Diener and Biswas-Diener (2000) seem to agree with such claims. In fact, they related the concept to a person’s values. They said that if activities are also congruent with one’s values, long lasting pleasure may be derived and not just simple happiness. This improved theory on SWB proposes that happiness may be experienced if a person could see personal growth through improvement in the different aspects of his or her life (Diener and Biswas-Diener, 2000). Consequently, unhappiness and dissatisfaction may be noted when a person sees stagnation or lack of improvement in his or her life or entire being.
To illustrate, a concrete and clear example would be the happiness derived from receiving high marks or grades. A person may be happy when he or she receives such marks. However, receiving grades that are high but are lower compared to those he or she received in the past may not result to positive feelings of satisfaction (Diener and Biswas-Diener, 2000). There are exemptions to this rule, however. Income may not be something that reflects such theory. According to the same researchers, people who are given higher income may not necessarily feel satisfied.
Nevertheless, those who receive a lower income than the figures they have received in the past were noted to have a decreased level of satisfaction. Due to this, the proponents suggested that when one uses this theory, personal goals must be considered in determining whether increasing the desired variable will result to a satisfaction or a decrease will yield to dissatisfaction (Diener and Biswas-Diener, 2000). Aside from the factors noted above, there are still other things that could play a role in a person’s SBW. Another could be judgment standards (Diener and Lucas, 2000).
Diener and Lucas (2000) referred to an Evaluation Theory that could be the basis for this. They said that there are certain entities that influence one’s standards. These may be a person’s temperament, values, tradition and culture (Diener and Lucas, 2000). When a person sets standards which are highly relevant, it would be likely that this would have a significant influence in his or her SWB. To illustrate, goals are said to be related to a person’s subjective well being in a sense that these goals present a set of standards that a person will closely adhere to since he or she set it up, or imposed such on one’s self.
Nonetheless, the role of situational variables should not be disregarded. Social comparison may intervene and become a salient standard at a particular time. As such, one can see that standards that may influence happiness and satisfaction do vary and those that are not really important or prioritized by an individual may surface as top priority if the situation calls for it (Diener and Lucas, 2000). Subjective Well Being and Culture Behavior, values, beliefs and physical objects when put together are said to mould a person’s way of living. This is how sociologists define culture (Macionis, 2002).
In addition, Triandis (1989) claimed that culture may be defined as forwarding tools, beliefs and ideas that were or still are practical to another generation because one sees it as beneficial. Matsumoto (2000) elaborates by saying that culture may be a set of dynamic rules, both explicit and implicit, that is present to guarantee survival. Norms, beliefs and behaviors are just some of the things that can be shared by a group of the same culture. These may be passed on but there really is no assurance that the exact content and context of would be preserved as they are handed down from generation to generation (Matsumoto, 2000).
The main binding notion therefore for culture, may be simply stated as a way of life that is shared by members of society and passed on in time. The inevitable need to understand culture in the context of subjective well being has been recognized by psychologists just recently. Distinctions between individualistic and collectivist cultures are being studied by cross-cultural theorists (Triandis, 1989). In the United States and most Northern European countries, heavy emphasis is put on individual needs and accomplishments as an example of individualistic culture (Burger, 2000).
Most of the western countries put high regard for their independence, autonomy and uniqueness. These are reflected in the individualistic nature of their culture. On the other hand, collectivist cultures regard belongingness to larger groups like a family, nation or tribe as more important. Cooperation is favored rather than competition. Asia, parts of Central and South America are some of the regions of the world where collectivist culture is most prominent. A clear distinction between the two types of cultures may be seen in the goals that people set.
For collectivist cultures, individuals set their goals with the whole society in mind. They would rather put importance of goals that would improve and benefit the entire group rather than their personal desires. An individualistic culture, on the other had, would rather think of personal goals and desires other than put the common good as priority (Diener, Diener and Diener, 1995). One example that can be used is by comparing a common expression in the United States and Japan. In the US, some people would say, “The squeaky wheel gets greased.
