This Article


Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Self-Esteem in Bachelor Students of Nursing and Midwifery Schools in Hamadan

1 Associate Professor, Behavioral Disorders and Substance Abuse Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, IR Iran
2 Assistant Professor, Mother and Child Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and midwifery, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, IR Iran
3 MSc Student in Psychiatric Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, IR Iran
*Corresponding author: Amir Sadeghi, PhD, Mother and Child Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, IR Iran, Shahid Fahmide Bulv, Postal code: 65178, Hamedan, IR Iran. Tel: +98-811113956, Fax: +98-8138380447, E-mail:
Avicenna Journal of Neuro Psych Physiology. In Press(In Press): e44485 , DOI: 10.5812/ajnpp.44485
Article Type: Research Article; Received: Jun 3, 2016; Revised: Jul 27, 2016; Accepted: Oct 11, 2017; epub: Aug 27, 2016;


Background: Emotional intelligence has a key role in the problems solving and decreasing of conflicts between thought and emotion. On the other hand, self-esteem and increasing of that from infancy to death has been considered as the most important psychosocial issue.

Objectives: This study aimed to determine the relationship between emotional intelligence and self-esteem in bachelor students of nursing and midwifery schools in Hamadan University of Medical Sciences.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Hamadan University of medical sciences in Hamadan city in Iran at 2016. A three-part questionnaire was used for data collection, which is included demographic characteristics, Sharing emotional intelligence questionnaire and Cooper Smith self-esteem questionnaire. The Obtained data were analyzed using SPSS software (version 23) with descriptive statistics and Spearman correlation coefficient.

Results: The most of studied subjects were female (68.9%) and single (86.8%) with mean age of 23 years and the standard deviation of 4.92. The results showed that the mean scores of emotional intelligence and self-esteem in studied students were 107.97 ± 11.34 and 34.11 ± 6.56, respectively, which was higher than the average level. Moreover, there was a direct and significant relationship between emotional intelligence and self-esteem as well as all of its sub-scales (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Since the people with high emotional intelligence can establish a reasonable balance between emotions and reason that are with strong self-esteem. However, it is recommended that several workshops should be held in order to promote emotional intelligence of students at the University.

Keywords: Student; Emotional Intelligence; Self-Esteem

1. Introduction

During the last decade, emotional intelligence has been taken into a huge consideration as one of the most important issues. Due to the important role of emotional intelligence in solving problems and reducing the conflicts between intellectual and emotional, which has very advantages such as appropriate communication with others, self-control, compliance, increasing motivation, enhancing interpersonal skills, adaptability, stress management, and control of general mood. Also Emotional intelligence can improve the performance level of individuals in the field of their education and proficiency (1, 2).

Emotional intelligence is a critical factor to flourish the abilities of people in order to be succeeded in their life, which is attributed to emotional and mental health. Moreover, the individual component is very important in emotional intelligence, which indicates as a person’ ability to the awareness and controlling of emotions, including self-esteem, self-awareness, excitement, assertiveness, independence, and self-actualization (3). Emotion management features are useful and prominent in people with high emotional intelligence which can be utilized in order to organize emotions. As well as these features can prevent the occurrence of emotional crisis. In addition prevention mechanism, organized emotional increasing the power compatibility of individuals in term of socially (4). Due to the advancement of knowledge and technology, the importance of learning and ability in order to solve complex problems of the technology era, comprehensive knowledge of psychological abilities is a special importance. Meanwhile, more and more attention has been paid to the factors affecting personal success in terms of education, career, and marital. It is worth noting that, unlike the common old belief among the general population, the intelligence quotient alone does not play a significant role in the success in the mentioned dimensions. Observations and studies are indicated the most of people with higher intelligence quotient are not successful in their education, employment and etc., compared to those people with an average level. Intelligence quotient has a maximum 20% role in the predicting of life. However, the remaining 80% is related to the skills are associated with emotional intelligence. Furthermore, it can be said the intelligence quotient does not give any prognosis that how they will act in the ups and downs of their life (5). Meanwhile, emotional intelligence (EQ) has been known as one of the most effective factors in the success of individuals.

