Emotional intelligence is an important variable related to the interaction and functioning of sports teams. The present study examined the relationship between players’ trait emotional intelligence and functional and dysfunctional psychobiosocial states. In particular, we examined the mediating effects of intra-team communication efficacy and role ambiguity in this relationship. The participants were 291 (174 men and 117 women) Italian players involved in various team sports (i.e., futsal, soccer, volleyball, handball, and rugby). They completed a multi-section questionnaire assessing the study variables during the early/middle part of their competitive seasons. Structural equation modeling (SEM) showed trait emotional intelligence to positively predict functional psychobiosocial states and negatively predict dysfunctional psychobiosocial states. Effective intra-team communication mediated the relationship between emotional intelligence and functional states, while role ambiguity was a mediator of the relationship between trait emotional intelligence and dysfunctional states. Overall, the results highlight the importance of examining trait emotional intelligence as an antecedent of players’ psychobiosocial states in applied sport contexts both in terms of team functioning and individual optimal sport experience.
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