Publication Date

2011-05-23

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2011-05-23

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2010-05-14

First Committee Member

Charles S. Carver

Second Committee Member

Sheri L. Johnson

Third Committee Member

Matthias Siemer

Fourth Committee Member

Frank J. Penedo

Fifth Committee Member

Ihsan Salloum

Abstract

Bipolar I disorder (BD) is one of the leading causes of disability among adults. Despite the fact that those with BD are at significantly greater risk for experiencing psychosocial hardship, many with the disorder function quite well. Researchers have shown this variability in quality of life to be partly explained by symptom severity, educational attainment, illness characteristics, and cognitive variables (e.g., executive function). The current study extends this research by examining the role of emotional intelligence in the quality of life and social and occupational functioning of people with BD. I hypothesized a significant proportion of the variance in quality of life and social and occupational functioning would be explained by emotional intelligence, above and beyond the variance explained by the aforementioned variables. Forty-two participants with BD were recruited and completed a battery of measures to assess quality of life, cognition, and emotional intelligence. Results indicated that emotional intelligence, as measured by the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, did not explain any unique variance in quality of life. Self-reported emotional intelligence, on the other hand, did explain unique variance in both subjective well-being and social functioning.

Keywords

Bipolar I Disorder, quality of life, emotional intelligence

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