Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Martha J. Morgan Sanders

Committee Member

Mary Lynn Vogel


Emotional Intelligence is an ability that is crucial to the field of public health due to the fact that it encompasses the practitioner’s ability to communicate professionally, show empathy, obtain patient compliance and promote sustainable lifestyle changes in communities. This study seeks to evaluate a public health program in order to determine what emotional intelligence training currently exists, and what the attitudes of stakeholders are regarding emotional intelligence and its importance to the field of public health. This is done through interviews with the faculty, administrators and students, as well as a questionnaire that asks students to assess their own abilities in the area of emotional intelligence. The information gathered makes it possible to formulate recommendations to further incorporate emotional intelligence-building activities into the program.

Results of the study show a direct correlation between public health and emotional intelligence competencies, which makes it an ideal program in which to integrate further training. Additionally, results indicate a gap between student’s self perception regarding their emotional intelligence abilities, and the perception their faculty and administration of student’s abilities. Finally, a significant lack of student engagement due to dissatisfaction with acceptance requirements appears to contribute to the perception of low emotional intelligence on the part of the students.

Recommendations for future development of emotional intelligence in the program include the incorporation of training into the existing Orientation week, the addition of case studies into the courses most naturally related to emotional intelligence-building, the provision of training seminars for faculty, the inclusion of an advanced seminar for students on a voluntary basis, and the evaluation of the program using both a self-report emotional intelligence questionnaire and the Mayer, Salovey and Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) at the beginning and end of each term in order to track program effectiveness in the long term.

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