Background and purpose:
Emotional Intelligence (EI) in the Physical Education (PE) and sport context is receiving growing attention from sport scientists as it relates to students and athletes. Studies in various settings have found a moderate positive correlation between leadership self-efficacy (LSE) and trait EI, suggesting that leadership positions (i.e. PE teachers) require high trait EI. A few studies have examined and demonstrated associations between trait EI measures and various aspects of performance in sport and PE settings. The purpose of this study was to examine among a cohort of final-year PE student-teachers during school placement (SP) practise the predictability of: 1. LSE from trait EI; and 2. academic achievement from LSE and trait EI.
A total of 41 final-year PE student-teachers (21 males, 20 females; age M=23.54, SD=4.15 years) during a year-long SP, studying in a Programme of Sports Studies and PE, participated voluntarily in the study. The following instruments were used: Schutte Self-Report Inventory (Appraisal of others emotions, Appraisal of own emotions, Social skills, Regulation and Utilization of emotions), LSE scale and academic achievement with the marks of the respective SP module. Initially, descriptive statistics and bivariate correlations were calculated. Subsequently, two multiple regression analyses were used to predict LSE and academic achievement.
The first multiple regression predicted LSE by trait EI. The five trait EI factors statistically significantly predicted LSE (F=3.774, p=.008, adjusted R2=.257). Only Social skills added statistically significantly to the prediction model (B=.470, p=.039). The second multiple regression predicted academic achievement by trait EI and LSE. The five trait EI factors and LSE statistically significantly predicted academic achievement (F=3.106, p=.016, adjusted R2=.240). Appraisal of own emotions (B=-19.175, p=.002) and LSE (B=14.162, p=.004) were the two variables that added statistically significantly to the prediction model.
Conclusions and implications:
The present results indicated that LSE during SP can be predicted from PE student-teachersí Social skills and, subsequently, academic achievement can be predicted from Appraisal of studentsí own emotions and LSE. It was observed that PE student-teachersí perceptions about some personality traits linked to emotions and self-efficacy can be predictive of their academic success during SP. Therefore, such information gives an insight to how PE student-teachersí EI can be better understood and ultimately enhanced. While these findings require replication on other samples and SP settings, we suggest the usefulness of ongoing investigation of EI because of its potential utility as a predictor of academic success.