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Bhavya Dore, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, January 21, 2013
More than 70% of the 514 young adolescents surveyed in the city were found to be emotionally ill-equipped and unable to manage their emotions. The findings are from a new study of children (304 boys and 210 girls) between the age of 12 and 14 undertaken by Nirmala Niketan College of Home Science in Churchgate.

Researchers found that 69.6% (358 children) had only ‘average’ level of emotional intelligence, while 11.7% (60) fell in the ‘below average’ category. There were 1.8% (9) ‘low’ emotional intelligence and 0.6% (3) were in the ‘very low’ category.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, identify and monitor one’s own emotions and important for both self development and managing interpersonal relationships. Students were given a score based on a standardised emotional intelligence scale, which had 33 specific questions.

“The average level of emotional intelligence is the minimum each individual should have as less than average is an indication of emotional disorder,” said Payal Maheshwari, assistant professor, department of human development, who undertook the survey with her master student Zainab Bhinderwala.

The findings come at a time when juvenile crimes and teenage suicides are on the rise.

“With teens spending so much time online and dealing with more competition and frustration, we need to help them develop this aspect,” said Chetna Duggal, a psychotherapist.