Personality and Individual Differences 32 (2002) 197±209
Emotional intelligence moderates the relationship between stress and mental health
Joseph Ciarrochi *, Frank P. Deane, Stephen Anderson
Department of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong 2522, Australia
Received 20 July 2000; received in revised form 4 December 2000; accepted 29 December 2000
Abstract Despite a great deal of popular interest and the development of numerous training programs in emotional intelligence (EI), some researchers have argued that there is little evidence that EI is both useful and dierent from other, well established constructs. We hypothesized that EI would make a unique contribution to understanding the relationship between stress and three important mental health variables, depression, hopelessness, and suicidal ideation. University students (n=302) participated in a cross-sectional study that involved measuring life stress, objective and self-reported emotional intelligence, and mental health. Regression analyses revealed that stress was associated with: (1) greater reported depression, hopelessness, and suicidal ideation among people high in emotional perception (EP) compared to others; and (2) greater suicidal ideation among those low in managing others' emotions (MOE). Both EP and MOE were shown to be statistically dierent from other relevant measures, suggesting that EI is a distinctive construct as well as being important in understanding the link between stress and mental health. # 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Emotional intelligence; Stress; Mental health
1. Introduction With little empirical support, people have claimed that ``. . .emotional intelligence may be the best predictor of success in life, rede®ning what it means to be smart'' (TIME, 1995, cover), and that emotional intellegence (EI) will confer ``. . .an advantage in any domain in life, whether in romance and intimate...