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A study has reported that students who can understand and manage their emotions perform well in school.
In addition to having high intellect and being conscientious, new research from the American Psychological Association found that emotional intelligence also contributes to academic success. An analysis of over 160 studies showed that students with higher emotional intelligence tend to get better grades and higher achievement test scores. The studies reviewed were dated from 1998 to 2019 and involved 42,000 students from several countries.
The levels of the participants ranged from elementary school to college. The researchers found that the result held true regardless of the students’ age.
According to Carolyn McCann, the study’s lead author, students with higher emotional intelligence may be better at dealing with negative emotions, such as anxiety, boredom, and disappointment. These emotions can negatively affect academic performance.
Additionally, students with high emotional intelligence may have skills like being able to understand human motivation and emotion. These skills may help them excel in subjects like history and language.
The findings imply that improving emotional intelligence can help students cope with stress and improve academically. However, McCann does not recommend widespread testing to identify students with low emotional intelligence. She said that targeting only those students may stigmatize them. Instead, she recommends creating programs that are beneficial for all students and training that can improve the well-being and emotional skills of teachers.
Believing that emotional skills development would benefit everyone, McCann also advised integrating it into the curriculum of all schools. She added that letting teachers handle this kind of program is better than hiring external specialists.