” This, of course, refers to the fact that individuals have to stand up and be assertive to be able to progress in life or their careers, a clear reflection of individualistic culture. For the Japanese, they would say, “The nail that stands up is one that gets hammered. ” This means that when a person decides to be different or be assertive, it would be likely that he would be put on his proper place which is one or equal with others. Asserting one’s individuality is clearly frowned upon in this society and would most probably result to negative outcomes (Diener, Diener and Diener, 1995).
Clearly, individualism may be found in societies wherein priority is given for autonomy and personal desires. In this society, attitude is viewed as a crucial determinant of behavior and interpersonal relationships are shaped by social interactions. Furthermore, here, they put the individual in the center of their culture. Quite the opposite is collectivism wherein interdependence of members plays a key role. Here, ‘self’ is viewed as a part of the more important ‘whole’ and due to such, more meaning is given to group norms than personal desires (Diener, Diener and Diener, 1995).
Norms are considered to be equally important as attitudes and as for relationships—they are viewed as communal and involves a lot of sharing. Little thought is given to the actual cost of this to the individual because interdependence is more valued. Centrality is obviously put on groups rather than individuals in this kind of culture. Aside from these differences, Markus and Kitayama (1991), also noticed that different cultures have different understandings of the concept of ‘self. ’ From their research, they concluded that Asian cultures view the significance of dependence on each other.
Characterized by attending to others, fitting and being in harmony and sync with the other members of society, Asian cultures abide by norms and societal restrictions to show interdependence (Markus and Kitayama, 1991). People belonging to this culture have a need to find a way to fit in and fulfill societal obligations and responsibilities so that they may achieve harmonious interpersonal relationships. Because of this construal, the meaning of ‘self’ becomes dependent on one’s success in nurturing social relationships.
Such is referred to as the interdependent construal of self. For the American culture, however, they do not give great stress on this connectedness between individuals. Instead they focus more on being unique and setting one’s self apart from the crowd. This, for them, defines their individuality and gives them a sense of independence (Markus and Kitayama, 1991). This concept of the self as one that is autonomous, self reliant and ultimately independent characterizes the independent construal of the self, opposite of what was discussed earlier.
All these different views on the self in the setting of the two types of culture may produce a variation in what could actually lead to self satisfaction and the overall sense of feeling good (Burger, 2000). People in individualistic culture, therefore, may feel a sense of happiness and satisfaction when he or she is able to individualize one’s self—to set him or herself apart from the crowd and show a great deal of independence. People in collectivist cultures, on the one hand, would feel happiness and satisfaction if they know that they are a part of a bigger entity than the self.
They would feel happier and more satisfied if they see that their relationship with others is growing and that they are performing an important part in society that could benefit the whole (Burger, 2000). Being able to fit in and to perform one’s duties set by society may be important sources of pride in this kind of culture. For the individualistic type, personal achievements and autonomy may provide that sense of satisfaction that they are aiming for.
To summarize, one can say that people belonging to an individualistic culture may equate to satisfying one’s self or feeling good about one’s self is the key to life satisfaction. Such is not the case for collectivist cultures. For these people, adeptness in answering to the culturally defined guidelines of proper accepted behavior could be the predictors of life satisfaction. Whereas, feeling good is the core foundation for a good life in individualistic cultures, fitting into society and fulfilling societal duties are the important roles one has to satisfy in collectivist cultures (Burger, 2000).
Psychosocial Correlates of Subjective Well Being From the models by Triandis (1989) and Markus and Kitayama (1991) that were discussed above, one can see that the importance of self and the different variables affecting a person’s outlook in life in terms of happiness and satisfaction vary from culture to culture. Psychosocial and cultural factors that are noted to be crucial mediators that influence subjective well being in both types of cultures will be discussed in subsequent paragraphs. Social Support, Family Satisfaction, Relationship Harmony and Subjective Well Being
Socially supportive relationships was said to be related to happiness. In fact, Myers (2000) said that happy lives are reflected by close, highly committed supportive relationships. In one study made by Compton (2000), he supports this theory by using statistical analysis to interpret his gathered data. In 347 university students and community residents, he found that positive social relationships correlated with happiness (r = . 45, p < . 05). A similar study by Lu (1999) utilized 581 residents of Taiwan. Results showed that social support is a key determinant of overall happiness (B = .
