Emotional Intelligence and Physical and Psychological Health
Tsaousis, I. & Nikolaou, I. (2005). Exploring the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Physical and Psychological Health. Stress and Health, 21, 77-86.
Stress and Health Stress and Health 21: 77–86 (2005) Published online 3 March 2005 in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). DOI: 10.1002/smi.1042 Exploring the relationship of emotional intelligence with physical and psychological health functioning Ioannis Tsaousis1,*,† and Ioannis Nikolaou2 1 Department of Sciences in Preschool Education and Educational Design, University of the Aegean, Greece 2 Department of Management Science and Technology, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece Summary This study investigates the relationship of emotional intelligence (EI) characteristics, such as perception, control, use and understanding of emotions, with physical and psychological health. In the ﬁrst study, 365 individuals ﬁlled in measures of EI and general health. It was hypothesized that EI would be negatively associated with poor general health. In the second study, 212 working adults completed the same measure of EI and another measure, which apart from the standard information regarding physical and psychological health, provided also information about other health related behaviours, such as smoking, drinking, and exercising. It was also hypothesized that EI would negatively correlate with smoking and drinking and positively correlate with exercising. The ﬁndings conﬁrmed both hypotheses and provided further support on the claims that there is a relationship between EI and health functioning. Additionally, in a series of hierarchical regression analyses the unique contribution of each of the EI scales on the overall health score were investigated. The ﬁndings are discussed in the context of the importance of emotional competences on health and personal lifestyle, while implications for practice and directions for future research are proposed. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Key Words emotional intelligence; physical health; psychological health; smoking; drinking; exercise Introduction In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the theoretical development of the * Correspondence to: Ioannis Tsaousis, Tsakalof 10, Rd., Maroussi—Athens, 151 26—Greece. † E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. concept of emotional intelligence (EI) in an attempt to identify whether or not this newly introduced concept accounts for variance not already accounted for by intelligence and/or personality in various areas of human transactions. Although the construct of EI is not a new concept (see Gardner, 1983; Thorndike, 1920) it was Goleman’s (1995) inﬂuential book Emotional Intelligence, which made the concept widely popular. Received 5 April 2004 Revised 9 December 2004 Accepted 15 December 2004 I. Tsaousis and I. Nikolaou Today, the most acceptable deﬁnition for EI, has been provided by Salovey and Mayer (1990) who are conceived as the ‘fathers’ of the construct, since they ﬁrst introduced the term ‘emotional intelligence’. According to them, EI is ‘a type of emotional information processing that includes accurate appraisal of emotions in oneself and others, appropriate expression of emotion, and adaptive regulation of emotion in such a way as to enhance living’ (p. 773). More recently, they amended the above deﬁnition (Mayer, Caruso, & Salovey, 1999) and conceptualized EI as ‘an ability to recognize the meanings of emotions and their relationships, and to reason and problemsolve on the basis of them. Emotional intelligence is involved in the capacity to perceive emotions, assimilate emotion-related feelings, understand the information of those emotions, and manage them’ (p. 267). The popularity of the concept during the past decade has led researchers to examine its potency in various areas of human functioning. Among the areas with the strongest connections to EI is developmental, educational, clinical and counselling, industrial and organizational psychology. Thus, it has been found that trait or ability EI are related to life success (Bar-On, 2001; Goleman, 1995), life satisfaction and well-being (Martinez-Pons, 1997; Palmer, Donaldson, & Stough, 2002), interpersonal relationships (Fitness, 2001; Flury & Ickes, 2001), academic achievement (Parker, Summerfeldt, Hogan, & Majeski, 2004; Van der Zee, Thijs, & Schakel, 2002), occupational stress (Bar-On, Brown, Kirkcaldy, & Thome, 2000; Nikolaou & Tsaousis, 2002; Slaski & Cartwright, 2002), work success and performance (Dulewicz & Higgs, 1998; Vakola, Tsaousis, & Nikolaou, 2004; Weisinger, 1998), leadership (Cooper & Sawaf, 1997; Palmer, Walls, Burgess, & Stough, 2000; Rice, 1999), etc. