Emotional Intelligence and Self-Esteem Mediate Between Perceived Early Parental Love and Adult Happiness

Tamra J. Sillick, Nicola S. Schutte

Abstract


This research examined the extent to which perceived parental love is associated with happiness levels in adulthood and investigated whether emotional intelligence and self-esteem mediate this relationship. In a sample of 88 Australian adults, with a mean age of 41.55, SD = 12.78, perceived parental love predicted adult happiness. Emotional intelligence and self-esteem were related to both perceived parental love and happiness. The relationship between perceived parental love and happiness was mediated by emotional intelligence and self-esteem. When perceived maternal and paternal love were examined separately, maternal love was positively associated with adult happiness with mediation through higher emotional intelligence and self-esteem. While early paternal love had a direct association with adult happiness, there was no mediating effect of self-esteem or emotional intelligence. Also, only maternal love made a unique contribution to predicting adult happiness, suggesting that perceived love received from a mother during childhood may be particularly important to the development of happiness.

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Keywords

Emotional intelligence; self-esteem; parental love; happiness



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ISSN 1832-7931
Swinburne University of Technology