27, p < . 001). Going back to the study of Myers (2000), he also noted that social support of the presence of harmonious relationships in one’s life may influence SWB. A study by Pavot, Diener and Fujita (1990) noted that people would report that they have happier feelings when they are with other people. In the survey they made, one question probed on the number of close friends (excluding family members) that a person would consider and relate it to their level of happiness. Results showed that only 26% of all who said that have fewer than 5 friends reported that they were “very happy.
” This was also true for the 38% who said they have friends more than 5 (Pavot, Diener and Fujita, 1990). Abbey and Andrews (1985) emphasized on the effect of having strong relationships to coping with stress. According to their study, victims of rape, people who are grieving, lost jobs and are sick are more likely to cope better if they have solid supportive relationships (Abbey and Andrews, 1985). Same was true with the study made by Jou and Fukada (1997). They reported that the support available to people is a better predictor of their happiness than using the number of problems that individuals are currently facing as a predictor.
In addition, a study authored by Perkins (1991) involving 800 college alumni with ‘yuppie values’ supported such claim. Yuppie values refer to a preference for high income and success in one’s careers over having very close friends. Majority of the respondents with these yuppie values reported that they are “fairly” or “very unhappy. ” The number of close friends, the closeness of a family and relationships with co-workers and neighbors were seen to determinants of a happy life (Murray and Peacock, 1996). Murray and Peacock (1996) found out from their study that these factors comprise about 70% of an individual’s happiness.
A comparison between close relationships and personal satisfaction was the focus of a study made by Magen, Birenbaum and Pery (1996). The data they gathered showed that indeed, close relationships have a greater impact on personal satisfaction in producing happiness (Murray and Peacock, 1996). Their study also concluded that when individuals feel connected with other individuals, he or she is four times more likely to feel good about him or herself, as compared to individuals who do not feel closeness with anyone.
The conceptual models formed by Markus and Kitayama (1991) reflect this idea of the role of close social relationships. From this, one can see that in collectivist cultures, family relations and friendships are stronger correlates of life satisfaction. In the collectivist culture, self-esteem is a less effective predictor of self satisfaction as compared with in group relationships as can be seen in family, friends or co-workers. As already mentioned earlier in the text, collectivist cultures have put great emphasis on the importance of achieving group goals.
In relation to this is the claim of Diener, et al (1999) that the central goal of collectivist cultures is not to differentiate one’s self from others but to maintain harmonious relations with the rest. Personal desires and goals are more often than not, suppressed to give way to the needs of the group. More so, due to the fact that little stress is given to personal feelings, emotions and thoughts that an individual may experience, such may not be considered as effective factors that could lead to life satisfaction. To elaborate some more, Diener (2000) found from his studies that life circumstances are moderately associated with SWB.
For example, only 15% of a person’s happiness may be dictated by income, education, amount of friends, religious faith and intelligence (Campbell, Converse and Rodgers, 1976). Studies involving income showed that rich people are just slightly happier than poor people if income was considered (Diener, Horwitz and Emmons, 1985). Likewise, physical appearance, as reported by college students in a study by Deiner, Wolsic and Fujita (1995) was regarded to have predicted only small amounts of variance in its relation to positive affect, negative affect and life satisfaction.
Diener (2000) throughout his many years of research on SWB finally concluded that temperament and personality are the two influential factors dictating SWB because these may adapt to good or bad circumstances. Secondly, he claimed that cultural and societal factors also have an impact on SWB. For countries, manifestations of higher levels of SWB could be brought about by meeting people’s basic needs (food, water, shelter, health). Culture was said to have the capacity to alter goals and desires of individuals as seen in earlier discussions of collectivist and individualist groups.
Differences in positive thinking, passivity, social support, coping mechanisms and the ability of individuals to control desires were acknowledges as cultural influences to SWB (Diener, 2000). Adolescence Definition “Adolescence” came from the Latin word adolescere, which means ‘to grow’ or ‘to mature’ (Hurlock, 1982). It could also be defined as a transition from childhood to adulthood (Atkinson, et al. , 1993). The age limit is not clearly defined and varies considerably from culture to culture.
