The mediating role of trait emotional intelligence in the relationship between parental neglect and cognitive emotion regulation strategies

BMC Psychol. 2024 May 30;12(1):314. doi: 10.1186/s40359-024-01817-3.

Abstract

Background: Examining children's abilities to recognize and regulate their emotions in the context of parental neglect is of significant importance in order to comprehend the dynamics of and to support the development of emotional skills of children, particularly those at risk of neglect. From this point of view, the aim of the study was to examine the mediating role of trait emotional intelligence (trait EI) in the relationship between parental neglect and cognitive emotion regulation strategies (CERS) in children.

Method: The study group consisted of 265 children (135 girls and 130 boys) who were attending two separate primary schools in the city center of Antalya, Turkey. The mean age of the children was 10.27 ± 0.45. As the data gathering instruments, an "Individual Information Form" was administered to assess the socio-demographic information of the children, while the "Multidimensional Neglectful Behavior Scale-Child Report was administered to examine the level of neglect of children by the parents, the "Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire-Child Form" was administered to assess the trait emotional intelligence level, and the "Cognitive Emotion Regulation Strategies for Children Scale" was administered to assess the CERS of the children.

Result: It was found that trait EI played a full mediator role in the relationship between CERS and both maternal and paternal neglect (p < .05), except for the relationship between paternal neglect and maladaptive CERS (p > .05).

Conclusions: The results may suggest that neglected children use all emotion regulation skills, including both adaptive and maladaptive, to cope with their negative emotional experience, but may use adaptive CERS more if their trait EI is higher.

Keywords: Cognitive emotion regulation strategies; Neglect; Trait emotional intelligence.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Abuse* / psychology
  • Cognition
  • Emotional Intelligence*
  • Emotional Regulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / psychology
  • Personality
  • Turkey