Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Linda Crawford

Abstract

Proficiency in language arts and communication skills is essential to success in the global workforce. Most states assess students in language arts literacy (LAL) through standardized tests that assess a student's ability to read, interpret literature, and write expressively. Although educational reformers strive to improve the foundations that prepare students in literacy, reforms have not fully incorporated the theory of emotional intelligence (EI), which explains a student's ability to use, understand, perceive, and manage their emotions in order to think critically, make decisions, and solve problems. Although it is not known whether EI directly correlates to literacy, emotional skills are an integral part of literacy, linguistics, and overall cognition. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine whether a correlation existed between EIQ (measured by the Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test), and LAL (measured by the High School Proficiency Assessment) in literacy, for secondary students. The multiple regression model included 2 control variables: gender and grade point average. The findings of the primary analysis demonstrated positive correlations between EIQ and LAL scores. Upon further analysis, the relationship between EIQ and LAL remained positively significant in the regression model. Emotional intelligence, and associated improved literacy skills, may positively influence social change by helping secondary students to develop a broader repertoire of skills necessary for communication and problem solving later in life.