Emotional intelligence, coping and exam-related stress in Canadian undergraduate students


University of Edinburgh, Psychology, 7 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9JZ, UK, elizabeth.austin@ed.ac.uk


The associations among emotional intelligence (EI), coping, personality and exam-related stress in a group of 475 Canadian undergraduate students were examined. Stress was measured at the start of the semester and again in the pre-exam period. Higher levels of stress were associated with lower scores on EI components, and higher scores on emotion-focused coping and neuroticism. A scale-level factor analysis of the EI and coping subscales produced three composite factors, which each had high loadings from at least one EI and one coping subscale. The associations of the Emotion Regulation factor (high loadings of several EI components and emotion-focused coping) and the Task Focus factor (high loadings of Adaptability EI and task-focused coping) with personality, stress and subjective wellbeing (SWB) were examined using structural equation modelling. The results showed that these factors mediated the effect of personality on stress and SWB.