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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 75-79

Relating emotional intelligence and social competence to academic performance in high school students


Department of Education, College of Education and Psychology, University of Birjand, Birjand, Iran

Date of Web Publication27-Feb-2015

Correspondence Address:
Seyed Mahdi Hosseini
College of Education and Psychology, University of Birjand, Birjand
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2395-2296.152218

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  Abstract 

Aim: The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and social competence with academic performance of Zabol high school students in Iran. Methodology: It is a descriptive-correlational study and its statistical population consists of 9,386 high school students of Zabol of which 351 subjects were selected using Cochran's sample size determination formula and multi-stage random sampling method. Data collection instruments included both Schutt's EI questionnaire and social competence questionnaire of Illinois University. The students' first semester GPA was used as the Academic Performance indicator as well. Results: The results of data analysis showed that EI and social competence of students have a significant positive relationship with their academic performance and is able to predict their academic performance. The correlation between all the components of EI and academic performance of students was significant as well. Conclusion: Students with high EI and social competence tended to be more pro social and performed better in school. This suggests that integrating lessons with socioemotional learning in schools might improve students' performance, decrease maladaptive behavior, and increase pro social behavior. Finally, only well-designed experiments and longitudinal studies at various levels (elementary, middle and high school) will show whether EI and social competence can be learned (and at what age) and whether teaching these skills will have lasting effects.

Keywords: Academic performance, emotional intelligence, social competence


How to cite this article:
Akbaribooreng M, Hosseini SM, Zangouei AA, Ramroodi M. Relating emotional intelligence and social competence to academic performance in high school students. Int J Educ Psychol Res 2015;1:75-9

How to cite this URL:
Akbaribooreng M, Hosseini SM, Zangouei AA, Ramroodi M. Relating emotional intelligence and social competence to academic performance in high school students. Int J Educ Psychol Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2017 Nov 22];1:75-9. Available from: http://www.ijeprjournal.org/text.asp?2015/1/2/75/152218


  Introduction Top


Along with the development of societies and entrusting the education office with the task of education, decline in school performance has been proposed as one of the most important issues in this area. This phenomenon has drawn the attention of today's world and has engaged the minds of many scholars and experts to itself. Because it's personal, familial, and social consequences are not negligible in terms of material and spiritual costs. A person who has faced a decline in school performance, in addition, to financially damaging the educational system will waste his/her irrecoverable lifetime.

Furthermore, the study of social damages has consistently shown that a large percentage of socially deviant people are in a lower educational position. Therefore, conducting research which investigates the future related to academic performance and also specifies the share of each one in its prediction is of particular importance. [1] Academic performance depends on many factors, including individual, social, educational, and psychological factors. Investigating these factors and specifying the share of each one in prediction of academic performance determines ways to identify the factors affecting the performance and academic decline, and this helps course designers to strengthen the positive factors. [2] According to Chukwunyere's opinion, contrary to popular belief, intelligence, and talent are not the only factors that determine the performance of students, even gifted people may not reach the levels that is within their potential. [3]

Factors affecting academic performance is a complex issue because in the meantime multi-dimensional approach is discussed which is subtly concerned with the physical, social, cognitive, and affective growth of students. Many researchers have evaluated the impact of mental and cognitive abilities on academic performance.

However, over time, it was found that although mental and cognitive abilities of students have largely predicted academic performance, but they are not the only key to predict academic performance because there have been cases in which an individual had a good level of cognitive intelligence but showed poor academic performance.

Following this issue, researchers have noticed a number of noncognitive factors in recent years that can affect academic performance but the extent of the contribution of these factors in the prediction of academic performance is not yet specified. [4],[5]

Social and emotional skills and abilities known as emotional intelligence (EI) and social competency are among these noncognitive factors which are greatly emphasized and can be used as predictors of academic performance. [5],[6]

Emotional intelligence was introduced in 1990 as a form of social intelligence and included the ability to control emotions and excitements in themselves and others, accepting other peoples' opinions, and controlling social relations. EI is a set of abilities and noncognitive skills, which increases individual's ability to cope with environmental pressures and requirements. [5] One of the benefits of emotional intelligence (EQ) to general intelligence (IQ) is its acquisitive dimension that is easily learnt, evolved, improved, and modified. [7]

Those who have emotional skills are those who are well-acquainted with their feelings and emotions, guide them and also understand others' feeling and deal with them effectively, they are outstanding in every scope of life, whether in emotional relationships or in understanding the untold rules that will lead to progress in the organization's policy. These people are happy and efficient in their lives and have thinking habits that cause them to be productive and efficient. [8]