Yost and Tucker (2000) has been confirmed this issue that there are many similarities between the successful teamwork and emotional intelligence. They claimed the emotional intelligence is more important than the skills of people, like technical capability. On the other hand, high emotional intelligence is associated with lower depression, high mental performance and high self-esteem (6). Moreover, researchers showed the people who are not able to manage their emotional states and others, have less adaptability and protection skills (7, 8). The results of some research indicated the emotional intelligence is positively correlated with academic success, and is negatively correlated with illegal behaviors, such as unauthorized absence and dismissal of the class (9, 10).

The study of Brackett et al. (2004), Nikoogoftar (2008) and Radfar et al. (2012) suggested that there is a relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement (11-13). Moreover, in Petrides et al. study (2004)which conducted on 650 high school students in England, it was found the emotional intelligence is a predictor of academic success and the students with high emotional intelligence had high academic performance and grade point averages compared to other students. The results of Petrides et al. study (2004) revealed the majority of studied students had a good emotional adjustment and average social adaptation. There was a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and emotional as well as social adjustment. It means that as the level of student’s emotional intelligence increases the socio-emotional adaptation increases too (10).

Self-esteem is one of the factors which affected on academic achievement. Self-esteem is a sense of self-satisfaction and self-worth (3). The forms and promoting self-esteem are considered as the most important psychosocial issues from childhood to death. Our beliefs and evaluations indicate that we are, we can do what and what is our future (14). Self-esteem is born of social life, its values and it is evident in all daily activities of a man. In this way, it is one of the most important aspects of the human personality and behavioral characteristics. By increasing self-esteem, positive changes will be obtained, such as academic achievement, increasing efforts in order to achieve success, having high self-confidence, ambitious and tend to have higher health (15, 16). Bar-On (2006) reported the positive correlation between healthy self-esteem and various factors such as rational behavior, realism, intuition, creativity, independence, and flexibility, also ability to accept change, willingness to admit mistakes and correct them, benevolence, and cooperation. However, low self-esteem is associated with irrational behavior, disregarding the facts, lack of flexibility, fear of new something and unfamiliar, inappropriate compatibility, defensive behavior, excessive devotion or strictly controlled (3).

Nursing and midwifery students have a unique position in term of their effects on people’s health because; the nursing and midwifery are assistance profession. They should have the knowledge and skills for predicting position and results. Also should be able to perform purposeful mental activity, creating new ideas and evaluating them, as well as using helpful information in judgments, decisions and solving problems. However they do not need the knowledge and skills, knowing to deal with patients with different behaviors which are very important. Insomuch as nursing and midwifery students will be employed in health centers in the near future. Emotional intelligence is very important in order to success and these skills allow them to think better under difficult conditions. The students with high emotional intelligence could make better and goal-oriented decisions under the influence of their emotions and feelings. Meanwhile, low emotional intelligence affects their health and happiness and as well as they have trouble in facing with problems and conflicts (17). In the present study, investigating the emotional intelligence and its relationship with self-esteem, allows us to evaluate the current situation which can be used in training programs. Due to the unclear relationship between emotional intelligence and self-esteem in nursing and midwifery students.,

2. Objectives

The present study aimed at the relationship between mentioned factors in bachelor students of nursing and midwifery of Hamadan University of Medical sciences in 2016.

3. Methods

3.1. Design and Sample

This cross-sectional study was conducted in Hamadan University of medical sciences in Hamadan city in Iran at 2016. Stratified random sampling (proportion) was used for collecting data. Given the number of students per class and the ratio of the students to the total samples, the samples were allocated for bachelor students of nursing and midwifery. The sample size was obtained from190 students using GPOWER3.1 software with statistical power of 95%, confidence level of 95% and statistical loss of 30%. Inclusion criteria included: students who did not have a serious mental health problem. Exclusion criteria included visiting students and failing students during a semester due to the various factors.

