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Abstract

The purposes of this study were to describe and compare the emotional-social intelligence (ESI) of students in nursing, physical therapy and health science programs, and to determine the relationship between ESI and each of leadership, caring and moral judgment. Subjects were 154 students from nursing, physical therapy and bachelor of health science (BHSc) programs in a Canadian university and a physical therapy program in an American college. Data were collected by means of self-report measures of ESI, leadership, caring, and moral judgment. The measures included the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory Short (EQ-i:S), the Self-Assessment Leadership Inventory (SALI), the Caring Ability Inventory (CAI), the Caring Dimensions Inventory - 35 (CDI-35) [for nursing only] and the Defining Issues Test (DIT-2) [for physical therapy and BHSc only]. One-way analyses of variance (ANOVA ) revealed no differences between groups for the EQ-i:S, SALI, or DIT-2. There were significant differences for the Courage subscale of the CAI between students in the American physical therapy program and in the Canadian nursing program (p=.025). Pearson correlation coefficients were significant for EQ-i:S and each of SALI (r=.53), CAI-Knowledge (r=.59) and CAI-Courage (r=.60). The EQ-i:S scores were not related to the CDI (r=.15) or the DIT-2 (r=-.06). The results of this study confirmed the positive relationship between ESI and leadership and suggested that ESI may be an important construct in caring. There were no major differences between students in different health science programs, and ESI was not related to moral judgment.

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