Academic Performance and Social/Emotional Competence in Adolescence
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Academic Performance and Social/Emotional Competence in Adolescents This study investigated the connections among students' emotional intelligence, academic affect, academic coping, and overall school achievement; while more generally addressing a relatively unexplored area, self-reported levels of mindfulness. Participants were 264 high school juniors and seniors (16 to 18 years of age) attending an upper- middle class High School (mean zipcode income = upper 10% nationally). Participants were administered 4 self-report instruments that assessed: (1) students' emotional intelligence (Bar-On-EQ-i:YV); (2) students' perceptions of emotions in academic contexts (AAS - Academic Affect Scale); (3) students' coping styles in academic contexts (RSQ - Responses to Stress Questionnaire); and (4) students' general attention and awareness abilities (MAAS - Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale). In addition, participants completed a questionnaire that assessed their race/ethnicity, gender, age, and mean overall academic performance (Grade Point Average or GPA) as well as assessing major nonacademic activities.;As expected, students with higher GPAs were more mindful (trend), had higher levels of emotional intelligence, displayed less negative academic affect, and were more likely to use primary positive coping, and less likely (trend) to use disengaged coping than their peers. Overall, however, these variables predicted a modest amount of the variance in students' academic performance. By contrast, study variables predicted a large portion of adolescent's negative feelings about school (54%), with disengaged academic coping, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and academic stress all emerging as unique predictors. Students' activities had a limited number of significant connections with other major study variables. Discussion focuses on how socio-emotional factors, including adolescents' affective tendencies, emotion regulation/coping, emotional intelligence, and mindfulness relate to academic performance.