International Journal of Adolescence and Youth (2020-12-01)

The role of trait emotional intelligence in appearance perception

  • Maria-Jose Sanchez-Ruiz,
  • Rana Merhi,
  • Maya Nicolaou

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 25, no. 1
pp. 932 – 944


Read online

This paper explores the relationship between trait emotional intelligence (trait EI) and appearance perception in a Lebanese university sample (N = 201). Two indicators of appearance perception, body image dissatisfaction (BID) and physical attractiveness (PAT), were investigated in relation to trait EI and depression. Global trait EI and the well-being and self-control factors negatively correlated with BID, while global trait EI and all four factors positively correlated with PAT. In addition, the well-being trait EI factor was a significant predictor of BID and PAT (marginal) over BMI, emotion regulation, and self-worth. These variables jointly predicted 38% of the variance in BID and 41% of the variance in PAT. Moderation analyses showed that global trait EI moderated the relationship between the appearance perception indicators and depressive symptomatology. The role of trait EI in attenuating the psychological impact associated with a negative appearance perception is discussed in relation to its clinical utility.