The role of emotional intelligence in college students' success

Joyce Walsh-Portillo, Florida International University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if higher academic performance was positively correlated to higher emotional intelligence among traditional age male and female college students enrolled in an Introduction to Business course at a large multi-campus state college in Florida. The Bar-On 2004 (Emotional Quotient Inventory) EQ-i 133-item inventory was used to assess students’ emotional intelligence. Within the scope of this ex-post facto study, a quasi-experimental design was included to further determine if emotional intelligence could be increased through the inclusion of a curricular component on emotional intelligence. Four groups of students (N=111) participated in the three-phase study over two semesters. ^ The first phase (pre-intervention) was limited to students with an established GPA and an attempted-to-completed credit hour ratio within the institution (N=82). Results showed a slight positive correlation between the two factors and the students’ emotional intelligence pretest assessment scores. The second phase of the study involved establishing a control and an experimental group in each of two semesters to compare the attainment of overall emotional intelligence scores as measured by the EQ-i. The third phase of the study examined four measures of academic success (GPA, the attempted-to-completed credit hour ratio, grade in the business course, and persistence in college) to determine if these factors were positively correlated with the students’ posttest EQ-i scores. The study also included a research question to determine if significant differences in overall EQ-i scores existed between male and female students during the three phases. ^ Findings from the study indicated that (a) there was a slight positive correlation in the pre-intervention stage between emotional intelligence and traditional measures of academic success specifically, GPA and the attempted-to-completed credit hour ratio; (b) curricular intervention made a significant difference at the p <.05 level, with an .5 effect size, in one semester but failed to meet that threshold in the following semester with the second pair of groups; (c) at the post-intervention phase, the four measures of traditional academic success yielded a low positive correlation with the students’ emotional intelligence assessment scores, and (d) female students showed significant gains in their overall EQ-i scores.^

Subject Area

Education, Community College|Education, Higher Education Administration

Recommended Citation

Joyce Walsh-Portillo, "The role of emotional intelligence in college students' success" (January 1, 2011). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. Paper AAI3502127.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI3502127

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