However, some may peg the start of adolescence at age 10 or 12 until age 18 or 21 (Santrock, 2003). This transition encompasses mental, emotional and social aspects of a person. Psychologically, adolescence was defined by Hurlock (1982) as the period in the life of an individual when he or she becomes integrated into the society and regarded no longer as a child but as an equal with other adults. Consequently, this transition or process of being welcomed in society has corresponding impacts on a person’s affect that can be related to puberty (Hurlock, 1982).
In terms of intellectual development, one can be said to be in the adolescent stage if he or she is able to make hypothesis and propositions not only for self but for the society as a whole. Developmental Tasks of Adolescents Typically, members of a certain group or culture are expected to take in a specific role by mastering skills and acquiring knowledge by learning and experience at different points in their lives. This may be referred to as developmental tasks (Havighurst, 1948). For adolescents, their task is to move past childish behavior patterns and progress to adulthood.
Developmental tasks in every stage of a person’s life may help ease this moving forward. Developing skills, acquiring knowledge, learning one’s functions in society may help an individual identify his or her role in society and further succeed in life (Havighurst, 1948). Some of these developmental tasks are achieving more meaningful and mature relationships with other individuals, regardless of sex, belonging to the same age, and being able to adapt to a masculine or feminine role depending on the individual’s sex.
Other tasks involve being able to accept one’s physique, to utilize his or her body efficiently, and to handle emotional independence from parents and older adults. Economic independence, choosing a career path and preparation in building one’s own family are also considered important tasks. Lastly, development of intellectual skills, civic concepts and duties, the desire and actual achievement of socially responsible behavior, and developing a set of values parallel to the ethical system of one’s community are components of developmental tasks. Other researchers follow the thought of Erik Erikson, on the other hand.
Hall and Lindzey (1978) are some of his loyal supporters who claim that the progress of human development unfold in 8 stages. The trigger for growth was said to be a crises needing resolution. The crisis of adolescents is to strike a resolution between ego identity and role confusion. During this stage, an individual may feel the need to find him or herself or define one’s self by showing his or her uniqueness. Also, he or she may attempt to find where exactly he or she stands in society and what role he or she could play (Hall and Lindzey, 1978).
Due to this inherent need to discover one’s self, other breakthroughs may be encountered. A person would start learning about what he or she wants, his or her likes and dislikes, goals, strengths, weaknesses, and learn what is needed to control one’s identity (Hall and Lindzey, 1978). Furthermore, this is the period in one’s life wherein he or she would like to understand his or her present self so that plans for the future could be set (Hall and Lindzey, 1978). Additionally, such psychological crisis poses a period referred to as “psychological moratorium.
” This period may be best described as the gap between childhood and the autonomy that may only be found during adulthood (Hall and Lindzey, 1978). When one searches for his or her identity, he or she may experiment with varying roles. There are some who are able to surpass this stage by finally settling on one role that he or she best identifies with. Unfortunately, there are individuals, who after trying a few roles, still fail to stick to one specific role. This may be referred to as the identity confusion that was earlier mentioned (Hall and Lindzey, 1978). Clearly, change is the defining factor of this stage of adolescence.
One would try to fit in roles, try it out and finally settle on one. Physical changes, along with other developments such as one’s way of thinking, behaving and interacting with others would be greatly changed and defined in this period. All of this are geared towards the individual’s integration into society. Emotional Intelligence and Adolescents Emotional Intelligence: An Overview The methodical study of emotional intelligence dates back to the 1990’s, after scientific articles proved that there exists a mental capacity to make use of emotions to improve thought.
Before that, this concept was not given the amount of research it is receiving now. However, most of EI researches target adults; distinctively, this paper will give more attention to adolescents. Although there are many definitions of emotional intelligence offered, one can recognize a clear and scientifically based and useful definition of emotional intelligence when the terms emotions and intelligence are taken seriously. To be more specific, emotional intelligence pertains to the intelligent connection of emotions and logic.
