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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 283-287

Relationship between emotional intelligence and aggression among nursing students in a tertiary institute


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Surendera Dental College and Research Institute, Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Dr. DY Patil Dental College and Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Swami Devi Dyal Hospital and Dental College, Panchkula, Haryana, India

Date of Submission17-Oct-2020
Date of Decision08-Mar-2021
Date of Acceptance29-Oct-2021
Date of Web Publication15-Dec-2021

Correspondence Address:
Deeksha Gijwani
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Surendera Dental College and Research Institute, Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_194_20

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  Abstract 


Background: Working with emotions is an important aspect of the nurse–patient relationship: the nurse will better manage his/her own emotions, and will also influence patient's emotions on investigations, treatments, fears, vision about disease, etc., Aggression is one of the important factors that significantly affect the performance of an individual. Aim: The aim of this study was to identify the level of emotional intelligence (EI) and aggression among nursing students and to assess its correlations with sociodemographic variables. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was done among 242 nursing students of various nursing colleges of Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan. Data collection was done using two questionnaires one for emotional intelligence and another for aggression level. The results were determined using the mean, standard deviation, T test and Pearson's correlation coefficient with level of significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: There is a nonsignificant negative relationship of verbal aggression (r = −0.0192) with EI. Higher aggression was seen in male participants in the age group of 18–21 years and in the 1st year of nursing students (P ≤ 0.01). Conclusion: Males were more aggressive whereas females were found to be more emotionally intelligent in the current study.

Keywords: Aggression, emotions, nursing


How to cite this article:
Gijwani D, Mathur A, Batra M, Sharma A. Relationship between emotional intelligence and aggression among nursing students in a tertiary institute. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2021;19:283-7

How to cite this URL:
Gijwani D, Mathur A, Batra M, Sharma A. Relationship between emotional intelligence and aggression among nursing students in a tertiary institute. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 17];19:283-7. Available from: https://www.jiaphd.org/text.asp?2021/19/4/283/332528




  Introduction Top


Besides the ability of people to receive external stimuli through the five senses, human bodies respond internally by receiving and understanding information through affective states such as emotions and feelings. The concept of emotional intelligence (EI) proposes that intelligence may understand emotion, and that emotion may facilitate intelligence. According to Akinboye, no human action, whether good or bad, is emotion free.[1] EI is one of the important variables and has a greater influence on human character. It has a pivotal role in the success of various domains of life. The basic emotions are happiness, interest, surprise, fear, anger, sorrow, and disgust.[2] The medical assistant profession is a humanistic one, and it requires emotional involvement, communication abilities, and empathic skills for practicing. That is why numerous researches relate the yard of student nurse learning environment to the quality of nursing. For the nursing profession, the medical act cannot be separated from emotional involvement.[3]

EI is reported to be a predictor of interpersonal and communication skills in medical schools. Each individual expresses emotion differently, and ineffective expression of emotion creates abnormality within the person. Mental health is related to the adequate expression of emotion. Adequate expression of emotion is related to the ability to understand, perceive, and control one's and other's emotion. Aggression is directly linked with emotion, and it determines one's behavior, personality, and integrity. It determines the nature of an individual. EI among adolescents affects adolescents' level of interpersonal relationship. Low level of EI among adolescents leads to adolescent substance and illegal drug abuse, poor interpersonal relationship, high level of aggression, and physical fights.[4]

Working with emotions is an important aspect of the nurse–patient relationship: the nurse will better manage his/her own emotions, and will also influence patient's emotions on investigations, treatments, fears, vision about disease, etc.

The current study intends to focus on the relationship between EI and aggression in general and with a particular reference to gender among nurses. Despite the importance of EI in every aspect of life, it has been scarcely applied with the combination of aggression to educational setting in India.[5]

The current study was conducted with an aim to identify the impact of sociodemographic variables on EI and aggression among nursing students. The present research formulated hypotheses that there is no significant relationship between EI and aggression among nursing students.


  Materials and Methods Top


Sample

The present cross-sectional study was conducted in various nursing institutes of Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, during the month of December 2019 to January 2020. Ethical approval (SDCRI/IEC/2018/005) to conduct the study was obtained from the ethical committee of institute before commencing the study. Written informed consent was obtained from the participants of this study. Before the inclusion of respondents in survey, a screener who was responsible for checking the legitimacy of participation explained the details of the research, aim of the research, procedures, and the content of the questions. Anonymity, confidentiality, and privacy of data were explained and guaranteed.

A total of 390 students were registered in various nursing colleges. To obtain a representative sample, simple random sampling was done. Data were collected from undergraduate nursing students with a sample size of 242. The age range was in between 18 and 25 years. During data collection, variables such as age, sex, and year of course were taken into consideration.

Tools

Two questionnaires were used in this study. One was EI Scale[6] and the other one was Aggression Scale.[7] Tests were distributed in printed format and filled in after obtaining informed consent of the participants.

