Emotional Intelligence and Health Risk Behaviour: A comparative study of the business and health science disciplines in a Scottish population
Trait Emotional Intelligence (EI) and health risk behaviour are shown to be linked within the literature. High trait EI is proposed to influence health behaviour and can predict the likelihood of pursuing a career in a health profession (Fernández-Abascal & Martìn-Dìaz, 2015; van Dusseldorp, van Meijel & Derksen, 2011). This thesis explored the relation between emotional intelligence and health risk behaviour. It is also among the first to explore the relation between EI traits and health risk behaviour in school disciplines in a Scottish University. Queen Margaret University business studies and health science students were invited to participate in this correlational study to complete the Drug and Alcohol in interfaculty comparisons questionnaire (Webb, Ashton, Kelly & Kamali, 1996) and TEIQue-SF through the University Moderator and subsequently Bristol online survey. Contrary to the findings within the literature, no relationship between emotional intelligence and health risk behaviour was found; therefore, the first hypothesis was not supported. Results showed there was also no relationship between high trait EI and health risk behaviour within the health science and business studies faculties was not found. Despite the findings, most participants scored high in EI and have engaged in health risk behaviours such as high alcohol consumption, smoking and taking drugs. Studying in a peer environment may promote the engagement in these behaviours (Bennett & Holloway, 2014). The use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco as form of mental support could therefore have a negative impact on a student’s education.