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In a new study, AICE researcher Milica Nikolić together with colleagues show that social anxiety linked to both low and advanced emotional intelligence in children.

From an early age, children are motivated to bond with others. A key ability to form and maintain such bonds is emotional intelligence. How well children can read the emotions of other people is an aspect of emotional intelligence that affects everything, from friendships to academic achievements. For socially anxious children, emotional intelligence can be one of the most important competences to acquire. But do they have this competence to the necessary degree? Different views suggest socially anxious children either lack this ability or have too much of it. 

In a new study, AICE researcher Milica Nikolić together with colleagues  show that both low and above average levels of mindreading, which is an ability to read other people’s mental states from the facial cues, is related to high levels of social anxiety in childhood. Children with above average mindreading skills tend to have high levels of social anxiety only when they are highly self-conscious as a result of being exposed to the judgment of others.

Link to paper: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.13248