The role of trait emotional intelligence in achievement during a stressful educational transition: a multistage model of mediation via social support, coping and adaptation

Paper


Perera, Harsha N.. 2014. "The role of trait emotional intelligence in achievement during a stressful educational transition: a multistage model of mediation via social support, coping and adaptation." British Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2014 (BERA 2014). London, United Kingdom 23 - 25 Sep 2014 London, United Kingdom.
Paper/Presentation Title

The role of trait emotional intelligence in achievement during a stressful educational transition: a multistage model of mediation via social support, coping and adaptation

Presentation TypePaper
Authors
AuthorPerera, Harsha N.
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the 40th British Educational Research Association Annual Conference (BERA 2014)
Year2014
Place of PublicationLondon, United Kingdom
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttp://beraconference.co.uk/programme-at-a-glance/
Conference/EventBritish Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2014 (BERA 2014)
British Educational Research Association Annual Conference
Event Details
British Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2014 (BERA 2014)
BERA 2014 Conference
Parent
British Educational Research Association Annual Conference
Delivery
In person
Event Date
23 to end of 25 Sep 2014
Event Location
London, United Kingdom
Event Details
British Educational Research Association Annual Conference
BERA Conference
Abstract

Recent years have witnessed considerable interest in the role of trait emotional intelligence (trait EI) in achievement and adaptation during stressful educational events. Higher trait EI has been linked to better achievement and less distress across educational stressors, such as academic examinations and the collegiate transition. However, the pathways by which trait EI is associated with adaptation and achievement during stressful educational events have received only little systematic investigation. As such, understanding of the mechanisms underlying the associations of trait EI with adaptation and achievement is limited.
The present research was designed to address these gaps in the psychoeducational literature. Specifically, the author proposes a theoretical model linking trait EI, social support, coping, adaptation, and first-semester achievement during the stressful college transition. The model was tested in a multi-wave study with a sample of incoming college undergraduates (N = 458) attending a metropolitan university in Australia. Structural equations analyses showed that the parametric structure implied by the model was largely consistent with the sample data. In particular, trait EI was found to be a direct, prospective predictor of higher perceived social support, the greater use of engagement coping strategies and better psychosocial adaptation to the college transition. In addition, tests of mediation revealed that the relations of trait EI with academic and psychosocial adaptation were mediated by engagement coping and social support, respectively. Trait EI was also found to be indirectly associated with first-semester achievement via engagement coping and academic adaptation linked serially in a temporal chain of unfolding events. Notably, the majority of these relations were robust when controlling for known confounding influences. The empirically supported mediating processes extend the extant literature by elucidating the psychosocial pathways through which distal affective traits promote better adaptation and achievement during stressful educational events. Limitations of this study, future directions and implications for teaching and learning, college counselling and student services operations will be discussed.

Keywordstrait emotional intelligence; mediation; adjustment; college; university; structural equation modeling
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520102. Educational psychology
529999. Other psychology not elsewhere classified
390404. Educational counselling
Public Notes

© BERA 2014. No paper available from presentation.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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