02 December 2019
Author: Nicola Joanne Samos
The first chapter of this theses outlines a systematic literature review investigating the relationship between emotion recognition skills and academic outcomes of school age children.
Four databases were systematically searched applying clear inclusion criteria. Six articles were identified and critically appraised to assess the existing literature.
The review highlights a positive relationship between emotion recognition skills and academic outcomes. This was identified across a range of countries/cultures, however the utilisation and impact of these skills may differ between genders and be moderated by other factors including cognitive ability, motivation and achievement goals.
Although this review supported the hypothesis that strengths in emotion recognition skills are associated with increased academic achievement, a gap in the research was identified surrounding the improvement of emotion recognition skills and impact on outcomes for school age children.
The review also highlighted to professionals working within education the importance of the development of these skills for school success.
The second chapter reports on research conducted investigating emotion recognition and behavioural outcomes.
Previous research highlights challenges experienced by all children during education can be exacerbated for those with challenging behaviour and redirection of this is crucial for development and academic progress. Further findings consistently document associations between deficits in emotion recognition and conduct difficlties (in addition to psychopathology in general).
As a result, emotion recognition training has been developed for use with both antisocial and clinical samples.
Previous research has suggested that the Training of Affect Recognition intervention programme (Frommann, Streit, & Wölwer, 2003) is effective in improving emotion recognition, executive function skills and may be suitable for those experincing conduct difficulties.
The current research aimed to investigate whether brief delivery of the TAR intervention programme could enhance emotion recognition skills in an adolescent experiencing conduct difficulties compared to a matched wait control pariticipant and attempted to explore potential transfer effects on behaviour.
Visual analysis highlighted difficulties in specific areas of emotion recognition consistent with previous research for both participants.
Results for the intervention participant showed brief significant improvements in accuracy post-intervention, specifically for fear, disgust and surprise. The wait control participant was shown to experience no significant improvement in accuracy throughout the duration of the study.
A reduction in school reported negative behaviours for the participant who took part in the intervention during and immediately after its implementation were also reported. Strengths, limitations and implications for Educational Psychologists are also discussed.