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Psychol Aging. 2006 Jun;21(2):411-8.

Emotional intelligence in young and middle adulthood: cross-sectional analysis of latent structure and means.

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  • 1University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Laboratory of Personality and Development, Rochester, NY, USA.


Differentiation of the construct of emotional intelligence was investigated in young and middle-aged adults, on the basis of hypotheses generated from differential emotions theory, discrete emotions functionalist theory, and empirical literature on age-related changes in affective complexity and differentiation of abilities. Both age groups were characterized by the same set of comparably related dimensions. However, midlife adults reported significantly greater use of optimism as a mood-regulation strategy than was reported by young adults. This study considers implications of possible structural continuity in emotional intelligence in conjunction with mean increases in the use of optimism as a strategy for managing affect.

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