Online Program

Exploring the relationship between emotional intelligence and sugar sweetened beverage consumption among a college population

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Alexandra Sampson, MS, CHES, Department of Health & Exercise Science, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Amir Bhochhibhoya, PhD (C), MBA, CHES, Department of Health and Exercise Science, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Manoj Sharma, PhD, Health Promotion & Education, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Paul Wesley Branscum, PhD, RD, Department of Health and Exercise Science, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Emotions are foundational for human development and well being. One way researchers have studied emotions is through the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI). However it was not until recent that EI was conceptualized into having 5 distinct constructs, including self-awareness, self-motivation, expressing empathy, and managing personal emotions and outside relationships. Previous studies have shown that EI is associated with a number of determinants of mental health, however few studies have reported upon its association with obesogenic behaviors, such as sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate EI, and explore its relationship with sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among a college population. A convenience sample of two hundred and fifty-one students (Male=134, Female=117) from a southwestern University participated in this study and completed the EI based survey that contained sub-scales for self-awareness, self-motivation, empathy, managing emotions and managing relationships. All sub-scales were evaluated for face and content validity using a panel of experts, and appeared to have adequate internal consistency reliability, except for the self-awareness sub-scale. Significant negative correlations were found between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and self-awareness (p=0.003) and empathy (p=0.006), and a negative correlation between sugar sweetened beverage consumption and managing emotions (p=0.099) approached significance. Results indicate that EI is moderately inversely related to sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among college students. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research will be presented.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the significance of emotional intelligence among college populations. Describe the process of conceptualizing emotional intelligence into a five construct model. Discuss the associations between sugar sweetened beverage consumption and emotional intelligence among college students.

Keyword(s): Obesity, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have assisted in conceptualizing the study, data collection and analyzing the data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.