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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31-37

Emotional Intelligence and its Association with Academic Success and Performance in Medical Students


1 Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences; King Abdulaziz Medical City, National Guard Health Affairs; King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences; King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences; King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sajida Agha
College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_375_19

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Background: Emotional intelligence (EI) is potentially associated with higher academic performance. However, no study from the Gulf region has previously assessed if EI affects academic success and academic performance in medical students. Objectives: To examine the relationship between EI and academic success and academic performance in a sample of Saudi Arabian medical students. Methods: This cross-sectional, questionnaire study included all 4th–6th year medical students enrolled at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the academic year 2017–18. Eligible students were invited to complete the self-administered Schutte Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test and the Academic Success Inventory for College Students (ASICS) along with a questionnaire eliciting demographic information between January and April 2018. Academic achievement was assessed based on each student's self-reported grade point average in the most recent examination. Results: Of 377 eligible students, 296 (78%) completed the questionnaires. A significant association was identified between overall EI and ASICS scores (r = 0.197; P < 0.001). EI scores were constant in males and females and the year of study. No statistically significant association was observed between EI and academic success across gender and academic years (P > 0.05 for all values). However, in terms of external motivation and career decidedness by level of study, final-year students had higher scores compared with students in the other two study years (P = 0.02 and P = 0.01, respectively). Conclusion: This study offers primary data on the impact of EI scores on academic success in medical education, and it identified several factors associated with EI and academic success. The findings of this study suggest that EI and academic success are linked, and that both are vital for increasing academic performance.


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