Emotional intelligence and perceived stress in dental undergraduates: a multinational survey.

Allan Pau, Michael L. Rowland, Sudeshni Naidoo, Rahimah AbdulKadir, Elisavet Makrynika, Ruxandra Moraru, Boyen Huang, Ray Croucher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


This multinational survey investigated the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and perceived stress (PS) in seven countries. First-year dental undergraduates attending a dental school in England, Greece, Romania, South Africa, Australia, and the United States and three schools in Malaysia were invited to complete a set of questionnaires on age, gender, academic background, satisfaction with career choice, EI, and PS. Of 860 questionnaires distributed, 596 were fully completed--a response rate of 69.3 percent. Mean EI score was 123.8 (95 percent CI 122.7-124.9), and mean PS score was 19.1 (95 percent CI 18.6-19.7). Significant differences in EI and PS scores were detected between different countries. Females (p<0.05), younger students (p<0.001), those without a previous higher education qualification (p<0.001), and those not satisfied with their decision to study dentistry (p<0.001) were more likely to report PS when compared to their counterparts. A significant inverse relationship (coefficient=-0.29, p=0.001) between EI and PS was detected. Independent significant predictors of PS identified were gender (beta=0.22, t=5.71, p=0.001), previous higher education qualification (beta=-0.14, t=-2.42, p=0.010), satisfaction with decision to study dentistry (beta=-0.20, t=-5.11, p=0.001), and EI (beta=-0.24, t=-6.09, p=0.001), with the latter being relatively the most important predictor. In conclusion, the inverse relationship between EI and PS has been confirmed in this heterogeneous sample representing diverse sociocultural and academic contexts of dental undergraduates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


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