deaf adolescents.
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