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2022: Two-year Impact Factor: 4.4
Scopus Journal Metrics
CiteScore (2022): 5.3
SNIP(2022):1.389
SJR(2022): 0.78
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Health Promot Perspect. 2022;12(1): 101-109.
doi: 10.34172/hpp.2022.13
PMID: 35854853
PMCID: PMC9277283
Scopus ID: 85133034338
  Abstract View: 546
  PDF Download: 366
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Original Article

The relationship between trait emotional intelligence and problematic alcohol use among college students

Robert E. Davis 1* ORCID logo, Nicole A. Doyle 1, Krishen D. Samuel 1, Amanda H. Wilkerson 2, Vinayak K. Nahar 3,4

1 Substance Use and Mental Health Laboratory, Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, University of Arkansas, 155 N. Stadium Dr. HPER 308, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
2 Department of Health Science, 113 Russell Hall, 504 University Boulevard, Box 870313, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
3 Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA
4 Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA
*Corresponding Author: Corresponding Author: Robert E. Davis, Email: , Email: red007@uark.edu

Abstract

Background: Problematic alcohol use among college students is a significant public health concern. Emotional intelligence (EI), or the ability to detect one’s own and others’ emotions and to use this information to direct behavior, is suggested to mitigate problematic alcohol use. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between EI and problematic alcohol use among college students while controlling for drug use covariates.

Methods: This cross-sectional study utilized an online survey comprised of previously validated measures to determine EI, problematic alcohol use, and drug use among college students from a large, public university in the south-central United States. Regression modeling and independent samples t-test were used to determine the relationship between EI and problematic alcohol use.

Results: Problematic alcohol consumption was reported among 27.3% of participants (n=587). In regression modeling, EI demonstrated a significant, protective effect on problematic alcohol use (b=-0.050, P<0.001, 95% CI: -0.076 – -0.023), when adjusting for important covariates. Independent samples t-test showed that students who screened positive for harmful alcohol use reported significantly lower EI values than those who did not (Mean difference=4.53, t=2.98, P=0.003, 95% CI: 1.54–7.51).

Conclusion: The findings from this study show that problematic alcohol use is prevalent among college students and EI may provide a protective effect against this deleterious behavior. Given the findings observed in this study, university officials should incorporate EI training into the university curriculum, such as in onboarding courses for freshman and transfer students, to target prevention of potentially harmful alcohol consumption and associated negative health impacts.

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Submitted: 12 Oct 2021
Revision: 27 Oct 2021
Accepted: 11 May 2022
ePublished: 29 May 2022
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