Date of Conferral
Attending college is often so stressful that as many as 40% of students leave without earning a degree. Many students desert during their first and second years of study. Emotional intelligence has been associated with effective coping skills, student achievement, and psychological well-being. The act of expressing emotions through writing has been shown to engage many capabilities associated with emotional intelligence. Few studies have examined the effects of expressive writing on emotional intelligence. The theory of emotion regulation provided theoretical framework. The purpose of this quantitative experimental study was to examine the effects of expressive writing on emotional intelligence and perceived stress. A sample of 58 first and second year of college students participated in the study. Data were analyzed using paired t-test. Differences in emotional intelligence and perceived stress scores were not significant after 4 weeks of expressive writing sessions. However, at one-month follow-up, emotional intelligence scores were significantly higher for those who engaged in expressive writing. Given that emotional intelligence increased after an extended period of time, expressive writing could be easily implemented by students to improve coping skills and achieve academic goals.