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Emotional intelligence, life satisfaction and subjective happiness in female student health professionals: the mediating effect of perceived stress

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  • The relevance of the scientific study of happiness and well-being in health professionals has been emphasized. In this sense, the intelligent use of emotions is considered essential for one's psychological adaptation and well-being. Health professionals have to deal with high levels of occupational stress and students in nursing, and allied health sciences need to develop the ability to manage their own emotions because an affective deficit in self-regulation can lead to lower subjective well-being.
  • This study aimed to examine the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and well-being indicators (life satisfaction and happiness) in a 12-week follow-up study in female student health professionals. Moreover, we examined the mediator role of perceived stress on the relationship between EI and well-being indicators.
  • Our study found that emotionally intelligent people evaluate situations as less stressful which results in a higher satisfaction with life and happiness.
  • Specific EI training programmes to help students to cope with the challenges they face should be included in the curriculum for students in nursing and allied health sciences.

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to extend previous findings by examining the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and well-being indicators (life satisfaction and happiness) in a 12-week follow-up study. In addition, we examined the influence of perceived stress on the relationship between EI and well-being. Female students from the School of Health Sciences (n = 264) completed an ability measure of emotional intelligence. After 12 weeks, participants completed the Perceived Stress Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale and Subjective Happiness Scale. Participants with higher EI reported less perceived stress and higher levels of life satisfaction and happiness. The results of this study suggest that perceived stress mediates the relationship between EI and well-being indicators, specifically life satisfaction and happiness. These findings suggest an underlying process by which high emotional intelligence may increase well-being in female students in nursing and allied health sciences by reducing the experience of stress. The implications of these findings for future research and for working with health professions to improve well-being outcomes are discussed.

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