This paper reviews the claimed pivotal role of emotional intelligence (EI) in well-being and health. Specifically, we examine the utility of EI in predicting health and well-being and point to future research issues that the field might profitably explore. EI is predictive of various indicators of well-being, as well as both physical and psychological health, but existing research has methodological limitations including over-reliance on self-report measures, and neglect of overlap between EI and personality measures. Interventions focusing on emotional perception, understanding and expression, and emotion regulation, seem potentially important for improving health and well-being, but research on EI has not yet made a major contribution to therapeutic practice. Future research, using a finer-grained approach to measurement of both predictors and criteria might most usefully focus on intra- and inter-personal processes that may mediate effects of EI on health.
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