3.2. Instruments

A questionnaire containing demographic information, standard Coppersmith self-esteem questionnaire and Siberia emotional intelligence questionnaire were used to collect information.

Smith revised Rogers Dymond’ self-esteem scale in 1967, and proposed his self-esteem scale. The proposed scale included 58 phrases and 50 questions, which divides the self-esteem in the four areas of total self-esteem, social or peer self-esteem, family self-esteem and educational self-esteem. It has eight questions as lie detectors (6 - 13 - 20 - 27 - 34 - 41 - 48) and obtaining four scores and more in these eight questions indicates the validity of the test is low. Scoring methods in this test are at zero and one indicating in items of 4 - 8 - 9 - 14 - 19 - 20 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 33 – 37 - 38 - 39 - 42 - 43 - 47, yes answer = one score and no answer = zero, and all other phrases are scored reverse. The score of this test is in the range of 0 - 50. More scores indicate the higher self-esteem. The score of 26 or lower means poor self-esteem, self-esteem scores between 27 and 43 indicate the average self-esteem and the scores of 44 and more show strong self-esteem. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire were evaluated in Iran (18, 19).

Shring emotional intelligence questionnaire was introduced by Shring in 1999 and it contains the following sub-scale of motivation (7 items), self-awareness (8 items), self-control (7 items), social intelligence (6 items), and social skills 5 (items). This questionnaire is scored using 5 Likert scale (from never = 5 to always = 1). Some items are inversely scored (never = 5 and always = 1). The highest indicated a higher emotional intelligence. On this scale the scores of each person are in the range 33 to 165 and higher scores indicates high emotional intelligence. Farghadani et al. (2003) reported the reliability of the questionnaire as 78% with Cronbach’s alpha of 74%. In Mansouri et al. study (2000) on 30 students, the correlation of scores in this questionnaire was 63%. In another study which conducted by Jrabkt (1996), the reliability of the questionnaire was calculated through the two halves of the calculated coefficient and it was 94% (18, 19). In the present study, the Coppersmith self-esteem and Shrink emotional intelligence questionnaires were filled with 30 students. The reliability of the Coppersmith questionnaire was 0.78 and Shrink emotional intelligence questionnaire was 0.71, which indicated a good reliability of the tools that is used.

After obtaining the necessary permissions from the university, based on inclusion criteria the students were selected. After obtaining informed consent from students and explaining the purpose of research and how to fill the tools, the questionnaires were completed by selected subjects.

3.3. Statistical Analysis

The data were analyzed using SPSS software (ver.23) with descriptive statistics tests and Spearman correlation coefficients with a confidence level of 0.95.

3.4. Ethical Considerations

The study was approved by the ethics committee of Hamadan University of Medical sciences (IR.UMSHA.REC.1394.526) written informed consents were obtained from the parents or legal surrogates of the study subjects.

4. Results

According to obtained data, most of the studied units were female (68.9%) and single (86.8%) with mean age of 23 years and the standard deviation of 4.92. The highest percentage of the studied subjects (21.6%) was sixth semester students and the lowest percent (6.8%) was fifth-semester students and the majority of them were nursing students (65.8%). More than half of those (56.8%) were local resident and 63.6% of them were living in dormitories. The mean and standard deviation of emotional intelligences was 107.97 ± 11.34, which was 82.5% higher than the average level. The mean scores of all aspects of emotional intelligence were higher than average values of the questionnaire (Table 1).

Table 1.
Mean Emotional Intelligence of Subjects

The mean and standard deviation self-esteem in students was 34.11 ± 6.56, which this value is 25 times higher than it average value. All aspects of self-esteem had a mean score higher than the average (Table 2).

Table 2.
Mean Self-Esteem of Subjects

According to the results of the Spearman correlation coefficient test, there was a statistically significant positive correlation between emotional intelligence and self-esteem (P < 0.001) (Table 3). Among the subscales of emotional intelligence, all subscales of self-awareness, self-control, social conscience and social skills were correlated with self-esteem and all of its subscales (P < 0.001). But self-motivation subscale of emotional intelligence just had a significant linear relationship with self-esteem scale public (P > 0.029). This was an inverse relation and there was no significant relationship with other subscales of self-esteem (P > 0.05).

