The Influence of Competitive Personality Orientation on Adolescent Emotional Intelligence

Scott D. Scheer, Nicholas Harrod, Kristi S. Lekies


Emotional intelligence (EI) is related to life success and everyday social interactions. The extent to which competitive personality orientation (CPO) may influence emotional intelligence among adolescents is unknown. The objective of this investigation was to determine the relationship between adolescent competitive personality orientation and emotional intelligence and if competitive personality orientation predicts emotional intelligence while controlling for demographic variables. Participants were 200 students (91 females, 109 males, M age=17.24 years) from three Midwestern high schools. An inverse relationship was discovered between competitive personality orientation and emotional intelligence. Higher competitiveness was associated with lower levels of EI and this relationship was maintained when demographic variables were statistically controlled. As well, females scored significantly higher for EI and lower for competitive orientation than males. The findings potentially have implications for youth organizations to consider the level of emphasis placed on competitive programming and for including activities whereby youth work cooperatively with each other for promoting EI development.

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