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in how emotional reactions and experiences affect both physical as well as psychological health. For example, it has been claimed that negative emotional states are associated with unhealthy patterns of physiological functioning, whereas positive emotional states are associated with healthier patterns of responding in both cardiovascular activity and immune system (BoothKewley & Friedman, 1987; Herbert & Choen, 1993). Salovey, Rothman, Detweiler, and Steward (2000) discussed extensively the importance of 78 Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. emotional states on physical health suggesting that an individual’s emotional status inﬂuence their perception of physical symptoms. Furthermore, extended research in the ﬁeld of health psychology has demonstrated the effect of negative mood or unpleasant emotional experiences on a number of habits or behaviours that have been accused for unhealthy conditions, such as smoking (e.g. Brandon, 1994) and drinking (e.g. Cooper, Frone, Russell, & Mudar, 1995). Several studies have also revealed a direct connection between emotional arousal (especially anger) and cardiovascular consequences (Friedman, 1992; Kamarck & Jennings, 1991; Smith, 1992). In another study, Salovey, Bedell, Detweiler, and Mayer (1999) claim that individuals who can regulate their emotional states are healthier because they ‘accurately perceive and appraise their emotional states, know how and when to express their feelings, and can effectively regulate their mood states’ (p. 161). This set of characteristics, dealing with the perception, expression, and regulation of moods and emotions, suggests that there must be a direct link between EI and physical as well as psychological health. Indeed, Taylor (2001) argues that if you are emotionally intelligent then you can cope better with life’s challenges and control your emotions more effectively, both of which contribute to good psychological and physical health. Moreover, Bar-On (1997) includes stress management and adaptability as two major components of EI, while Matthews and Zeidner (2000) claim that ‘adaptive coping might be conceptualized as emotional intelligence in action, supporting mastery emotions, emotional growth, and both cognitive and emotional differentiation, allowing us to evolve in an ever-changing world’ (p. 460). Additionally, Salovey (2001) claims that the failure of emotional self-management leads to signiﬁcant negative inﬂuences on health, for example, excessive cardiovascular reactivity. He suggests that a way of coping for people low on this dimension of EI is through smoking, drinking and eating fatty foods, which can also lead to long-term health damage. However, he also claims that suppressing negative feelings is not a healthy strategy either, suggesting that emotions’ manifestation has a positive impact on physical health when people are conﬁdent about their abilities to regulate them. He maintains that the best way of dealing with the expression of our feelings in terms of our health is through the rule of ‘golden mean’. ‘We may need to express negative Stress and Health 21: 77–86 (2005) Emotional intelligence and health feelings, but in a way that is neither mean spirited nor stiﬂed’ (p. 170). In another interesting study, Ciarrochi, Deane, and Anderson (2002) identiﬁed the moderating role of EI in the relationship between stress and a number of measures of psychological health, such as depression, hopelessness and suicidal ideation among young people. These studies, but mainly the core essence of EI, indicate that a negative correlation exists between stress, illhealth and EI levels, assuming that people scoring high in EI are expected to cope effectively with environmental demands and pressures as those commonly assessed by occupational stress and health measures (Nikolaou & Tsaousis, 2002; Slaski & Cartwright, 2002). Finally, Dulewicz, Higgs, and Slaski (2003), using a relatively small sample of retail managers, examined the role that variables such as stress, distress, morale and poor quality of working life play in everyday life. They demonstrated that EI was strongly correlated with both, physical and psychological health. The main goal of the current study is to provide more evidence regarding the relationship of EI with physical and psychological health condition. It also aims to explore the relationship between speciﬁc EI dimensions and health-related behaviours, such as drinking, smoking and exercising, in order to further ‘open up’ the construct of EI, and probably to provide one mechanism by which emotional management may inﬂuence physical as well as psychological health. Based on the earlier studies, the hypothesis has been made that high EI is related to better physical and psychological health functioning (Study 1). This hypothesis has been set, because we are actually interested in examining whether the ﬁndings reported from other research attempts—mainly in the U.S.A.