Examining Emotional Intelligence Report


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Examining Emotional Intelligence Report

  1. 1. Tracey Wright STA 301 Due: 4/29/09 EI, Adjustment, and Academic Success Examining Emotional Intelligence (EI), academic success, and adjustment of students transitioning from high school to college is the purpose of this study. Parker, Duffy, Wood, Bond & Hogan (2005) found variables that relate academic success and retention with adjustment issues. It is hypothesized that students’ EI will increase over the first-year and those with higher EI will have higher GPA’s and report better adjustment. During the summer, 189 female, full-time students completed the Bar-on (2006) Emotional Quotient Inventory, EQ-i;125(MHS). During the fall semester, students attended 2 Adventures classes each week. Emotionally intelligent curriculum was implemented in this college orientation program designed to enhance first-year students’ adjustment to college. Informed consent was obtained and participants completed the College Adjustment Test (Pennebaker, Colder & Sharp, 1990) that assesses homesickness, general negative affect, and optimism. Participants also completed a self-report questionnaire of how they felt their adjustment characterized their first semester of college. The 1
  2. 2. questions assessed academical and social adjustment. Participants were debriefed on the purpose of the study and how their responses would be utilized. Academic performance measures (HSGPA, SAT, midterm deficiencies, and fall semester GPA) were obtained from the Office of Academic Affairs confidentially. EI should have significance in both academic performance and adjustment. The authors presented in Berrocal & Extremera’s (2006) call for papers, verify that EI is related to academic grades and social competence after controlling for potentially confounding variables such as general intelligence and personality characteristics. This is evidence that supports the relationship between EI and prosocial/maladaptive behavior and academic achievement. Being emotionally and socially intelligent means to effectively manage personal, social and environmental change by realistically and flexibly coping with the immediate situation, solving problems and making decisions; being sufficiently optimistic, positive and self-motivated (Bar-On, 2006). The transition of high school students to college is an environmental change that warrants some inquiry of how EI influences it as either successful or unsuccessful. Parker, Duffy, Wood, Bond and Hogan (2005) compared academically successful and 2
  3. 3. unsuccessful students EQ-i (Multi-Health Systems) scores. There was a high association between academic achievement and several dimensions of emotional intelligence. Particular emphasis is placed in interpersonal relationships, adaptability, and stress management abilities, as well as overall emotional intelligence. Along with this reasoning, the majority of high school students who go on to post-secondary institutions withdraw before graduation (Parker, Summerfeldt, Hogan & Majeski, 2002). Students’ abilities to perform well in college with increased academic pressures (i.e., papers, exams, time- management) are impacted by non-academic pressures (i.e., increased independence, finances, making friends). Failure to master these types of tasks appears to be the most common reason for undergraduate students withdrawing from university (Parker, et al., 2002). Since the greatest proportion of these students drop out in the first year (Geraghty, 1996), it is critical to understand the factors that influence the successful transition from high school to university (Parker, Summerfeldt, Hogan & Majeski, 2004). The study by Parker et al. (2004) used the Bar-On (1997, 2000, 2002) model of EI that consists of four related social and emotional competencies that influence a person’s capability to cope with the environmental demands and 3
  4. 4. pressures. These dimensions consist of (a)intrapersonal abilities (e.g., recognizing and understanding one’s feelings), (b)interpersonal abilities (e.g., empathy), (c)adaptability skills (e.g., being able to adjust one’s emotions and behaviors to changing situations and conditions), and (d)stress management skills (e.g., resisting or delaying impulses). Individuals low in emotional intelligence show difficulties in expressing emothons productively, regulating them and utilizing those abilities to guide their behavior (Parker et al., 2005). In this study, participants’ EQ-i scores and CAT adjustment scores were collected along with academic performance measures. In order to examine relationships between EI and its subscales with adjustment, correlational analyses were performed. Total EQ-i r(157)= .32 p<.01 Intrapersonal r(157)= .27 p< .01 Interpersonal r(157)= .25 p< .01 Stress Management r(157)= .28 p< .01 Adaptability r(157)= .21 p< .01 General Mood r(157)= .26 p< .01 Measures of academic performance were correlated with adjustment. The only significant relationships were between midterm deficiencies and fall 2008 GPA. Midterm deficiencies: CAT r(157)= .23 p< .01 Homesickness r(157)= .17 p< .05 General negative r(157)= .20 p< .05 4