Mayer & Cobb (2000) defined emotional intelligence as the ability to integrate rationality on emotions, and of emotions to develop thought. This includes the capacity to correctly recognize emotions, to access and create emotions so as to support thought, and to know emotions so that intellectual development may be promoted through the effectual regulation of emotions. Emotional intelligence can also refer to the capacity of being familiar with what emotions mean and their relationships with other emotions, and to use such knowledge to reason and to solve problems based on them.
Goleman (1995) in his book Emotional Intelligence also offered his equally useful definition of emotional intelligence, as follows: “the instinctive potential to experience, utilize, correspond, recognize, remember, illustrate, identify, learn from, handle, comprehend, and explain emotions”. This definition suggests that the four components of emotional intelligence are present in a new born baby. The Four Branch Model of Emotional Intelligence Mayer & Salovey (1997) designed a four branch-model of emotional intelligence which is composed of areas that describe emotional intelligence.
The abilities cited by Mayer & Salovey (1997) include the accurate perception of emotions both within the individual and towards other people; the ability to make use of emotions as a guide for developing thought; the ability to understand the meaning of emotions; and the skill of managing emotions. Perceiving emotions. This is for the most part the fundamental area of reception and expression of emotion. For humans, the starting point of understanding more complex emotions starts with the ability to read expressions in the face or hear expressions from the voice.
This kind of skills ensures a better interpersonal cooperation and understanding with other people. For example, a person who knows how to perceive nonverbal emotions can easily sense displeasure without the necessity of the other person of saying directly- this is a more awkward situation (Mayer & Salovey, 1997). Employing emotions to guide thought. This second area is also fundamental like the first. This is the ability of an individual to use emotions in order to direct the cognitive processes of the brain which promote thinking. According to cognitive specialists, what one responds to emotionally are the things that catch one’s attention.
Therefore, having effective emotions would help in guiding cognition towards things which are actually significant (Mayer & Salovey, 1997). Understanding Emotions. Emotions transmit information. For example, when an adolescent is happy, this usually indicates a desire to be in the company of his peers. On the other hand, if he is angry, it suggests a desire to be away from a group or even the desire to attack someone. When scared, there may be an intent to escape or hide. There are patterns of probable actions and messages which are connected with every emotion.
The comprehension of the meaning of emotions is critical (Mayer & Salovey, 1997). Managing emotions. Lastly, emotions can be managed most of the time. An individual, in order to make use of emotions to guide their thinking need to understand first fully such emotions. The person can then opt to remain open to emotional signals, if he finds it proper or at least not painful and he can also choose to block out those that he deem unnecessary and devastating. Within the person’s comfort zone, the regulation of one’s emotions is necessary to promote social goals.
One practical example of such is an individual’s regulation of his or her moods. For instance, an individual can regulate mood by choosing one’s companions. People, being humans would want to be associated with other people in a party which they consider as not a threat to their own successes. Associating with these people who are considered as threats, for example, in a party can lead to positive moods which are directed by a sense of pride. But if one is associated with someone who threatens, this will lead to negative feelings such as envy (Mayer & Salovey, 1997). Raising Emotionally Intelligent Adolescents
John Gottman (1997) said that good parenting does not only require intellect but more importantly, it needs and should involve emotion. Good parenting should touch the child personally, an aspect which is more or less ignored. It has been discovered that emotional consciousness and the capacity to handle feelings along with IQ will help in one’s attainment of success and happiness. The quality of emotional intelligence includes the awareness of parents of their children’s feelings; it must also include the ability to identify with, calm and most especially, guide them.
The children on the other hand mainly gain knowledge of lessons about emotions from their parents. These knowledge include the capacity to be in charge of impulses, delay if gratification, encourage themselves, interpret other people’s social signals and coping with the ferry’s wheel of life. It is in the family that individuals first receive emotional knowledge. Therefore the family, specifically the parents, play a vital role in developing the emotional intelligence of their children (Gottman, 1997).
