This study examined associations between social-emotional intelligence (SEI) and two measures of violence perpetration (relational aggression and physical violence) in a cross-sectional sample of high-risk adolescent girls (N=253). We evaluated three aspects of SEI: stress management, intrapersonal, and interpersonal skills. Results of a multiple linear regression model accounting for participants' age, race/ethnicity, and experiences of relational aggression victimization indicated that girls with better stress management skills were less likely to perpetrate relational aggression. A parallel model for perpetration of physical violence showed a similar pattern of results. Study findings suggest that SEI, and stress management skills in particular, may protect adolescent girls - including those who have been victims of violence - from perpetrating relational aggression and physical violence. Interventions that build adolescent girls' social and emotional skills may be an effective strategy for reducing their perpetration of violence.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported with funds from the National Institute of Nursing Research ( 5R01-NR008778 ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( U48-DP001939 ), the Bureau of Health Professions ( T32-HP22239 ) and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau ( T71-MC-00006 ). The views presented do not necessarily reflect those of the funders. The Prime Time study would not have been possible without the cooperation and contributions of the young women, clinics and research staff involved with this project.
- Female adolescents
- Physical violence
- Relational aggression
- Social-emotional intelligence