  5. 5. affect Fall 2008 GPA: CAT r(157)= .26 p< .01 Homesickness r(157)= .30 p< .01 General Negative r(157)= .24 p< .01 Affect Numerous significant relationships of emotional intelligence and adjustment were found. Hypothesis 2 was supported with evidence that students with higher EI will report better adjustment. Total EQ-i, self-regard, independence, self-actualization, social responsibility, interpersonal relationships, stress tolerance, impulse control, flexibility, optimism, and happiness were all significant. Although not presented as an original hypothesis, analyses indicated that adjustment did have a significant relationship with academic performance measures, especially Fall 2008 GPA. Limitations to this research consisted of several instances. Most importantly, predictions could not be made based on this sample size and demographics. Previous research has shown that females have a higher EQ-i than males, so any assumptions on the predictability of performance were unattainable. Re-assessment of EI 5
  6. 6. throughout college career would be more meaningful and perhaps predictions could be made with the retest data. Professors’ EI should be another area of interest since the social relationships that are established with their students. Depending on the level of emotional intelligence professors possess, should influence students’ transition to the increased demand for successful academic performance. Students enrolled in college orientation programs begin at different levels of EI. Similarly, with students taking placement exams in math and English, EI assessments could be administered to students to ensure they receive the appropriate level of enrichment. Subsequently, with these types of procedures in place, retention of college students should lead to better program development. Based on the significant correlations between EI and adjustment and adjustment with performance, programs that enhance EI and adjustment should prove beneficial to the success of college students entering college. 6
  7. 7. References Bar-On, R. (2006). The Bar-On model of emotional-social intelligence (ESI). Psicothema, 18(Suppl), 13-25. Berrocal, P. F. & Extremera, N. (2006). Special issue on emotional intelligence: An overview. Psicothema, 18, (supl), 1-6. Ellis, E.S., & Worthington, L.A.(1994). Research synthesis on effective teaching principles and the design of quality tools for educators (Technical Report No. 5). Eugene: University of Oregon, National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED386853) National Center for Education Statistics. (2001). Chapter 5: Outcomes of Education. Digest of Education Statistics. Retrieved October 15, 2002 from, http://nces.ed.gov//pubs2002/digest2001/ch5.asp Multi-Health Systems, Inc, © 2004-2007. Emotional Quotient Inventory HEd. Retrieved November 12, 2008 from, http://www.mhs.com Parker, J.D.A., Duffy, J.M., Wood, L. M., Bond, B.J. & Hogan, M.J. (2005). Academic achievement and emotional intelligence: Predicting the successful transition from high school to university. Journal of the First-Year Experience, 17(1), 1-12. Parker, J.D.A., Saklofske, D.H., Wood, L.M., Eastabrook, J.M. & Taylor, R.N. (2005). Stability and change in emotional intelligence: Exploring the transition to young adulthood. Journal of Individual Differences, 26(2) 100-106. Parker, J. D.A., Summerfeldt, L. J., Hogan, M. J., & Majeski, S. A. (2004). Emotional intelligence and academic success: Examining the transition from high school to university. Personality and Individual 7
  8. 8. Differences, 36, 163-172. Scheuermann, B. (2000, February). Curricular and Instructional Recommendations for Creating Safe, Effective, and Nurturing School Environments for All Students. In L.M. Bullock & R.A. Gabel (Ed.), Positive Academic and Behavioral Supports: Creating Safe, Effective, and Nurturing Schools for All Students. Norfolk, VA: Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED457628) Vandervoort, D.J. (2006). The importance of emotional intelligence in higher education. Current Psychology: Developmental, Learning, Personality, Social. 25(1), 4-7. 8