—are replicated in a different cultural context. The unique contribution of this study, however, is the investigation of the hypothesis that EI will correlate negatively with frequency of smoking and drinking, and positively with improved quality of life, as expressed by relaxation and planned exercising (Study 2). Study 1 Research design The aim of the ﬁrst study was to explore whether there is a relationship between the characteristics Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 1 that deﬁne EI and general health. In particular, it is examined whether EI affects both the physical and the psychological aspect of health functioning. This study constitutes the ﬁrst step in the elaboration of the main hypothesis. Method Participants. The sample of this study consisted of 365 individuals. One-hundred and twenty-six (34.5 per cent) of them were males and 239 (65.5 per cent) were females. One-hundred and ninetyone (52.3 per cent) were students and 174 (47.7 per cent) were employees from various organizations. This group of participants had an average age of 25.23 years (standard deviation, SD = 9.51). Students ﬁlled out the questionnaires as partial fulﬁlment of the research participation option in their psychometrics course. The administration of the tests took place in the classroom, and the response rate was 100 per cent. All participants were debriefed later by post. The rest of the data were obtained from individuals attending a 2-day conference on EI. Participants were asked to complete anonymously a questionnaire booklet containing a number of different measures. The task took between 40 and 50 min. There was a 78 per cent response rate and again respondents were debriefed by post. Measures. The Traits Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire—TEIQ1 (Tsaousis, 2003). This self-report questionnaire comprises of 91 selfreferencing statements and requires individuals to rate the extent to which each statement is representative to them on a ﬁve-point scale (1 = not representative at all . . . 5 = very representative). The TEIQ is based on the theoretical model proposed by Mayer and his associates (Mayer & Salovey, 1997; Mayer, Caruso, & Salovey, 1999; Salovey & Mayer, 1990) and measures four independent dimensions of EI: perception and appraisal of emotions, control of emotions, understanding and reasoning of emotions, and use of emotion for problem solving. TEIQ provides also an overall EI score based on the sum of responses from all subscales. TEIQ demon- The original copyrighted title of the test is TEXASYN. The English translation of TEXASYN is Traits Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQ). Stress and Health 21: 77–86 (2005) 79 I. Tsaousis and I. Nikolaou strates very good internal consistency and test–retest reliability indices, while validation studies with other EI tests as well as other theoretically related constructs (e.g. empathy, alexithymia, mood, etc.) justiﬁes its ability to measures what it claims it measures (Tsaousis, 2003). General Health Questionnaire—GHQ 28 (Goldberg & Hillier, 1979; Goldberg & Williams, 1998; Greek standardization by Moutzoukis, Adamopoulou, Garifallos, & Karastergiou, 1990). General health was measured using the 28-item General Health Questionnaire. Responses are invited on a four-point scale ranging from ‘less than usual’ to ‘much more than usual’. Of the four possible ways of scoring this instrument (Goldberg & Williams, 1998), for this study the simple Likert method (0–1–2–3) was chosen. The measure yields an overall health score (range 0–84) and is composed of four subscales described as somatic symptoms, anxiety and insomnia, social dysfunction and depression. High scores indicate high levels of psychological strain. The measure was found to have an acceptable level of internal consistency reliability (alpha = 0.92). High score on this scale indicate poor general health. Procedure. All participants were asked to complete both the TEIQ and the GHQ-28 instruments. Students were asked to