Correlation between Emotional Intelligence and Academic Stress in Undergraduate Medical Students

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Shazia Jamil

Abstract

Introduction: Students face health-related issues and stress due to the burden of their studies. Emotions can affect one’s reaction to stress; therefore, Emotional Intelligence may help overcome the adverse effects of the students’ stressful situations.
Objective: To determine the correlation between emotional intelligence (EI) and academic stress in undergraduate students and compare the perceived stress and emotional intelligence scores among both genders.
Methods: A Cross-sectional Correlational study was conducted among undergraduate medical students of M Islam Medical College Gujranwala. Two hundred and ten students participated in the study. Schutte’s Emotional Intelligence and perceived stress scale proformas were given to participants, and their EI and stress level were measured.
Results: Totally, 116 (55.2%) of participants were females, and 94 (44.8%) were males. Perceived Stress Score was higher in females(24.5 ± 5.9) as compared to males (20.9 ± 6.2) and second-year undergraduate students(24.5 ± 6.2) as compared to first-year students (21.4 ± 6.1). No significant difference was observed in emotional intelligence scores between both genders (Males=118, Females=119), however, it was a bit higher in first-year MBBS students (122) as compared to second-year MBBS students (115). A remarkable negative correlation was found between EI and educational stress in undergraduate medical students (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: It is evident from our study that emotional intelligence scores and educational stress are negatively correlated. Educating students to improve EI may help prevent stress and optimize their overall wellness. Hence it is suggested to include emotional intelligence awareness workshops and training in the educational programs of the undergraduate students.
 
Keywords: Emotional Intelligence (EI), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), undergraduate students

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