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Keywords:

  • emotional intelligence;
  • borderline personality disorder;
  • major depressive disorder;
  • substance abuse disorder;
  • emotion regulation

Abstract

Emotional abilities were measured with a performance test of emotional intelligence (The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test; Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2002) in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder, substance abuse disorder, or borderline personality disorder (BPD), and a nonclinical control group. Findings showed that all clinical groups differed from controls with respect to their overall emotional intelligence score, which dovetails with previous findings from self-report measures. Specifically, we found that the ability to understand emotional information and the ability to regulate emotions best distinguished the groups. Findings showed that patients with substance abuse disorder and BPD patients were most impaired. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 65: 1–13, 2009.