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Family Functioning and Life Satisfaction: The Mediatory Role of Emotional Intelligence

Authors Szcześniak M, Tułecka M

Received 3 December 2019

Accepted for publication 4 February 2020

Published 4 March 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 223—232


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Mei-chun Cheung

Małgorzata Szcześniak, Maria Tułecka

Institute of Psychology, University of Szczecin, Szczecin 71-017, Poland

Correspondence: Małgorzata Szcześniak
Institute of Psychology, University of Szczecin, Krakowska Street 69, Szczecin 71-017, Poland

Background: The functioning of the family of origin seems to be one of the key variables that contribute to life satisfaction. Since relationships with one’s parents are associated with well-being throughout life, the purpose of our study was to examine the association between family functioning and life satisfaction among Polish adults. Moreover, because some researchers postulate that family functioning affects quality of life directly as well as indirectly through some other variables, we focused on investigating how emotional intelligence might affect the link between family functioning and life satisfaction, as the character of this relationship has received surprisingly little attention.
Patients, Methods and Data Collection: The sample consisted of 204 participants (86% women). We measured family functioning, satisfaction with life, and emotional intelligence. The data were collected using online forums through convenience sampling on the basis of availability and the willingness of the participants to respond.
Results: The results showed that both life satisfaction and emotional intelligence correlated positively and significantly with cohesion, flexibility, communication, and family satisfaction. Life satisfaction correlated negatively and significantly with enmeshed, disengaged, and chaotic functioning. In contrast, emotional intelligence correlated negatively and significantly only with chaotic and disengaged functioning. Moreover, emotional intelligence partially mediated the relationship between six dimensions of family functioning (cohesion, flexibility, communication, family satisfaction, disengagement, and chaos) and life satisfaction.
Conclusion: Our findings provide evidence of an indirect association between family functioning and life satisfaction through the mediating role of emotional intelligence. They indicate that individuals who evaluate their family functioning as cohesive, flexible, communicative, and fulfilled, are more likely to process their own emotions and enjoy higher life satisfaction. Conversely, assessment of family of origin as disengaged and chaotic may diminish the ability to manage one’s own emotions, which, in turn, can lead to lower life satisfaction.

Keywords: family functioning, life satisfaction, emotional intelligence, adults

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