7. Does EI impact academic success in grade 9 girls?
4 October, 2013
Rachel in Adolescent EI, Billings, Downey, EI assessment for schools, EI in Schools, EI, EQ and IQ, Emotional intelligence and academic performance, Emotional self-management in teenagers, Hansen, Lomas, Stough, Swinburne, The benefits of emotional intelligence in schools, emotional self-management, personality, teenagers

Summarised by Rachel Green, Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute, accredited user of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and author of "How to develop emotional resilience and manage your emotions."

Does emotional intelligence play a role in predicting the scholastic success of year 9 girls? This important question was one of several asked in a study conducted by Luke A. Downey and his colleagues at the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University in Melbourne.

They specifically asked, can differences in scholastic success be attributed to emotional intelligence when controlling for personality and fluid intelligence?

Subjects used in Year 9 emotional intelligence study

Study design in Year 9 emotional intelligence study

Measured scholastic success by Grade Point Average (GPA).

Divided the subjects into 3 sub-groups:

  1. High GPA: those with a GPA at the 80 percentile or higher. (n=50)
  2. Middle GPA: those with a GPA between 80 percentile - 20 percentile. (n=145)
  3. Low GPA: those with a GPA at 20 percentile or less. (n=48)

Each subject completed the:

  1. Adolescent Swinburne University Emotional Intelligence Test. This is a self-report questionnaire of 57 items with four sub-scales: Emotional Recognition and Expression (10 items), Understanding Emotions (19 items), Emotions Direct Cognition (10 items) and Emotional Management and Control (18 items).
  2. The Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices were used to measure fluid intelligence. This is designed to measure a person’s ability to form perceptual relations and to reason by analogy. The results are said to be independent of language and formal schooling.
  3. The Mini IPIP was used to measure 5 personality traits. This involves a 20-item scale, with four items each measuring extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to experience.

Results of Year 9 emotional intelligence study

Higher GPAs were related to higher scores on two of the emotional intelligence sub-scales: "Emotional management and control" and "Emotional recognition and expression".

Each factor accounted for different percentages of the variation in GPA:

  1. Emotional management and control: 2%
  2. Emotional recognition and expression: 1.5%
  3. IQ: 21.8%
  4. Personality characteristics - conscientiousness: 3.8%
  5. Personality characteristics - openness: 1.8%.

Summary from year 9 emotional intelligence study

EI does significantly contribute to the prediction of academic achievement above and beyond that of personality and IQ. 

Downey et al concluded that:

The consistent predictive efficacy of EI skills in relation to scholastic outcomes, though modest in comparison to IQ, should be considered important, especially in the context of students achieving grades appropriate to their intellect across their schooling experience.

Students may be helped by their ability to understand what emotions they are experiencing, and to be able to harness positive emotions or manage negative emotions in common scholastic environments such as exams. In the case of exams, all the advantage of greater intellectual capacity and good quality study can be lost if a student is overwhelmed by exam conditions, or unaware of the emotional experience of written or verbal examination. 

Consideration of the emotional intelligence abilities of students during this pivotal year, (if not before), should be an additional focus of educators.

My brief comments on this year 9 emotional intelligence study

For further details of this emotional intelligence study

"Scholastic Success: Fluid Intelligence, Personality, and Emotional Intelligence," by Luke A. Downey; Justine Lomas; Clare Billings; Karen Hansen and Con Stough.

If you would like to know more about Professor Con Stough's work and research on emotional intelligence in school-age children and teenagers, please visit his new website: www.Aristotle-EI.com

Correspondence on this study: Luke Andrew Downey, Brain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University, PO Box 218 (H99), Hawthorn, 3122, Australia. E-mail: ldowney @ swin.edu.au

Develop your school's emotional intelligence

There is so much that your leadership team can do to develop their emotional intelligence and the emotional intelligence of their school. We have a number of options to help:

  1. There is a series of emotional intelligence workshops, including: "Mastering emotional intelligence". 
  2. There is an emotional intelligence 2 DVD program "How to develop emotional resilience and manage your emotions".
  3. We provide a face-to-face 5 star emotional intelligence coaching package which can be conducted online or in our Kelmscott office.
  4. Emotional intelligence asessments can be conducted using the MSCEIT.
  5. We can also bring a whole emotional intelligence programme to your entire school for your students and teachers, under the guidance of Professor Con Stough.

For more details, or to make a booking, e-mail us now or pick up the phone and call us.

Develop the emotional intelligence of your teachers now and be an emotionally intelligent school.

Article originally appeared on The Emotional Intelligence Institute (http://www.theeiinstitute.com/).
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