Emotional Intelligence, Stress and Resiliency: A Relationship Study
Research has clearly indicated (Bencivenga, Elias, 2003; Fischer and Fisher, 2003; Ghosn, 1999; Goleman, 1995; Nelson and Nelson, 2003)) that emotional well-being positively affects academic achievement. Richburg and Fletcher (2002) outlined five domains of emotional intelligence: Knowing one's emotions Managing emotions Motivating oneself Recognizing emotions in others Handling relationships Goleman (1995) credited Salovey for these specific domains, but both Goleman and Mayer (2001) indicated similar categories for emotional development. O'Neil (1996) in his interview with Goleman quoted … "if a child learns to manage his [her] anger well, or learns to calm or soothe himself [herself], or to be empathetic, that's a lifelong strength" (p. 9). Emotional well-being can mean the difference of a life well lived or a tragedy. Westenberg, P. and Block J. (1993) and Wolin and Wolin (1993) indicated that resilient people are able to rebound from difficult situations. Wolin and Wolin specifically identify the ability of a person knowing and understanding what a situation or how relationships are impacting the self as a first step in promoting health. Without awareness, one is controlled by the surroundings and without choices. Secondly, and as important, is the ability to act creatively and responsibly on the knowledge that one has. There are characteristics of emotional growth and resiliency skills that can be taught to children. Self-awareness skills, relationship building, decision-making, conflict management styles and role-play can be specifically developed with emotional maturity and resiliency components. Techniques have also been identified for handling stress and anxiety. These techniques could be taught to teachers and in turn to their students. Seaward (2002) has outlined numerous strategies in dealing with stress and anxiety: meditation, relaxation techniques, self-talk, music and art therapy, mental imagery and others. A powerful strategy that has been identified by Goleman (1995), Seaward, (2002) and Wolin and Wolin (1993) is that of reframing. What does it look like in each construct?
Keywords: Emotional Intelligence, Stress, Resiliency
Dr. Bridget Connor
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, College of Notre Dame of Maryland
Dr. Sharon Slear
Dean, Faculty of Education, College of Notre Dame of Maryland