Relationships of personality, affect, emotional intelligence and coping with student stress and academic success: Different patterns of association for stress and success

Donald H. Saklofske (Lead / Corresponding author), Elizabeth J. Austin, Sarah M. Mastoras, Laura Beaton, Shona E. Osborne

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    130 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The associations of personality, affect, trait emotional intelligence (EI) and coping style measured at the start of the academic year with later academic performance were examined in a group of undergraduate students at the University of Edinburgh. The associations of the dispositional and affect measures with concurrent stress and life satisfaction were also examined. The survey was completed by 238 students, of whom 163 gave permission for their end-of-year marks to be accessed. Complete data for modelling stress and academic success were available for 216 and 156 students respectively. The associations of academic success and stress differed, and high stress was not a risk factor for poor academic performance. Further analyses were based on the extraction of three composite factors (Emotional Regulation, Avoidance and Task Focus) from the EI and coping subscales. Structural equation modelling showed that academic performance was predicted by Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, positive affect and the Task Focus factor. Modelling for stress and life satisfaction showed relationships with personality, affect, and the Task Focus and Emotion Regulation factors. The Task Focus factor played a mediating role in both models, and the Emotion Regulation factor acted as a mediator in the model for stress and life satisfaction. The theoretical interpretation of these results, and their potential applications in interventions targeting at-risk students, are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)251-257
    Number of pages7
    JournalLearning and Individual Differences
    Volume22
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

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