ERIC Number: EJ1144162
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Expressive Writing: Enhancing the Emotional Intelligence of Human Services Majors
Castillo, Yuleinys; Fischer, Jerome M.
College Student Journal, v51 n2 p183-192 Sum 2017
The skills and tasks in the human services field are highly connected to emotional intelligence abilities. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of an expressive writing program involving human service students in an undergraduate rehabilitation services course. The program was developed to enhance their emotional intelligence. Utilizing a quasi-experimental research design, two randomly assigned groups of university students participated in emotional intelligence enhancing programs throughout a 15-week semester. The first group was given a program to reduce their stress and negative emotions through specific deep breathing relaxation exercises. The second group employed an expressive writing program of daily journaling to process emotions. Two instruments were used to collect data, pre-test and post-test, on participants' emotions: the Affective Cognition Writing Survey (ACWS) and the Shutte's Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test (SSEIT). Reported results indicated that human services undergraduates might improve their emotional processing skills through an expressive writing program or a deep breathing relaxation program as part of their matriculation. Post-test results for the Expressive Writing group reported increases in overall emotional intelligence with significantly higher means on the SSEIT and ACWS. In addition, increases were reported on subscales including Optimism/Mood Regulation, Utilization of Emotions, Positive Processing, Liberating Feelings, Conflict Processing, and Inner Exploration. Gains on certain ACWS and SSEIT subscales were also reported by the Deep Breathing Relaxation group. Implications are that incorporating emotional intelligence enhancing components of both expressive writing and deep breathing relaxation in human services majors in a curriculum may be beneficial.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, Human Services, Rehabilitation, Expressive Language, Written Language, Writing (Composition), Emotional Intelligence, Relaxation Training, Stress Management, Quasiexperimental Design, Journal Writing, Comparative Analysis, Affective Behavior, Affective Measures, Likert Scales, Pretests Posttests, Majors (Students), Multivariate Analysis, Cognitive Processes, Intelligence Tests
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A