Emotional Intelligence And Self-Efficacy As Determining Factors For Perceived Social Support Among Adolescents

Project and Seminar Material for Psychology

Emotional Intelligence And Self-Efficacy As Determining Factors For Perceived Social Support Among Adolescents


Emotional intelligence (EI) has emerged in recent research as a teachable skill that is distinct from personality and is relevant to scholastic and work success and progress in career development. This study adds to that research by examining the relationship of performance and self-report measures of EI and personality traits with perceived social support. Three hundred and nine Italian high school students completed the Multidimensional scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), the Emotional Intelligence scale (EIS), the Mayer Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence test (MSCEIT), and the Big Five questionnaire (BFQ). Both self-report (EIS) and performance (MSCEIT) measures of EI contributed to the explanation of social support beyond the effects of personality (BFQ). Building on prior research evidence that social support and EI are instrumental to career development, and that EI can be enhanced through training, the findings suggest the potential of EI training as a component of career readiness preparation.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Adolescence is often a stressful period during development because it involves a pivotal transition from childhood dependency to adulthood dependency and self-sufficiency (Smith, Cowie, & Blades, 1998). One major challenge that adolescents encounter during their teenage years involves acquiring a sense of personal agency in what often seems to be a recalcitrant word.

Adolescents in our societies are viewed as leaders of tomorrow. They are endowed with enormous potentials and talents to succeed in their different ambitions and set goals for life. For these goals to be achieved, it requires dedication, sacrifices, self-discipline, motivation and cordial relationship between them as their parents, peers (both in school and social gathering), and from the environment with which they find themselves. Adolescents at this level are saddled with a lot of responsibilities and challenges (Imonikebe, 2009) which may sometimes result in stress. They need good mental health and functional social supportive networks to be able to succeed in these tasks and pursuits. As the responsibilities and challenges increase and new social relations are established, adolescents, sometimes become uncertain of their abilities to meet these demands Dwyer & Cummings (2001). Difficulties in handling the ensuring stressor often lead to decreased performance in areas like academic achievements / performance and interpersonal relations, as such increasing psychological distress and negative attitudes towards learning and life (Dwyer & Cummings, Salami, 2006). All these invariably pose challenges to the much sought qualities social support network, hence the need to elaborate on the concept of social support.

Social support (SS), perception to Bames (1854) is the perception and actuality that one is for, has assistance available from other people, and that one is part of a supportive social network. These supportive network resources can be categorized into emotional support (nurturance), tangible support (financial assistance), informational support (advice), and/or companionship support (sense of belonging). However, other scholars have also view social support in their own perspective. For example Hagihara, Tarumi, and Miller (1998) defined social support as the provision and receipt of tangible and tangible goals, services, and benefits/such as encouragement and reassurance) in the context of informational relationships (e.g. family, friends, co-workers, co-students, and lecturers). It has also been argued that social support is too complex to be limited to a single theoretical concept (Vanx, 1988), as a result, comprehensive models that incorporate the major elements of most current conceptualization of social support have been developed (Cutronor & Rusell, 1987). These vast elaboration of social support, is hereby viewed as a comprehensive dimension towards understanding it effectively (Alankee, Johnson & Hunt, 1998).

Social support has also been defined as the physical and emotional comfort given to us by our family, friend, colleagues and others. It is knowing that we are part of a community of people who love and care for us, valued and think well of us. it is the sum of the social emotional and instrumental exchanges with which the individual is involved having the subjective consequence that an individual sees him or herself as an object of continuing valued in the eyes of significant others (Gordy, 1996). Social support means the sum of all the relationships that make a person feel as if he or she matters to the people who matter to him or her. Social support can come in many different forms. Experts who study human relationship have identified three main types of social support. Alarie (1996), concluded by saying that these forms of social support are meant to have a positive impact on individual adolescents life and health, but they can also have negative consequences. Moreso, many studies have demonstrated that being integrated into social networks and receiving high levels of social support are important for mental health, high productivity and performance, as well as encourages attainment of set goals and well being, particularly for adolescents (Kessler & Mclead, 1995; Alarie, 1996). The number of social contacts, both close and not too close, is related to higher levels of well-being. Within relationships, different types of support from different sources may benefit health-such as emotional practical and informational support (Houze & Kalin, 1995). Stansfelf & Sproton (2002); Alarie (1996) in their different studies observed that on the other hand, close relationship may be stressful as well as stress relieving, and high levels of negative interaction within relationship increase the risk of mental ill-health.