ﬁll out the two questionnaires as partial fulﬁlment of their third year research project course. The employees had completed the questionnaires as part of a seminar requirement on EI. All employee participants from the second sample were later debriefed by post. All participants were informed that the data would be treated as conﬁdential, and that they had the right to withdraw from the study at any time and any stage. Study 2 Research design The aim of the second study was to further explore the relationship between EI and health functioning. Based on the results of the ﬁrst study, it was interesting to examine how EI dimensions are related to habits that research has demonstrated are closely related to health functioning. For this purpose, a different measure was used, 80 Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. which apart from the standard information regarding psychical and psychological health, provides also information about health related behaviours, such as smoking, drinking, and exercising. Additionally, it was interesting to examine the robustness of the ﬁndings of the ﬁrst study, using a new independent sample. Method Sample. The sample for this study consisted of 212 employees from a mental health institution. Fifty-seven participants of the total sample (26.9 per cent) were males and 155 (73.1 per cent) were females. The majority of the participants were married females, with a university degree working in paraprofessional positions (e.g. social workers, nurses, etc.). The mean age for this sample was 36.14 years (SD = 7.76). Participants completed a self-report questionnaire pack (containing the measures of EI and occupational stress variables) as part of an EI training programme run by the two authors. Half individuals completed the EI measure ﬁrst and half second, in order to control for order effect. Researchers informed the participants about conﬁdentiality issues and that they had the right to withdraw from the administration at any time and any stage. There was a 91 per cent response rate and respondents were debriefed during the second day of the training programme. Measures. The Traits Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire—TEIQ (Tsaousis, 2003). This questionnaire was described in Study 1. ASSET (Cartwright & Cooper, 2002). ASSET is an effective tool in diagnosing occupational stress, combining both the sources and the effects of stress. ASSET conceptualizes occupational stress as inﬂuenced by a variety of sources, such as work relationships, work-life balance, overload, job security, etc. It also provides scores for physical and psychological health, since these measures, according to the model, are recognized to be affected by occupational stress. The psychometric properties of ASSET have been well established in previous studies (Johnson & Cooper, 2003; Nikolaou & Tsaousis, 2002). Both physical and psychological health demonstrated acceptable internal consistency coefﬁcients (0.75 and 0.90 respectively). High scores on these scales indicate poor physical or psychological health. Stress and Health 21: 77–86 (2005) Emotional intelligence and health ASSET also includes a section on participants’ lifestyle, including questions on smoking, drinking and exercising frequency, since the aspects of an individual’s lifestyle can affect or be affected by the levels of stress an individual may experience (Cartwright & Cooper, 2002). The participants are asked to indicate on a six-point scale (1 = never . . . 6 = always) the frequency of planned exercise, and on a four-point scale (1 = usually not . . . 4 = always) whether they ﬁnd time to ‘relax and wind down’. They are also asked to note the average daily number of cigarettes, and the average weekly number of alcohol units. Procedure. Employees from this group had completed both questionnaires voluntarily as they had agreed to participate in this research project, but were not debriefed since the questionnaires were completed anonymously. However, they were informed that the data would be treated as conﬁdential, and that they had the right to withdraw from the study at any time and any stage. Results Table I presents the descriptive characteristics of the studies’ variables. The EI subscales and the total EI scores demonstrated acceptable internal consistency reliabilities (ranging from 0.77 to 0.95), as was the case for the health measures in both studies. Internal consistency indices are not available for the lifestyle questions since these were single items. Further, a mean comparison of the EI scores between the two studies showed that in Study 