Investigating the psychosocial mechanisms underlying the influence of trait emotional intelligence on university adjustment: the mediating roles of coping and social support

Perera, Harsha and Athanasou, James (2012) Investigating the psychosocial mechanisms underlying the influence of trait emotional intelligence on university adjustment: the mediating roles of coping and social support. In: 11th Australian Conference for Personality and Individual Differences (ACPID 2012), 29-30 Nov 2012, Melbourne, Australia.

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Abstract

Heretofore, no studies have investigated the psychosocial mechanisms underlying the effects of trait emotional intelligence (trait EI) on recent school leavers' adjustment to university. This is surprising since trait EI is, theoretically, expected to exert its most beneficial effects on academic and socio-emotional functioning under conditions of potentially high affective arousal, such as adjusting to novel educational environments. The present study specified and tested a short-term longitudinal mediation model in which perceived social support and coping were hypothesised to mediate the relation between trait EI and university adjustment (N = 250). These postulated mediating processes extend the extant literature by elucidating the psychosocial pathways through which distal affective traits may influence university adjustment. Structural equation modeling, with robust maximum likelihood estimation, revealed that trait EI exerted indirect effects on university adjustment via both social support and coping, controlling for the concomitant effects of neuroticism, extraversion and conscientiousness. Students high on trait EI were more likely to perceive greater social support, and more likely to use engagement coping in response to exposure to academic and socio-emotional stressors, which, in turn, positively influenced midterm adjustment. Limitations of this study, future directions and implications for university counselling and student services operations are discussed.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2013 04:25
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2017 00:57
Uncontrolled Keywords: trait emotional intelligence; college adaptation; mediation; bootstrapping
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/23925

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