At home, in the early stages of life, one will learn how to feel and what to feel about oneself and also how will other people act in response to one’s feelings. It is also at home that a person is taught how to reflect about these feelings and what alternatives are there in reacting; and the ability to comprehend and convey hopes and fears. A child’s emotional schooling is not only limited to the things dictated directly but most of the time, to the things that the child can observe from his models (Gottman, 1997).
According to the results of the study conducted by Gottman (1997), there are two broad categories of parents: the first category includes parents who teaches their children about emotions and the world around it and the second category involves those who do not. The first category of parents practice the concept of emotion coaching which involves five steps. First, the parents should be responsive of their child’s emotion. Second, the child’s emotions should be seen as an opening for intimacy and teaching. Third, the parents should pay attention compassionately in order for the child to confirm his feelings.
Fourth, there should be an effort to help the child to fully express the emotion that he is having, and lastly there should be limits in exploring solutions to the problem (Gottman, 1997). The Effects and Importance of Emotion Coaching Studies conducted by Gottman (1997) showed that adolescents who were emotionally coached during childhood have superior physical health and are better academically than their counterparts. It was stated in the study that these adolescents have a better relationship with other children their age, have lesser behavior problems, and experience more positive feelings than negative ones.
Overall, these children were concluded to be more emotionally healthy. Undeniably, the results of the research conducted by Gottman (1997) shows that emotion coaching can even protect kids and adolescents from the damaging effects of matrimonial disagreements and divorce. Some of the effects of these family problems include school failure, rejection by peers, psychological problems such as depression, health problems, and the tendency of these children to turn to the usage of illegal drugs and anti social behavior of children.
In fact, it is not only divorce that affect children, but also homes where parents are constantly fighting which can at times have the same effect on children as divorce. Gottman’s (2007) research is then based on the premise that dissolution of marriages and unhealthy relationships between husbands and wives helps increase the percentage of deviant behavior among children and teens (Gottman, 2007). When a couple, who coaches their children emotionally, gets separated or if they are having conflicts, the effect on the children is distinct from children who have not undergone such coaching.
The effects stated were generally not suffered by these emotion-coached children. They do not fail in their academics, nor do they get involved with drugs after the divorce or during the conflicts of their parents. This discovery now suggests that emotion-coaching can help protect children from the traumas caused by divorce (Gottman, 2007). Not all people have the ability of completing tasks with great smoothness and sophistication; some people cannot just do these tasks equivalently. Daniel Goleman (1995) captured the importance of emotional literacy when he said in 1994 that emotions are the driving force of one’s day to day survival.
He mentioned that not even the most academically brilliant of all is not excused in dealing with emotions. He considered failed marriages and troubled families as examples of situations individuals may suffer when one is emotionally illiterate. Goleman, in his extensive researches suggested that preventive medicine is the best way to fight emotional shortcomings. The essential skills in emotional intelligence are just as important as IQ, for individuals to teach young children. Emotion plays an important role in how people interact with each other, in their performance at home, at school, and at work.
Therefore the need to understand this concept is obvious. As Goleman (1995) puts it, EI is one important ingredient in individual success and daily interactions with others. Goleman (1995) also said that up to 80% of one’s success is predicted by emotional intelligence while intelligence quotient can only predict the remaining 20%. In summary, approaching life with emotional intelligence would give an edge in solving problems. Emotional intelligence and adjustment. Adolescents with emotional intelligence are seen by those who focused on such studies to having a more positive psychological health.
These people are conscious of their own feelings and of the feelings of others. Unlike those who are not, they are not closed to positive and negative effects of inner experience. If that then is the case, they are now able to know what really are these feelings that they are currently encountering, and how they react to such feelings and how would they interpret them. More often than not, emotionally intelligent teenagers are a pleasure to be with and they can also make their peers feel better about themselves.
Thus, if an emotionally intelligent teen now enters college and needs new friends and companions, it will not be a hard task. Another important fact is that emotionally intelligent teens are far less prone to suicide (Young, 1996). Introducing Emotional Intelligence in Schools With the rise to fame of emotional intelligence as one important area for improvement, a debate of whether ‘emotional intelligence’ should also be incorporated into school curricula rose with it (McCluskey, 2001).