Emotional Intelligence as a Framework for Understanding Violent Behavior in Victims of Childhood Abuse
Dakin, Andrea L.
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Emotional intelligence is the ability to know and understand one's own emotions as well as the emotions of others. Victims of childhood abuse often times lack this ability. In addition, perpetrators of abuse often lack this ability as well. It has been shown in previous studies how victims and perpetrators of abuse are, to varying degrees, unable to identify, understand, and empathize with the emotions of others. Unacknowledged feelings such as guilt and shame can lead to violence, masked as anger and rage. Using emotional intelligence as a basis, we can create a theoretical framework in which individual case studies are evaluated to determine how emotional intelligence plays a role in the victim becoming or failing to become a perpetrator of violence. Four case studies were evaluated and implications for further research were discussed.