Purpose. The specific “outcome-oriented” pattern of the emotional intelligence (EI) should be considered of capital importance for teenagers in order to promote mental health. Nevertheless it is rarely evaluated because a specific tool, useful for routinely use, is not available. In this paper the authors describe the effectiveness of a new approach of public health to improve the EI “outcome-oriented”, by a specific index.
Design. A comparison of two samples: experimental (i.e. applying the program) vs control group, without randomization.
Setting. 12 classes belonging to 3 different schools.
Subjects. A sample of 276 students, 146 (53%) belonging to the experimental classes.
Intervention. A program of 20 meetings, once a week, based on the handbook Intervento psicoeducativo per la promozione del benessere psicologico e dell’intelligenza emotiva nelle scuole (Psycho-educational intervention for promoting psychological well-being and emotional intelligence at school) in order to stimulate a “peer to peer student approach”.
Measures. Index of emotional intelligence (15 items), inventory idea questionnaire (19 items), learning ability questionnaire (6 items).
Analysis. Nonparametric tests were used.
Results. The authors found significant statistical differences at the conclusion of the study for all considered measures.
Conclusion. The results show a remarkable and positive impact of the approach above all on the “outcome-oriented” EI. Significant results were also observed about the indicator concerning irrational beliefs. The same significant results were found about learning abilities (goal definition, problem-solving and communication skills). The main limit is the study design (lack of randomization). Further evaluation is needed.