The Impact of Emotional Intelligence on the Academic Performance of At-Risk High School Students.

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Michael Risku


Annette Craven


Denise Staudt


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between emotional intelligence and the academic performance of at-risk students. The label of at-risk has become synonymous with a type of student who, due to factors beyond his or her control, would appear to be set up or at-risk for failure before ever having a chance to start learning. Many of these students come to schools so burdened by issues of poverty, language barriers, and dysfunctional families that attending to learning may seem more like a burden than an opportunity. Along with increasing numbers of students who are at-risk for failure and dropping out, educators must now also consider increased levels of state and national accountability requirements. This means an increased pressure on educators at all levels to find new ways to counteract the negative effects of at-risk factors while simultaneously improving the academic success of at-risk students. The 300 student participants in this study were both regular students ami students who have been labeled as at-risk, according to national standards and Texas state standards, and who are in danger of failing courses and dropping out from the traditional high school environment. This study also included 26 Math, English, and Science teachers. All participants took the Mayor Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). Student participants took the youth version—currently in data collection. To determine correlations between emotional intelligence and academic performance, quantitative analysis was performed using SPSS. Student course grades and standardized test scores in Math and English were correlated to MSCEIT scores. Correlations were also done using demographic data, attendance, and discipline referrals. The Mayor-Salovey four branch model of emotional intelligence was used as a basis for interpretation of data. The findings of this study support the hypotheses that there is a correlation between emotional intelligence and the performance of at-risk students. In addition, the findings support a connection between the academic performance of non at-risk students and emotional intelligence, the correlation between teacher El and student performance, the correlation between verbal ability and emotional intelligence, and the predictive ability of emotional intelligence testing.

This document is currently not available here.