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Optimism and emotional intelligence as potential moderators of workplace stress

Beckett, David (2010) Optimism and emotional intelligence as potential moderators of workplace stress. University of Winchester.

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Abstract

Many studies have demonstrated that organisational stress is damaging to health, costly to organisations and is on the increase. This study sets out to examine two proposed moderators of stress that operate at the individual level. These are, attributional style and emotional intelligence (EI). Participants were a non-clinical population of 60 corporate employees who completed three self-report questionnaires, ASSET, measuring individual stress, the Attributional Style Questionnaire, measuring attributional style and the Individual Effectiveness Questionnaire, measuring emotional intelligence. Correlation and multiple regression analyses showed that whilst some aspects of attributional style were significant and correlated with lower levels of stress in this research attributional style was not a potential moderator. Considering emotional intelligence, 11 of the 16 scales were significant and correlated highly with lower levels of stress. Importantly, emotional resilience was the single predictor of lower levels of stress accounting for most of the variance. It is proposed that EI is changeable and developable; therefore, the potential implications of these findings are that developing emotional resilience at the individual level may be of benefit in protecting individuals from organisational stress.

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