Table 3.
Relationship Between the Average Score of Self-Esteem and Emotional Intelligence Units

5. Discussion

According to the obtained results, there was a positive and significant relationship between emotional intelligence and self-esteem and all of its subscales, which these results are consistent with Samari and Tahmasebi findings (20) Sillick and Schutte (2006) which is declared there is a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and self-esteem that is in line with our results (21). Moreover, Jannati et al. (2012) found that there is a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and self-esteem (18). However Clanton (2005) in a study on the relationship between emotional intelligence, self-esteem and job satisfaction in 40 individuals of factory engineers, concluded that there is no significant relationship between emotional intelligence and self-esteem, which is consistent with our findings (22). Self-esteem is one of the most reasons in the increase of educational motivation. Higher self-esteem by impressing the personality could cause educational motivation and low self-esteem causes reluctance in the students. People with high self-esteem have more endurance in the face of problems. They are more diligence, and therefore are more likely to be successful (23). Some researchers have confirmed the direct relationship between self-esteem and academic success of students. Therefore in the course person’s competency is determined and summarized with only getting a better score. However the university in addition to a learning environment which is a social environment and there are special problems such as living in dormitory, disinterest in their field of study and career concerns. All of these factors are effective in decreasing Importance of promoting academic achievement and self-esteem in students (24).

The average score of students’ self-esteem in this study is higher than the average level, which in Barkhordari et al. study, the self-esteem of third and fourth years nursing students was 73.5% and was above average. Hosseini et al. findings also showed that 82.5% of speech therapy and physiotherapy students had high self-esteem, which is consistent with our results (25). While, Anrich (2001) in his study found that there is no significant relationship between the two components of self-esteem and academic achievement (26). People with high emotional intelligence can make reasonable balancing between emotion and reason. They are good sprinting and guide and feel valued. Since, these people are honest with themselves, they have high self-esteem (3). In this study, the students had moderate to high emotional intelligence, which is in line with Akbari et al. findings on the Arak’ students (27). The results of Shahbazi et al. study (2012) showed the level of emotional intelligence in nursing students is not at the level of standard, therefore in this case there is no formal education. However it can be enhanced with paying more attention to level of this skill that is not consistent with our results (28). Namazi et al. (2015), it was found the average emotional intelligence in excellent students is significantly higher than weak students, as well as average students. Namazi et al. (2005) reported the talented students had higher scores in emotional intelligence compared to less talented students (24). Other studies declared that the emotional intelligence is positively correlated with academic achievement. It means that the academic achievement increases with increasing emotional intelligence (20).

5.1. Conclusions

Moreover, there was a significant and linear relationship between emotional intelligence and self-esteem and all of its sub-scales. According to the obtained results and other similar studies, it can be concluded that with incorporating the concept of emotional intelligence in training programs of universities, which can be helpful for students in order to increase their emotional intelligence, and thereby increase their self-esteem. Also, it can be useful in students in order to deal with the academic and social problems better, and thereby they are less likely to fall behind in school. Social and emotional skills training provide a broad range of abilities for students, which is not only positively affect their progress, but also can affect their future employment, and social performance especially in nursing and midwifery students with stressful and heavy tasks in their workplaces. Therefore, initially it is recommended to hold training workshops for faculty members of universities, and then they train these skills during medical courses. Insomuch as, this study was conducted on nursing and midwifing students of Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, its results are not generalizable for other universities. Furthermore, it is proposed to conduct a study on the other groups of age, sex, occupation, and education, and then compare its results.


This article has been extracted from a master’s thesis of psychiatric nursing, Hamedan University of Medical Sciences (February 27, 2016). The authors would like to thank vice president of research, faculty members and students of nursing and midwifery, Hamedan University of Medical Sciences.


