Emotional education in childhood and adolescence
Currently, the EMINA group is carrying out the Socio-Emotional Intervention project supported by ICTs: development of responsibility and welfare of the educational community (PSI2017-84005-R), supported by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness. The aim of this research is to promote the socio-emotional skills of adolescents, teachers and families through the development of a mobile app: emoTIC. With this, it is intended to enhance personal and social responsibility, as well as the well-being of adolescents. The main researchers of the project are Inmaculada Montoya Castilla (UV) and José Antonio Gil Gómez (UPV).
The current research takes into consideration the results gathered from the project initiated in 2014, Enhancing psychological well-being and school coexistence in adolescents through education in emotions: longitudinal study (PSI2013-43943-R), supported by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness. In this research, an emotional education program was developed and applied to adolescents belonging to public and subsidized schools in the Valencian Community (Spain). The study verified the benefits of education in emotional competencies within the adolescents’ personal, school and family areas. Likewise, we were able to detect ways and procedures to apply emotional education in the classrooms that allow improving interventions and prevention in this area; as well as the need to train and support teachers.
At the same time, this intervention program was initiated as a result of the needs detected in the project started during 2011, Identifying the profiles of emotional competence in childhood for the improvement of coexistence among equals (PSI2010-18742), also supported by the Ministry of Science and Innovation. It was with this project that the group began a new stage in the development of emotional education, researching the importance of emotional competencies in the integral development of children, and considered working with the adolescent stage as a future objective.
The results gathered from the various studies carried out seem to suggest that adolescence is a complex period in which numerous changes occur at the personal, emotional, academic and social levels which can influence the mental health and well-being of teenagers. In this sense, socio-emotional skills seem to be protective factors that influence positively towards well-being and protect against emotional and behavioural problems. We have also observed that self-esteem can be a protective factor against suicidal behaviour and self-harm in adolescents who have emotional symptoms, behavioural problems or difficulties in relationships with their peers.
With regard to emerging adulthood, our intervention program in university students has shown promising results, as it seems to improve emotional intelligence, empathy and positive states of mind, as well as subjective well-being.
Couple and family
This line of research analyses the influence of emotional competencies on couple relationships and the influence of said relationships on health, well-being and quality of life. The research carried out in this area aims to understand which are the personal, emotional and psychological variables that are related to greater satisfaction in couple relationships. Likewise, we have developed and implemented an intervention program in emotional competencies for young couples, focused on developing the consolidation of a healthy and violence-free emotional bond.
From our research work in both couple evaluation and intervention, we can infer the importance of fostering emotional competencies to establish quality relationships from the earliest age. These satisfactory couple bonds are closely related to the well-being and integral health of people, and at the same time, they settle towards the consolidation of future families. Fully diversified families, more emotionally aware and where responsible communication prevails.
One of our research areas is focused on the design, implementation and evaluation of emotional education programs and training for school and university teachers. A growing number of teachers are showing interest in learning more about their own emotional skills, not only to be able to apply emotional education in their classrooms, but also because they identify the benefits that these skills can have for their own professional and personal development. During 2016-2018, with CEFIRE’s support, emotional intelligence workshops have been held in Valencia as part of the ongoing training of teachers. The training included seven two-hour sessions, which were scheduled once a week for two and a half months. This programme is “MADEMO: development of emotional competencies for teachers”, and it is adapted to the teachers’ specific needs. The main objective is to train teachers’ emotional skills to reduce work-related stress (burnout) and improve their well-being. But it is also intended to train teachers so that they can implement emotional education by themselves in their classrooms, either through programmes or in a transversal way. The results of our intervention study indicated that emotional training was effective in promoting teachers’ mental health by reducing burnout and emotional symptoms. Their well-being also improved by increasing self-esteem and life satisfaction. We are currently working on a book proposal about the MADEMO program to make it accessible to all teachers and educators who are interested in the emotional development of their students and their own personal growth.
Chronic disease in childhood and adolescence
This line of research has a long history in the evaluation and intervention in chronic pediatric diseases such as Diabetes mellitus type 1, low size, pneumo-allergic diseases (asthma, food allergy, environmental allergy and atopic dermatitis), in addition to the work regarding rare respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis, primary ciliary dyskinesia and alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency.
Our projects have always been carried out in multidisciplinary collaboration between universities and hospital centres that care for chronic patients and their families. The financing of our projects in this line of research has been both national and regional and we have a large number of collaboration agreements with referral hospitals.
In this way, the objective pursued has been to evaluate and intervene in the improvement of family conditions, both from the pediatric patients and from the family as a whole. For this reason, a pilot study has now been implemented with the intervention programme aiming to address the adjustment of the disease called “10Vida (tenvida)”.
The main results found display the presence of moderate stress levels and presence of anxiety-depressive in the main caregivers. Positive relationships are found between the adolescent’s emotional adjustment and functional family styles. Adolescents with a chronic illness show difficulties in their self-esteem and psychological well-being and an increased number of problems with their peers.
Prosocial, antisocial and criminal conduct
This research area intends to develop socio-emotional competencies, prosocial behaviors and decision-making skills in adolescent offenders, to improve their personal well-being, mental health, social adjustment and quality of life. Through the work that we carry out in this area, we aim to analyze the socio-emotional competencies that can contribute to the processes of social adjustment, psychological well-being, a change in behavior and the definition of the life project of adolescents who, due to a variety of circumstances, are facing the enforcement of legal measures.
We are currently developing an intervention program for young and adolescent offenders from Colombia and Spain, which aims to develop socio-emotional competencies, decision-making skills and prosocial behavior. These components may provide resources for adolescents to structure their life project, improve their relationships and reduce their risk behaviours. Similarly, professionals and centers are offered resources that facilitate integration processes through the program, and can even facilitate the management and handling of groups in centers with measures of a high permanency.
Affective-sexual and gender diversity
This research area aims to obtain an accurate and detailed reflection of people’s needs who are within the framework of sexual, gender and family diversity.
We are currently developing two gender identity studies, with adult trans people and with families of trans minors. In both of these studies we intend to make an approach to the psychological and affective needs, health and welfare levels, as well as to learn what it means to have a non-normative identity in this social moment, while providing professionals with specific tools to work with this group.
Cross-cultural study of adolescents and young adults regarding COVID-19
The current global pandemic situation is having a psychological impact on the entire population. The group of adolescents and young people has different needs and concerns than those of the adult population and therefore need to be assessed in order to be able to provide appropriate and adapted interventions for the psychological problems resulting from confinement and the health situation.
From the EMINA research group, we are carrying out the “Evaluation of the well-being and emotional state in relation to the confinement due to COVID-19 in adolescent and young population” project.
The aim of the study is to evaluate the emotional state and well-being of the adolescent and young population (between 14 and 25 years old), as a consequence of the state of confinement that has been established in different European and Latin American countries.
Participants will be asked to answer an online survey. Where socio-demographic variables, psychological variables (anxiety, depression, stress and resilience) and variables related to confinement (time confined, worries) will be evaluated. The duration of the online survey is between 10 and 15 minutes and will be answered only once.
The evaluation is currently being carried out in different countries through these links:
Participation is completely anonymous and confidential. There are no health risks and participants may abandon the study at any time without any repercussions. The data collected will only be used for scientific publication and research purposes.