Emotional Intelligence and Health Outcomes: Toward an Ecological Model of Well-Being

Leehu Zysberg, PhD
Tel-Hai College & The Graduate School, Gordon College of Education, Israel

Series: Health Psychology Research Focus
BISAC: PSY013000

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Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick

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Everybody talks about emotional intelligence, it seems; educators, organizational science experts, self-help and self-growth gurus all speak of the ability to identify emotions, use them in problem-solving, decode complex emotional reactions and regulate emotion to guide internal and external behavior. Is emotional intelligence really the big answer to all those big questions that went unanswered for so long?

Despite the promise this budding concept holds, there is danger in overusing, abusing and overgeneralizing our insights in a field still marred by misconceptions, popular notions (that are not necessarily supported by evidence) and misguided perceptions. What people need to promote their knowledge of EI (and how to apply it) is a good theory or model to guide people’s understanding of what is known, and to help design and pose questions to keep exploring and develop our knowledge base.

This is exactly what this book attempts. Focusing on the potential role of emotional intelligence within a field that, until recently, was left underexplored by social scientists: health. Despite ample evidence suggesting emotional intelligence can be a pivotal factor in understanding of effective coping with stress, well-being, psychological resilience and health, only a handful of empirical studies examined if and how emotional intelligence is associated with health outcomes.

This book takes a good look at the emotion-health association across time, culture and scientific approaches, while reviewing what is known about the potential of EI to account for a broad range of health outcomes. Based on what academics know, or more importantly perhaps what they still do not know, a theoretical model of emotional intelligence and health is presented, and possibilities are presented, including directions for interpretation of current evidence for asking new questions to broaden our understanding and ability to use the concept to explain varying health conditions. Such efforts may lead to the design of screening and intervention procedures, while suggesting how emotional intelligence can work not only within the boundaries of the individual, but also within a socio-ecology of factors that shape, among other things – human health.

This book can be of interest to students and academics in the social sciences and health sciences, as well as anyone who is fascinated by the intriguing (and often misunderstood) link between body and soul, mind and matter, and emotion and health. (Imprint: Novinka)

Introduction: The World before Emotional Intelligence

Chapter 1. The Emotional Response: Some Basics

Chapter 2. The Emotion-Health Association in Early Psychological Thought

Chapter 3. The Emergence of Emotional Intelligence: Promise and Debates

Chapter 4. Health and Well-Being: Getting to Know the Basics

Chapter 5. Emotional Intelligence and Health Outcomes: Preliminary Evidence and Potential Mechanisms

Chapter 6. State of the Art Science of Emotional Intelligence and Health

Chapter 7. One Step Beyond the Individual: Can There be an Environment or Ecology of Emotional Intelligence?

Chapter 8. Toward an Ecological Model of Emotional Intelligence and Health Outcomes

Chapter 9. Conclusions and Directions for Future Thought

References

Index

PsycCRITIQUES - Sherry Lynn Hatcher, PhD, ABPP, Faculty Chair - Psychology, Fielding Graduate University, CA, USA

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Audience:
Scholars interested in health psychology, health promotion, emotions.
Students –especially graduate level students in the health sciences and behavioral sciences.
The general public – individuals with basic knowledge of social science and health issues – may find the book of interest as well.

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