Emotional intelligence is related to the understanding of oneself and others, communication with others, adaptation with the environment that is needed to succeed in meeting social demands and is considered a tactical ability in individual performance. In this regard, EI can predict the performance because it shows how an individual can immediately apply his knowledge in different situations, a person who does not have the emotional skills will face problem in transforming their potential knowledge into observable performance. In other words, EI refers to individuals' differences regarding the perception, processing, regulation, and utilization of information in terms of emotion. [9]

Social competence includes the ability to interact effectively and appropriately with other people. [10] Sense of competence among others is one of the human's innate psychological needs that stimulates people to seek activities that enables them to demonstrate their competence and avoid activities that might indicate their lack of competence.

Academic performance is one of the most outstanding indicators through which students can demonstrate their competencies and capabilities, and it's effective through increasing students' motivation toward improvement of performance. [11]

Regarding the relationship between social competence and academic performance, Tabayian found that by increasing social knowledge of children, they will move toward desirable social behavior and eventually social competence and this by itself leads them to encounter with reinforcement, in other words the acceptance of the peers as well as adults causing better performance on the side of the individual. [12] Liff in a study in the field of general intelligence and academic performance concluded that general intelligence predicts academic performance by 50%. [13] Furthermore, Elias in a study in order to investigate the role of emotional educations in academic achievement concluded that teaching emotional skills in school can have positive long-term impact on students' academic performance. [14] Research Bhadouria showed that academic achievement without EI does not indicate future success and absence of EI it also indicates the weak personality and ability in building relations at working place as well in schools and it is highly important for quality education [15] and another study by Paloma show that Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test was discriminable from well-established measures of personality and intelligence. The test was also moderately related to social competence and predicted students' final grades; [16] and finally Rastegar and Karami attempted to investigate any significant relationships among Iranian EFL learners' EI, their affective and social strategy use, and their academic achievement. This study recommends that EFL learners increase their use of affective and social strategies which will help them improve their EI; moreover, developed EI will lead to greater academic achievement. [17] According to the above, the main research question is whether EI and social competence can predict academic performance and that what is the share of each in the prediction of academic performance?

The objectives of this study are:

  • Determining the relationship between EI and social competence with academic performance of students
  • Predicting academic performance of students from their EI and social competence.



  Methodology Top


This research is descriptive-correlational. The statistical population of the study consists of all male and female high school students studying in the school year 2012-2013 in Zabol, Iran. Research samples obtained using Cochran's sample size determination formula and multi-stage random sampling method on 351 students. The students' first semester GPA was used as the Academic Performance Indicator. Data collection instruments included both Schutt's EI questionnaire and social competence questionnaire of Illinois University.

Schutte's EI questionnaire includes 33 questions which is made based on the EI model of Salovey and Mayer, 1990. [8] Test questions measures three categories of EI including regulation of emotions, appraisal of emotions and utilization of emotions which is based on 5-point Likert scale, from score 1 (strongly disagree) to score 5 (strongly agree).

Internal consistency of the questionnaire is reported from 0.84 to 0.90 based on Cronbach's alpha coefficient. [18] In the Persian version of this questionnaire, the reliability coefficient was calculated 0.88 using Cronbach's alpha. [19] Cronbach's alpha coefficient in this study was 0.77. Social competence questionnaire made by the Center of Social and Emotional Foundations of University of Illinois consisted of 38 questions and was selected from Inventory of Practices for Promoting Children's, Social and Emotional Competence. [11]

Since the questionnaire was created for children of different ages in the study conducted by Nezhad [11] the questions were adapted in order to measure the social competence of university and high school students and its internal consistency was calculated 0.91 using Cronbach's alpha on the participants in this study.

In another study conducted by Asadi and Bagheri [20] with the heading "knowledge of verbal communication and social competence" Internal consistency was reported 0.86 using Cronbach's alpha on the sample of 384 participants. [20] In this study, the reliability of the questionnaire was obtained 0.86 according to the scale of Cronbach's alpha.

Data were entered into  SPSS (Statistical package for social sciences ) software version 19 and analyzed.


  Results Top


The Pearson correlation test was used to investigate the relationship between EI and social competence of students with their academic performance [Table 1].
Table 1: Results of emotional intelligence correlation test and its components, social competence, and academic performance


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The data in the table show that the correlation between general EI and academic performance equates to R = 0.19 which is statistically significant at P < 0.01. Furthermore, the correlation between social competence and academic performance is equal to R = 0.20 which is statistically significant at P < 0.01. Furthermore, the correlation between all the components of EI with academic performance is significant.