The questionnaire was tested among a convenience sample of ten nursing students who were interviewed to gain feedback on the overall acceptability of the questionnaire in terms of length and language clarity. Based on their feedback, the questionnaire did not require any corrections. Cronbach's coefficient was found to be 0.80, which showed an internal reliability of the questionnaire. The mean content validity ratio was calculated as 0.87 based on the opinions expressed by a panel of five academicians.

The first instrument used for measuring the EI of the participants was the EI Scale which was given by Mihaela Roco.[6] The test includes ten items, expressed as questions, each having four possible answers a, b, c, and d to give a tick mark for one of the possible answers which give an overall EI score. The questionnaire consists of different situations that are presented as scenarios from which a person can learn. The selected answer reflects subject's extent of transposition in the situation and his/her possible future reactions. Finally, we add up the points obtained for the ten questions, the meaning of the final score obtained being the following: an EQ below 100 points means an EI below the average; between 100 and 150 points, we can identify an average EI; over 150 points, we can reveal an EI above the average; and the level very close to or equal to 200 points emphasizes an exceptional EI.[6]

The second instrument used for measuring the aggressive behavior of the participants was the “Aggression Questionnaire” AQ-12 which was given by Buss-Perry.[7] The Questionnaire was 7 point Likert scale individual put one of the numbers from 1 to 7, consisted of 12 items and the highest score 84 is and the lowest score is 12. This scale consists of four factors, such as physical aggression (PA), verbal aggression (VA), anger (A), and hostility (H). Each item of this scale would be scored as 7 for extremely characteristic of me and 1 for extremely uncharacteristic of me.

Procedure

The scales were used to study the role of EI on aggression of adolescent students. The instructions of these questionnaires were clearly explained to the subjects, and care was taken to ensure that they understood the items in both the scales. All subjects were asked to clarify their doubts before answering the questionnaires and instructed that each question having four possible answers a to d to give a tick mark for each questions in emotional intelligence scale and for aggression questionnaire subject put one of the numbers from 1 to 7 for each item according to his or her choice. Each subject gave his or her responses for both the scales. They were asked to respond to each item in the questionnaires freely without any hesitation. All subjects individually administered their questionnaires and were asked to complete the questionnaire without any time limit.

Statistical analysis

The data was analyzed with IBM SPSS. Statistics Windows, Version 20.0. (Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.) was used for the statistical analysis. The results were determined using the mean, standard deviation, T test and Pearson's correlation coefficient with level of significance was set at P < 0.05.


  Results Top


Out of total sample of 242 participants, the majority of the respondents were males in the age group of 22–25 years (52%). The sample consisted of 150 males and 92 females. Maximum females were in the age group of 18–21 years (56.52%). More than half of the females were in the 2nd year of nursing (56.52%) and maximum males were in the 1st year of nursing (40%) [Table 1].
Table 1: Number and percentage of demographic data of the study population

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A higher mean score of PA, VA, anger (A), and hostility (H) was seen in male participants in the age group of 18–21 years and in the 1st year of nursing students [Table 2].
Table 2: Aggression score among the study population

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More than half of the participants have average emotional intelligence. 1.85 % of participants in fourth year and 1.08% of female having above average emotional intelligence. No one in study population having exceptional emotional intelligence [Table 3].
Table 3: Emotional intelligence among study population

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The relationship of EI with the variables of aggression was found that there is a nonsignificant negative relationship of VA (r = −0.0192, P = 0.44) with EI [Table 4].
Table 4: Relationship of emotional intelligence with the variables of aggression

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  Discussion Top


According to Goleman, EI is the capacity to use emotional information for controlled thinking and behavior. Salovey and Mayer define EI as “the ability to accurately perceive, appraise, and express emotion; the ability to access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought; the ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; the ability to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth.” Persons who better understand the emotional aspects of life avoid the accumulation of emotions and the emotional spiral constructed by the ruminative process and become more aware about their true feelings. Gaining emotional skills assures a higher level of emotional well-being.

Taking into account that intelligence quotients could increase along one's life, educational curricula should focus on developing emotional skills during academic years in order to increase the scores for EI and to diminish aggression. This study is an attempt to check to examine the relationship between EI and aggression among undergraduate nursing students of Sri Ganganagar. Subjects were very happy at the time of data collection when they got to know about their level of aggression and EI.

The study revealed that male nursing students having higher mean aggression score then female, these results are similar study done by Das et al.,[2] Masum R et al.,[5] Shahzad et al.[8] The fact that males are more aggressive than females has to do with biological, psychological, and social factors. Research shows in addition that males are more likely than females to behave in an aggressive manner. There is evidence that differences in socialization, cognition, and personality may help explain gender-based disparity in rates of antisocial as well as violent behaviors. Gender differences in cognition, socialization, and behavior may exist as early as infancy. This is when boys are able to express themselves at a higher rate. Infant girls show greater control over their emotions, whereas boys are more easily angered and depend more on inputs from their mothers. A psychologist shows that the ways which females and males are socialized affect their development. Males learn to value independence, whereas females are taught that their self-worth depends on their ability to maintain relationships. Although there are a few differences in aggression during the first few years of life, girls are socialized to be less aggressive than boys are. In connection, girls are supervised more closely than boys are. Males are more likely to display PA, whereas females display relational aggression.[2]

The study found that the first and second students have higher aggression in comparison to the third and final years of nursing. This might be due to the fact that students are suddenly exposed to multiple activities such as increase in academic pressure which make them more prone to stressful conditions and there could be a shift toward more hostility.