2 these were signiﬁcantly higher than the respective scores of Study 1, a fact which can be attributed to the composition of the sample (i.e. professionals from a mental health institution) as opposed to the mixed sample (including students) of Study 1. The intercorrelation matrix shown in Table II reveals the negative relationship between poor health functioning and EI. The total EI score is correlated with each sub-dimension of health and life style, in both studies, with the exception of the consumption of alcohol in Study 2; the results showed that their relationship is to the expected direction. Similarly to ﬁndings from other studies, EI is negatively correlated with poor physical and psychological health and positively to the frequency of planned exercise and to the time dedicated by participants to relax (Ciarrochi et al., 2002; Salovey, 2001; Salovey et al., 2000; Slaski & Cartwright, 2002). The most consistent relationship comes from the dimensions of ‘Control of emotions’ and ‘Use of emotions’. Next, mean differences between the various groups within the two studies were explored, in order to investigate further the concept of EI and health functioning (see Table III). In Study 1, males demonstrated signiﬁcantly higher ‘Control of emotions’ and ‘Use of emotions’s than females but the latter scored higher than males in Table I. Means, standard deviations (SDs) and alphas of main EI and health variables. Measure Study 1 (N = 365) Mean EI measures Perception and appraisal Control of emotions Use of emotions Understanding and reasoning Total EI Physical health—ASSET Psychological health—ASSET General evaluation of health—GHQ 28 Anxiety—GHQ 28 Social dissatisfaction—GHQ 28 Depression—GHQ 28 Overall health score ** p < 0.00. Study 2 (N = 212) Mean 50.05** 93.10** 83.87** 99.70** 326.73** 13 24 — — — — 36.97 SD 9.44 22.13 20.24 13.25 46.54 4.13 7.72 — — — — 10.87 Alpha 0.81 0.94 0.95 0.90 0.95 0.75 0.90 — — — — 0.91 SD 9.28 17.13 17.25 13.22 38.77 — — 4.04 4.17 3.67 4.17 13.07 Alpha 0.77 0.87 0.91 0.85 0.92 — — 0.79 0.78 0.79 0.87 0.92 45.81 84.38 79.90 92.47 302.63 — — 13.44 14.24 13.82 10.40 51.92 Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Stress and Health 21: 77–86 (2005) 81 82 Study 1 (N = 365) 1 -0.32** -0.20** -0.27** -0.21** -0.18** -0.42** -0.20** -0.42** -0.27** -0.17** -0.38** -0.25** -0.18** -0.30** -0.31** -0.48** -0.28** -0.40** -0.37** -0.19** -0.49** -0.29** -0.39** -0.35** -0.26** -0.44** -0.01 -0.49** -0.44** -0.04 -0.65** -0.06 -0.67** -0.64** -0.15** -0.63** -0.05 -0.66** -0.62** -0.12 0.33** 0.08 0.34** 0.30** 0.08 0.43** 0.16* 0.42** 0.39** 0.09 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 -0.16* -0.06 -0.20** -0.05 -0.11 Study 2 (N = 212) 12 -0.07 -0.04 -0.05 0.01 -0.15* Table II. Intercorrelation matrix of EI, health and lifestyle variables. TEIQ scales I. Tsaousis and I. Nikolaou Total EI Perception and appraisal Control of emotions Use of emotions Understanding and reasoning Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Study 1 (N = 365) Males (N = 126) Mean 43.13 87.80 85.90 91.27 308.10 — — 12.93 13.85 13.97 10.12 50.88 8.95 16.22 15.26 14.10 36.89 — — 4.25 4.02 3.95 3.97 13.48 47.23 82.60 76.70 93.11 299.73 — — 13.71 14.44 13.74 10.55 52.47 9.15 16.22 17.44 12.72 39.49 — — 3.90 4.24 3.52 4.26 12.84 SD Mean SD -4.10** 2.78** 4.92** -1.26 1.96* — — -1.74 -1.27 0.57 -0.94 -1.09 Females (N = 239) t Males (N = 57) Mean 46.53 93.88 85.51 96.74 322.65 11.51 22.18 — — — — 33.68 SD 9.73 22.97 21.89 16.06 55.67 3.60 7.29 — — — — 10.04 Study 2 (N = 212) Females (N = 155) Mean 51.48 93.07 83.14 100.81 328.50 13.54 24.72 — — — — 38.25 SD 8.89 21.72 19.63 11.96 42.81 4.19 7.78 — — — — 10.93 -3.50** 0.23 0.75 -1.74 -0.81 -3.23** -2.14* — — — — -2.75** t Note: 1, General evaluation of health; 2, Anxiety; 3, Social dissatisfaction; 4, Depression; 5, Overall health score—GHQ, 28; 6, Physical health; 7, Psychological health; 8, Overall health score—ASSET; 9, Frequency of planned exercise; 10, Time to relax; 11, Average daily number of cigarettes; 12, Average weekly number of alcohol units. * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01. Table III. Mean comparisons of main EI and health variables for both studies. Measures EI measures Perception and appraisal Control of emotions Use of emotions Understanding and reasoning Total EI Physical Health—ASSET Psychological health—ASSET General evaluation of health—GHQ 28 Anxiety—GHQ 28 Social dissatisfaction—GHQ 28 Depression—GHQ 28 Overall health score Stress and Health 21: 77–86 (2005) * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.00. Emotional