14. EI & scholastic achievement in children 9-13 yrs

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."

This article describes a research paper: "Emotional Intelligence and scholastic achievement in pre-adolescent children".

It was written by Clare E.W. Billings, Luke A. Downey, Justine E. Lomas, Jenny Lloyd and *Con Stough; and published in the journal of: "Personality and Individual Differences", Elsevier Ltd. 10 Feb 2014.

What impact does emotional intelligence have on the scholastic achievement of primary school children aged 9-13 years?

This study explores the relationship between ability emotional intelligence and scholastic achievement in pre-adolescent children.

A newly created measure of emotional intelligence for younger children was used, the Swinburne University Emotional Intelligence Test - Early Years, (SUEIT-EY).

The test is based on the Mayer and Salovey model of emotional intelligence and assesses:

  • Perception and appraisal of emotion.
  • Emotional facilitation of thinking.
  • Reflective regulation of emotion.
  • Identifying emotions in others.
  • Understanding and analysing emotion.
The test is both an ability and a self report measure.
The research poses the question: does the new measure of EI for pre-adolescents (the SUEIT-EY) predict scholastic achievement?
And, if it does, which branches and abilities of the assessment are the strongest predictors of scholastic achievement in this age group.
The study also considered whether this relationship is affected by age, gender or socially desirable responding style.

Emotional intelligence study subjects

  • Four hundred and seven girls and boys: 200 males, 207 females.
  • Attending four primary schools in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Ranged from 9 to 13 years of age; with a mean age of 10.72 years for females and 10.75 years for males.

Emotional intelligence study methods

All were assessed on The Swinburne University Emotional Intelligence Test – Early Years (SUEIT-EY). 

All were assessed on the Child Social Desirability Scale (CSD).

Students' literacy and numeracy scores were calculated. Scholastic achievement scores were standardised across schools using a 5 point scale where 5 was the highest score and 1 was the lowest score. These scores were computed for reading, writing, literacy, and maths / numeracy. Overall achievement was calculated by averaging students' literacy and numeracy scores.

Emotional intelligence study results

In regards to predicting scholastic performance, only the 'Understanding and Analysing Emotions' (UAE) branch of the SUEIT-EY was found to be related to scholastic performance.

A significant relationship existed between ‘Understanding and Analysing Emotions’ and measures of achievement in literacy for boys and girls, over and above the effect of age.

Also, a significant relationship existed between UAE and measures of achievement in numeracy, for boys and girls, over and above the effect of age.

Sequential Multiple Linear Regression Analyses found that earlier developing abilities in UAE better predicted scholastic achievement than the more complex UAE abilities.

UAE accounted for 11% of the variation of both literacy and numeracy scores.

Those pre-adolescents in the current sample who demonstrated greater ability to interpret the meanings that emotions convey, and how multiple emotions can be experienced together, were academically superior to their peers.

Girls were found to score higher than boys, but only for two out of the four branches.

Emotional intelligence study conclusions & the future

The SUEIT-EY involves self-report measures and ability based measures.

Further studies involving more ability based measures would be valuable.

Professor Stough says, "the test is both an ability and a self report, interestingly the best results were from the ability based questions".

Future studies could control for personality and IQ.

More emotional intelligence research on this age group would be a great thing! There is so much we still need to know.

It is excellent that the Swinburne University team are focusing their attention on pre-adolescents.

The more we can do to understand the emotions of our children before they become teenagers the better.

The more that our children can do to understand and manage their own emotions before hitting adolescence, the better.

Click here to read the full article.

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.

*Con Stough is a Professor at Swinburne University and on the faculty of The Emotional Intelligence Institute. Click here to read his profile. 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

Thanks to istockphoto for the photo