Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Emotional intelligence and posttraumatic growth in residential care workers
by Miller, Deborah Alioto, Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2015, 143; 3725083
Abstract (Summary)

Two relatively new constructs, emotional intelligence (EI) and posttraumatic growth (PTG), have emerged independently in research literature. Each provides useful information about positive mental health. Emotional Intelligence research has shown that increased EI contributes to decreased traumatic stress (TS). Moderate TS has been shown to increase posttraumatic growth. Limited research has examined the relationship between EI and posttraumatic growth. This study addressed this gap by comparing emotional intelligence and posttraumatic growth using total scores of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT V2.0), and the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI). An online survey was conducted with residential care workers (RCW) in three independent mental health facilities for youths in two different states. RCW are understudied providers for the nearly 34,000 youths in residential care. The study provides initial research information related to the hypothesis that higher emotional intelligence correlates with higher posttraumatic growth in RCW.

Current literature reports meaningful relationships between traumatic stress (TS) and emotional intelligence as well as between TS and posttraumatic growth. In order to provide context for observing and understanding the relationship between emotional intelligence and posttraumatic growth, this study measured and statistically analyzed both relationships using the ProQOL-5 compassion fatigue score as a measure of traumatic stress.

The results of this study failed to support statistically significant relationships between EI, TS and PTG. Statistical analysis did however highlight four relationships of note. First, the results suggest that higher emotional intelligence is positively associated with higher posttraumatic growth in African-American participants at the surveyed sites. Second, ‘frontline’ RCW PTG scores were 16.8 points lower than other job categories completing the survey. A third noteworthy finding indicated that teachers had 19.1 points lower EI than other disciplines. Finally, it was found through stepwise regression analysis that the best model to describe the relationship between PTG and EI included ethnicity. Again, while none of these correlations rose to the level of significance, they may contribute to the understanding of EI and PTG in RCW and inform future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Willmarth, Eric
Commitee: Moss, Donald, Warley, William R.
School: Saybrook University
Department: Mind Body Medicine
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 77/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology
Keywords: Emotional intelligence, MSCEIT, PTGI, Posttraumatic growth, ProQOL-5
Publication Number: 3725083
ISBN: 978-1-339-08995-9
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