intelligence and health ‘Perception and Appraisal’. Nevertheless, males scored signiﬁcantly higher than females in overall EI scores. Females also demonstrated higher ‘Perception and Appraisal’ in Study 2, as well, but this was the only statistically signiﬁcant difference in terms of the EI scales. However, the male employees of Study 2 exhibited better physical, psychological and overall health compared to females. No health differences were identiﬁed in Study 1. Lastly, no gender differences were identiﬁed in Study 2, regarding health-related behaviours (i.e. frequency of planned exercise, time to relax, average daily number of cigarettes, and average weekly number of alcohol units.) Differences between students and employees of Study 1 were also explored, both as far as EI is concerned and health. Out of the four EI dimensions, only in ‘Use of emotions’ employees exhibited statistically higher levels than students (employees mean, M = 82.93, SD = 16.97; students M = 77.18, SD = 17.08; t(361) = -3.21, p = 0.001). However, it was very interesting to note that the students of the sample showed evidence of poorer health across all dimensions of the GHQ 28, compared to the employees participating in the study. Finally, a series of hierarchical regression analyses were carried out in order to investigate the unique contribution of each of the EI scales on the overall health score, controlling for the demographic characteristics of the participants (i.e. education, gender and age). It is worth noting that in both studies the contribution of the block of the EI scales is statistically signiﬁcant. The results further reveal that, for the participants in the ﬁrst study, all four EI dimensions are statistically related to health conditions, whereas for the participants of the second study, only the dimensions of ‘Control of emotions’ and ‘Use of emotions’ contribute signiﬁcantly to the health variance, above the effect of health-related behaviours (Table IV). Discussion The ﬁndings of the current study provide further support on the claims that there is a negative rela- Table IV. Hierarchical regression analysis, regressing the EI scales on health. Criterion variable Study 1 (N = 365) General evaluation of health Predictors Step 1 Gender Age Education Step 2 Perception and appraisal Control of emotions Use of emotions Understanding and Reasoning Step 1 Gender Age Education Step 2 Frequency of planned exercise Time to relax Average daily number of cigarettes Step 3 Perception and Appraisal Control of emotions Use of emotions Understanding and Reasoning R R2 Change F Change b 0.16 0.03 3.03* 0.02 -0.06 -0.06 -0.19** -0.25** -0.17** -0.12** 0.15** 0.00 -0.09 0.05 -0.20** 0.00 0.00 -0.45** -0.21** 0.02 0.51 0.24 27.77** Study 2 (N = 212) Overall health score 0.39 0.15 11.46** 0.58 0.18 12.60** 0.76 0.25 27.41** Note: p values are from the ﬁnal equation. * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Stress and Health 21: 77–86 (2005) 83 I. Tsaousis and I. Nikolaou tionship between increased levels of EI and low physical and psychological health, although the nature of the research design used in the present study does not allow afﬁrmative conclusions on the causality of the relationship. The results are encouraging in that increased levels of EI have an important role on health functioning. It is interesting that Goldman, Kraemer, and Salovey (1996) identiﬁed quite early the moderating role of emotions’ regulation on the relationship between stress and physical health. One could now argue that the ﬁndings regarding this relationship are now conclusive, since they have been replicated across different studies and cultures, using different EI instruments. The current research further supports this argument since the ﬁndings in both studies were similar although two different health measures (GHQ 28 and ASSET) were used, across two different samples (students versus employees) using the same instrument as the basis for the measurement of EI. The employees participating in the second study seem to be quite vigilant of the importance of EI, as demonstrated by their higher EI levels compared to the cross-sectional sample of Study 1. They have also acknowledged the signiﬁcance of spending personal time on relaxing, something that is also clearly related to their EI levels, as demonstrated in the results of the hierarchical regression analysis. This part of the EI research, although not as popular and widely investigated as others in the ﬁeld, has considerable practical implications nowadays, where work–life balance is considered a ‘hot’ topic for