Psychometric Analysis of the Short-Form Emotional Skills and Competence Questionnaire in Undergraduate Nurse Students

Article excerpt

Objective: The main purpose of this study was to validate the short-form of the Emotional Skills and Competence Questionnaire (ESCQ) Scale among Iranian undergraduate students.

Method: A total of 250 nurse undergraduate students participated in this study. Participants completed the ESCQ in addition to measures of Sheering Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire and Student's Demographic Questionnaire.

Results: Exploratory factor analysis resulted in three factors that were largely consistent with the a priori scale structure. These factors included such dimensions as appraisal of others' emotions, managing and regulating emotion and specifying and understanding the individuals' own emotions.

Conclusions : The results provide initial support for the construct validity of the self- report version of the ESCQ in nurse students.

Key Words: Emotions, Psychological Test, Psychometrics, Nursing

Iran J Psychiatry 2009; 4:97-101

The concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI) has generated a broad interest both in the lay (1) and scientific fields (2, 3), overshadowing other less spectacular classical psychological concepts such as personality, or even a concept having a bad press as IQ (4, 5). Thus, The American Dialect Society selected emotional intelligence (EI) as the most useful new word of 1995. Salovey & Mayer (3) defined emotional intelligence as, "the ability to monitor one's own and other's feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions" (3). A person who possesses this ability would not only be aware of his own emotions, but would also be a good judge of other people's emotions, and manifest this ability in their behaviors and when communicating with others. An emotionally intelligent person should be able to regulate his or her own behavior and solve problems using his emotions (3). It is frequently proposed that the high interpersonal skills associated with EI should is also associated with career success; evidence for associations between EI and occupational success have been reported by Bar (6). Academic progress in students might also be expected to be related to EI since emotional and social skills in dealing with a university environment could contribute to overall achievement. Schutte et al. (7) reported that Trait EI was positively related to grade point average but this finding was not replicated in a larger study by Newsome, et al (8).

The interest in emotional intelligence is likely to be related to the claims of some of its proponents. For example, Goleman (1) stated that emotional intelligence provides one with "an advantage in any domain in life, whether in romance and intimate relationships or picking up the unspoken rules that govern success in organizational politics." Unfortunately, the explosion of interest in emotional intelligence (EI) has not been accompanied by any consensus about how it should be defined or measured, or even whether the concept meets scientific criteria for a meaningful psychological construct (9).

Emotional intelligence can be assessed with three types of measurements: (i) a self-reported measure, (ii) an observer/informant measure, and (iii) an ability-based measure. Although self-report measures have been criticized as too subjective and less valid because of strong social desirability tendencies, Bandura (10) has claimed that people commonly behave according to their thoughts and feelings. McClelland (11) has published an anthological article in which he appeals to researchers to "test the competencies rather than intelligence". In more recent years, there are strong movements towards shifting from ability and aptitude testing to competence testing. Pervin (12) encouraged researchers to "...call attention to the person's cognitive activities - the operations and transformations that people perform on information, in contrast to some store of cognitions and responses that a person has" (p. …