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Enhancing emotional competences in the context of unemployment : a longitudinal analysis of the effects on well-being and employability





Numerous studies showed that Emotional Intelligence (EI) is related to and can predict variety of cognitive and behavioural outcomes (Di Fabio, Palazzeschi, Asulin-Peretz & Gati, 2013; Fugate, Kinicki & Ashfort, 2004; Joseph & Newman, 2010; Van Rooy & Viswesvaran, 2004) and psychological and physical well-being and mental health (Martins, Ramalho & Morin, 2010; Schutte, Malouff, Thorsteinsson, Bhullar & Rooke, 2007). Besides, the results of previous EI or Emotional Competences (EC) trainings showed that EI/EC and different cognitive, behavioral and health-related aspects can be improved and developed (Schutte, Malouff & Thorsteinsson, 2013). Expanding the results of the previous studies, the present study examines whether EC can be developed among unemployed adults, whether the training effects are moderated by the unemployment duration and whether changes in EC can predict changes physical and psychological well-being (Study 1). Second, it is hypothesized that the EC intervention can increase employability prospects of unemployed adults (Study 2). Finally, job search is tested, as a possible determinant of the intervention effects, and whether changes in EC after the intervention can predict changes in positive psychological strengths and adaptive coping strategies (Study 3). The results showed a differential impact of the training depending on the unemployment duration and job search. Besides, change in EC significantly predicted changes in perceived stress, somatic complaints, mental health, two mood dimensions, satisfaction with life, optimism, quality of social relationships and problem oriented coping strategies. Besides, the intervention had positive effects on self-perceived employability, reemployment success and entrepreneurial self-efficacy. The results are discussed focusing on the potential of EC development and the effectiveness of the EC interventions for different life outcomes of unemployed people.

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