This study analyzes the emotional difficulties of adolescents in residential care in Catalonia (Spain). The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) was administered to a sample of 30 adolescents in residential care and the results were compared with those obtained in a group of 89 young people from the normative population and a group of 33 adolescents from the disadvantaged backgrounds, the aim being to see whether differences in emotional competences were due to the effects of institutionalization or the disadvantaged family environment. Overall, there was no significant difference in the level of emotional intelligence shown by the three groups of adolescents. However, the analysis by gender did reveal differences, with boys in residential care scoring significantly lower than both the normative population and the adolescents from the disadvantaged backgrounds on the total EQ-i and on the component scale adaptability. They also scored significantly lower than the normative group on general mood and lower than the adolescents from the disadvantaged backgrounds on stress management. Although there were no differences between girls in residential care and those from the normative population, girls in care scored higher than their counterparts from the disadvantaged backgrounds on the total EQ-i and on the component scales Interpersonal and adaptability. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
- Disadvantaged background
- Emotional competences
- Emotional quotient inventory (EQ-i)
- Residential care