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Emotional intelligence and smoking: Protective and risk factors among Canadian young adults

TitleEmotional intelligence and smoking: Protective and risk factors among Canadian young adults
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsHilla, E. M., and Maggi S.
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Pages45 - 50
Keywordsemotional intelligence, smoking, stress management, young adulthood

A sample of 20 and 21 year old participants (n = 2699) of the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) was used to investigate the association between emotionalintelligence and smoking in young adulthood. Emotionalintelligence was measured with a short-form of the original EQ-i (Statistics Canada, 2008), which assessed overall emotionalintelligence and five dimensions: interpersonal competencies, intrapersonal competencies, stress management competencies, adaptability competencies and general mood. Using self-reported smoking behaviors, participants were classified as daily, occasional or non-smokers. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to test the association between emotionalintelligence (and its dimensions) with daily and occasional smoking (compared to non-smoking - the reference category). Analyses were conducted on the total sample and were also stratified across gender. Stress management emerged as a protectivefactor against occasional and daily smoking among both males and females. Unexpectedly, a higher score on interpersonal competencies was associated with occasional smoking (compared to non-smoking) among males, suggesting that this group may consist of several social smokers. Our results suggest that emotionalintelligence may comprise gender-specific protective and riskfactors for occasional and daily smoking, which in turn should be considered in the development of smoking prevention programs.

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