most employees and organizations. In that manner, employees with high EI levels will beneﬁt the most when they are able to demonstrate effective time management or engage themselves in planned exercise and personal relaxation time, but also reduce or even abolish smoking with positive outcomes for their health and stress. Similar ﬁndings, regarding the negative relationship between EI and tobacco use were obtained by Trinidad and Johnson (2002) using a sample of young adolescents. Gender differences were also identiﬁed in both studies regarding one of the dimensions of EI, namely ‘Perception and appraisal’ of emotions. Females scored signiﬁcantly higher than males, similarly to the ﬁndings from other studies (Ciarrochi, Chan, & Caputi, 2000; Wertlieb, Weigel, & Feldstein, 1987; Wierzbicki, 1989). Pugh (2002) claims that ‘male–female differences in expressiveness are well established’ (p. 172) with 84 Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. women demonstrating increased ability to perceive and express their emotions successfully. Further, an examination of the intercorrelation matrix (Table II) demonstrates a number of differences between the two samples. Firstly, all of the pairs between the EI scales and the GHQ-28 subscales are statistically signiﬁcant for the crosssectional sample of Study 1, whereas in Study 2 only two dimensions—control and use of emotions—show consistent relationships between physical, psychological and overall health, as assessed by ASSET. These two dimensions showed the most consistent relationships with health functioning across both samples, based on the results of the hierarchical regression analyses. The former describes a cold-blooded person, with high selfcontrol and positive thinking, whereas the latter describes an energetic, optimistic individual, who uses his/her emotions successfully in increasing his/her personal effectiveness. In that sense it is no surprise that these two dimensions are also related to personal lifestyle activities, such as planned exercising, relaxation time and smoking. People with high control of emotions will not resort to unhealthy solutions when facing difﬁculties, but on the contrary, they will proactively seek for techniques to cope with distressed situations, that might cause them health difﬁculties. Gardner and Stough (2003), in a similar study, also identiﬁed a negative relationship between control of emotions and both physical and psychological health in a sample of employees. Likewise, an individual’s physical and psychological life is related to the effective use of emotions since the person carries a positive outlook in life being a self-conﬁdent and insecure individual. A limitation of the study is that since the data were collected through the use of a single survey at a single point in time, the results may be inﬂuenced by common method bias. The different pattern and direction of results observed across the variables of the study suggest though that common method bias is an unlikely explanation for the results. Nevertheless, even if it exists, there is no reason to expect that the differences in correlations among EI, health and lifestyle variables are due to the effect of common method variance, since its presence would not be expected to exert differential bias on the observed relationships. Summing up, the current study further demonstrates the signiﬁcance of the newly established construct of EI, in the ﬁeld of physical and psychological health. Especially if, as the literature Stress and Health 21: 77–86 (2005) Emotional intelligence and health indicates, EI can be developed (e.g. Dulewicz & Higgs, 2004; Dulewicz et al., 2003) the consequences for the individual might be remarkable. However, longitudinal research designs are necessary in order to explore the long-term effects of EI development on health and personal lifestyle. References Bar-On, R. (1997). The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQi): Technical manual. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems, Inc. Bar-On, R. (2001). Emotional intelligence and self-actualization. In J. Ciarrochi, J.P. Forgas, & J.D. Mayer (Eds), Emotional intelligence in every day life: A scientiﬁc inquiry (pp. 82–97). Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press. Bar-On, R., Brown, J.M., Kirkcaldy, B.D., & Thome, E.P. (2000). Emotional expression and implications for occupational stress; an application of the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i). Personality and Individual Differences, 28, 1107–1118. 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