Application of the emotional intelligence construct to college student binge drinking
Application of the Emotional Intelligence Construct to College Student Binge Drinking Jeffrey P. Dulko Although extensive research has been conducted in the area of college binge drinking, relatively little has been done to study differences among alcoholrelated consequences. Some initial studies have shown that binge drinking and its consequences are associated with several emotional and interpersonal factors, but there has been no comprehensive examination of these relationships. The theory
... ships. The theory of emotional intelligence (EI) has been developed recently to study emotional and interpersonal factors as an integrated construct. Research of the relationship between alcohol and EI could provide a valuable base for which to design alcohol prevention programs that target improving emotional and interpersonal deficits as a means to reduce consequences. The present study used three surveys to assess binge drinking and to examine how EI and its factors can predict binge drinking consequences. The Drinker Inventory of Consequences (DrInC), the BarOn Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ-i), and a Research Questionnaire were administered to 309 undergraduate college students. The results revealed that there is no significant difference between binge drinkers and non-binge drinkers on a measure of general EI. However, the number of binge drinking consequences is inversely correlated with general EI. All five types of binge drinking consequences (physical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, impulse control, and social responsibility) were predicted by EI factors (intrapersonal, stress management, and interpersonal). As intrapersonal EI rose, physical consequences from binge drinking decreased. Higher stress management EI scores were indicative of lower intrapersonal binge drinking consequences, and higher interpersonal EI scores predicted lower social responsibility consequences. A combination of higher levels of both stress management and interpersonal EI coincided with separate reports of lower interpersonal and impulse control consequences. Gender differences observed among the EI factors for binge drinkers suggest that males and females may have unique EI deficits that could influence specific types of consequences. The findings have implications for further research of alcohol prevention curricula on college campuses that address the improvement of specific EI deficits as a means to lowering binge drinking consequences. Application of Emotional Intelligence iii Dedication For my grandparents, Reine, Della, and Albert, who taught me how to instill my soul into everything I do, how to persist in spite of insurmountable mountains, and most importantly, how to love.