Stepwise linear regression analysis was used to investigate the question of whether EI and social competence are able to predict the academic performance [Table 2].
Table 2: Summary of the significance test of the prediction of academic performance model by social competence and emotional intelligence


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The data in the table show that in the first step social competence variable and in the second step social competence and EI were entered into the regression equation. In the first step, social competence predicted 0.03 of the changes and in the second step, social competence and EI predicted 0.04 of the total changes in academic performance.

Stepwise linear regression analysis was used to investigate the question of whether the components of EI are able to predict the academic performance [Table 3].
Table 3: Summary of the significance test of the prediction of academic performance model by emotional intelligence subscales


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The data in the table show that in the first step, emotion regulation variable entered the prediction equation and predicted 0.27% of the academic performance variance and the two other factors were not entered into the equation, therefore did not have a meaningful role in predicting academic performance.


  Conclusion Top


The obtained results are discussed according to the order of the research questions.

First question

Is there a significant relationship between EI and its components with academic performance?

The results showed that there is a positive and significant relationship between general EI and all its dimensions with academic performance. These results are in line with the findings of Parker and Asher Dehshiri, Samari and Tahmasebi, Nobarian and Norouzi, Rahnema and Abdolmaleki, Sourshojaneh, [6],[7],[19],[21],[22],[23],[24] found a significant relationship between EI and academic success.

This result is easily explainable bearing in mind that EI competences, such as ability to regulate one's feeling, problem-solving, intrapersonal and interpersonal skills are highly germane to academic success. For instance, a student who is adept in emotional management could use such skill to word off stress and anxiety associated with test-taking and examination. Furthermore, ability to display interpersonal skills may assist students to seek academic help from teachers, peers, and resource persons.

Second question

Is there a significant relationship between academic performance and social competence?

Results showed that there is a significant and positive relationship between social competence and academic performance of the students which is in line with the findings of Ebrahimi et al. and Tabayian. [2],[12] Given the results of this study and previous studies, it can be deduced that students who reach a higher degree of social competence and are accepted by peers and other community members will have a better academic performance. According to Mayer, good academic performance enhances social competence as well, which shows a mutual relationship between social competence and academic performance. [25]

Third question

Are EI and its components and social competence able to predict academic performance?

Since there was no study in which EI and social competence were simultaneously examined with academic performance, such a finding was compared with the research results which have separately shown the relationship between these variables

These results are in line with the findings of Parker; Dehshiri, Bar-on, quoted in Dehshiri, Nobarian, and Norouzi, Homayi et al. [7],[22],[26],[27] The results of this study and previous studies show that according to Parker and Asher EI and social skills are among the predictors of academic performance. [6]

Students with high EI and social competence tended to be more pro social and performed better in school. This suggests that integrating lessons with socioemotional learning in schools might improve students' performance, decrease maladaptive behavior, and increase pro social behavior.

The present study reveals the factors of EI and social competence which if emphasized may help the mentors, parents, and academicians motivate children for the understanding of them in their lives. As we are educating not only the academic portion of the child, but also the affective (emotional) portion of the child is what it's all about. That's the whole child.

Finally, only well-designed experiments and longitudinal studies at various levels (elementary, middle, and high school) will show whether EI and social competence can be learned (and at what age) and whether teaching these skills will have lasting effects.


  Functional Recommendations Top


Due to the low contribution of EI and social competence variables in the prediction of academic performance, we suggest to simultaneously use all variables associated with academic performance according to theoretical principles and with methods such as structural equation model and path analysis in order to predict academic performance.

By identifying factors associated with academic performance, curriculum designers should design curriculums to develop this skill in students because the main objective of the curriculum is effective learning and academic performance with a comprehensive look at academic performance and identification of all the factors that are relevant and effective.

Experts should make teachers and school officials aware of the importance of EI and social skills and present necessary knowledge to them about how they can teach these skills to students.

 
  References Top

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2.
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11.
Nezhad RH. The Relationship Between Humor Styles and Emotional Intelligence with Social Competence in Students. Master's Thesis of Educational Psychology. Iran: Islamic Azad University of Birjand; 2011.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Tabayian S. Effects of social skills training on the social competence of children with attention deficit disorder/hyperactivity. J Psychol 2009;4:362-76.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]


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