In the present study, females were reported with higher EI scores. Our results are in line with the findings from previous research[9],[10] that showed women scoring higher emotional Intelligence. According to the literature, women tend to be more emotionally expressive than men; they understand emotions better and have a greater ability with regard to certain interpersonal skills.[11] Hence, it might be expected that EI will be higher in women than men. In addition, there is evidence that certain areas of the brain dedicated to processing emotions could be larger in women than in men; this could help explain differences in cerebral activity based on gender.[12]

The study found that the final-year nursing students have higher EI in comparison with the 1st–3rd year of nursing; a similar study done by Partido and Stafford[13] among dental students showed a similar result that final dental students had a higher level of the EI. This might be due to the fact that nurses and dentists had to deal daily with stress and different types of difficult patients, being expected to manage their hostile behaviors. Hence, they become higher when nurtured by personal experiences and developed through university curriculum which empowers nurses to better adapt to their duties.

The present study examined the relationship of EI with the variables of aggression; it was found that there is a nonsignificant negative relationship of VA with trait EI. It shows that that the higher the level of EI, the lesser the risk of VA.

The overall analysis showed that there was a negative relationship between EI and aggression. The lack of EI is a strong determinant of aggression in adults. Hence, EI assessment and training modules should be introduced in nursing colleges in the 1st year to foster the emotional development of students. Various methods of education which focus on the learning and teaching of knowledge, attitudes, and skills have been developed and employed, for instance, self-determined learning and improvement curriculum, EI skills workshops, EI courses, books, personal and professional development programs, workshops on improving EI, and engaging experts to teach EI concepts, competencies, and strategies to students.[14]

The limitations of this study could be that the present study was a cross-sectional study; a longitudinal study could identify more clearly the emotional level for the university students.


  Conclusion Top


Males were more aggressive whereas females were found to be more emotionally intelligent in the current study. EI has a great impact on the nurse–patient relationship, guiding nurses toward a better identification of his/her own skills, while also creating and managing a good relationship with patients. The scientific researches proved that emotional intelligence is related to level of job satisfaction, stress that being viewed as a predictor for academic and professional success. Hence, the results are important for teachers and trainers in order to introduce new courses and to develop university curriculum providing new practical and theoretical opportunities for nurse students.

Acknowledgment

We acknowledge the authorities of the nursing colleges for co-operating with us and Dr. Vikram Pal Aggarwal for helping us with the statistical analysis providing vital support without which this study was not possible.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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2.
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Brackett MA, Mayer JD, Warner RM. Emotional intelligence and its relation to everyday behaviour. Pers Individ Differ 2004;36:1387-402.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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Masum R, Khan I. Examining the relationship between emotional intelligence and aggression among undergraduate students of Karachi. J Educ Res Int 2014;3:36-41.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
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Savoiu G, Jovanovska MB. Emotional and partnership intelligence of the team's members in the administrative activities of the public entities or institutions. GJMBR 2010;10:35-41.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
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Buss AH, Perry M. The Aggression Questionnaire. J Pers Soc Psychol 1992;63:452-9.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Shahzad S, Begum N, Khan A. Understanding emotions in adolescents: Linkage of trait emotional intelligence with aggression. Asian J Soc Sci Hum 2013;2:386-94.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
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Austin EJ, Evans P, Goldwater R, Potter V. A preliminary study of emotional intelligence, empathy and exam performance in first year medical students. Pers Individ Differ 2005;39:1395-405.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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Katyal S, Awasthi E. Gender differences in emotional intelligence among adolescents of Chandigarh. J Hum Ecol 2005;17:153-5.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Montañés J, Latorre JM. Does emotional intelligence depend on gender? The socialization of emotional competencies in men and women and its implications. J Educ Psychol 2008;6:455-74.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
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Tapia M, Marsh GE 2nd. The effects of sex and grade-point average on emotional intelligence. Psicothema 2006;18:108-11.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Partido BB, Stafford R. Association between emotional intelligence and academic performance among dental hygiene students. J Dent Educ 2018;82:974-9.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Aithal AP, Kumar N, Gunasegeran P, Sundaram SM, Rong LZ, Prabhu SP. A survey-based study of emotional intelligence as it relates to gender and academic performance of medical students. Educ Health (Abingdon) 2016;29:255-8.  Back to cited text no. 14
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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