Taken together, Goodenew, 1993; Levitt, Guacci-Fanco & Levitt, 1994; and Wentzel, 1998, viewed social support as a morale booster or forces, on which adolescent enjoyed from their parent peers, and/or teachers based on their life pursuit and target goals. They also expatiate that, adolescent’s perceived social support is associated with their academic achievement, in that they/adolescents enjoying social support) do fare better in both emotional reasoning and self-efficacy and self-esteem than those who do not perceived their socializers as such. In a contrary view, other scholars posited that, despite the growing body of evidence on the associations between the perception of supportive social relationship, academic achievements, emotional reasoning and high self-efficacy/self esteem, the mechanisms through which social support exerts its influence on these achievements are seldom, as such supportive social relationships may influence adolescents’ behaviour indirectly through motivational and affective mechanisms, that is, may precipitate positive or negative affective experiences, such as (enjoyment, anxiety, anger) as well as adaptive or maladaptive self and task related motivational beliefs (example, self competence beliefs and subjective value), which in turn predicts the potency of social support network.

Also, Furman & Buhrmesten (1992), in their own perspective, described social support as a period when youth perceive their parents and teachers as less supportive whereas their perception of peer support peaks to the maximum. Thus, making adolescence stage, an ideal period for the examination of perceived social support on the emotional well-being, self-efficacy as well as behaviour-exhibited, with particular emphasis on affective and motivational mechanisms, which happen to be influx.

Social support can be measured as the perception that on has assistance available, the actual received assistance, or the degree to which a person is integrated in a social network. Social support on the other hand has been linked to many benefits for both physical and mental health, but to an extent, social support is not always beneficial, this is in reference to the two main models as proposed to the link between social support and health: the buffering hypothesis and the direct effects hypothesis.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The decline in the social support of adolescents in Nigeria has been a major source of concern to stakeholders and policy makers in the education sector. Measures taken by the government at various levels to eliminate this problem and improve the social support of students have focused more on improving infrastructure, equipping the schools and providing qualified teachers, may not have produced the desired results. Poor social support among adolescents limits their potentials for advancement in career and their ability to compete effectively in an ever increasingly competitive global village. Though the curricula at the secondary school level are designed to address this inherent gap but the importance of students’ emotional standard of performance may have been seen to be missing, misunderstood or neglected. It is therefore necessary to interrupt the ugly trend of poor social support among secondary students by developing and enhancing their emotional intelligence skills which have been observed to be major determinants of social support because a student may recover from physical pain or injury, but may never recover from the terror and degradation of his or her emotional state

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of this study:

  1. To examine the influence of emotional intelligence on perceived social support among adolescent.
  2. To examine the impact of perceived social support on emotional intelligence among adolescent.
  3. To identify the factors that influences perceived social support among adolescent

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the influence of emotional intelligence on perceived social support among secondary school teachers?
  2. What is the impact of perceived social support on organizational commitment among secondary school teachers?
  3. What are the factors that influence perceived social support among secondary school teachers?

1.6 Significance of the Study

The following are the significance of this study:

  1. The result of this study will educate stakeholders in the education sector on the importance of emotional intelligence on perceived social support and how they can be used as a tool to promote perceived social support among secondary school teachers.
  2. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic

1.7 Scope / Limitations of the Study

This study will cover some selected Elite secondary plc Uyo Akwa Ibom State. It will also cover the level of staff commitment in the selected secondary schools.

Limitation of Study
Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

Overall, the findings support our expectations in establishing a relationship between EI and perceived social support. As in prior research (Larose et al., 2009; Sarason et al., 1986), personality was also related to perceived social support. In the current study, moreover, both self-report and performance assessments of EI added to the explanation of social support beyond the effects of personality traits, adding to evidence that distinguishes EI from personality. Although the contributions of both assessments of EI were statistically significant, the contribution of the performance measure was relatively small. For performance assessment of EI, the contribution of all four dimensions when considered simultaneously was significant but no single dimension was significant. The seemingly more robust contribution of self-reported EI to perceived social support may be understood in several ways. Since both self-report measures assess perceptions, method variance, or the extent to which the general perception or mood state of the individual might impact responses to both measures, may be one explanation. It also makes sense that individuals’ confidence in their emotional skills would impact their expectation of support from others. So while actual skill in EI is relevant and related to perceived social support, self-perceptions of EI skills appear to matter as much and perhaps more than EI as assessed through performance measures

5.2 Recommendation

The results also suggest how specific aspects of EI may relate to perceived support. For example, with regard to self-report EI, individuals’ perceptions that they can accurately appraise the emotions of self and others and express their emotions appropriately contributed to perceived social support. That is, persons who perceive more available social support report that they are better able to recognize emotions in themselves and in others and to express their emotions. They also see themselves as being able to use their emotions in solving problems. Since social support involves an exchange of resources between persons (Shumaker & Brownell, 1984), often under conditions of psychological distress, and involves recognition of the need for and ability to appropriately ask for assistance, perceived skill in the appraisal and expression of emotions relates logically to social support. The use of emotions in problem solving also reasonably relates to one’s capacity to use emotional support in problem solving and coping.

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