Authors’ Contribution: Farshid Shamsaei and Foad Yousefi designed the study, collected data, Amir Sadeghi and Foad Yousefi conducted the statistical analysis. All authors wrote the manuscript and read and approved the final manuscript.
Competing Interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


  • 1. Damasio A, Sutherland S. Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain. Nature. 1994;372(6503):287.
  • 2. Moshki M, Noori SM, Peyman N. Association of health locus control theory and self-esteem with physical activity in university students. Sci Inf Database. 2009;16(53):142-9.
  • 3. Bar-On R. The Bar-On model of emotional-social intelligence (ESI) 1. Psicothema. 2006;18(Suplemento):13-25.
  • 4. Beshlideh K. Effects of Emotional Intelligence on General Health of Divorced Women. Q J Soc Work. 2015;3(4):28-39.
  • 5. Hosseini FH, Anari AMZ. The Correlation between Emotional Intelligence and Instable Personality in Substance Abusers. Addict Health. 2011;3(3-4):130.
  • 6. Yost CA, Tucker ML. Are effective teams more emotionally intelligent? Confirming the importance of effective communication in teams. Delta Pi Epsilon J. 2000;42(2):101.
  • 7. Lopes PN, Brackett MA, Nezlek JB, Schutz A, Sellin I, Salovey P. Emotional intelligence and social interaction. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2004;30(8):1018-34. [DOI] [PubMed]
  • 8. Rogers P, Qualter P, Phelps G, Gardner K. Belief in the paranormal, coping and emotional intelligence. Pers Individ Differ. 2006;41(6):1089-105. [DOI]
  • 9. Parker JDA, Summerfeldt LJ, Hogan MJ, Majeski SA. Emotional intelligence and academic success: examining the transition from high school to university. Pers Individ Differ. 2004;36(1):163-72. [DOI]
  • 10. Petrides KV, Frederickson N, Furnham A. The role of trait emotional intelligence in academic performance and deviant behavior at school. Pers Individ Differ. 2004;36(2):277-93. [DOI]
  • 11. Brackett MA, Mayer JD, Warner RM. Emotional intelligence and its relation to everyday behaviour. Pers Individ Differ. 2004;36(6):1387-402. [DOI]
  • 12. Nikoogoftar M. Emotional intelligence training, alexithymia, general health, and academic achievement. J Iran Psychol. 2009.
  • 13. Radfar S, Aghaie M, Motashaker-Arani M, Noohi S, Saburi A. Evaluation of Emotional Intelligence and Its Relation to the Academic Achievement in Medical Students. Thrita J Med Sci. 2012;1(4):113-9. [DOI]
  • 14. Macdonald G. Self-esteem and the promotion of mental health. Promot Ment Health. 1994;3:19-20.
  • 15. Lawrence J, Ashford K, Dent P. Gender differences in coping strategies of undergraduate students and their impact on self-esteem and attainment. Active Learn High Educ. 2006;7(3):273-81. [DOI]
  • 16. Mann M, Hosman CM, Schaalma HP, de Vries NK. Self-esteem in a broad-spectrum approach for mental health promotion. Health Educ Res. 2004;19(4):357-72. [DOI] [PubMed]
  • 17. Ross CE, Broh BA. The Roles of Self-Esteem and the Sense of Personal Control in the Academic Achievement Process. Soc Educ. 2000;73(4):270. [DOI]
  • 18. Janati Y, Musavi SA, Azimi Lolaty H, Fani Saberi L, Hamta A, Feyzi S, et al. Investigating emotional intelligence and self esteem Level among nursing and midwifery students of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences in 2010. J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci. 2012;21(1):254-61.
  • 19. Zare N, Daneshpajooh F, Amini M, Razeghi M, Fallahzadeh MH. The relationship between self-esteem, general health and academic achievement in students of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. Iran J Med Educ. 2007;7(1):59-67.
  • 20. Samari AA, Tahmasebi F. The study of correlation between emotional intelligence and academic achievement among university students. 2007.
  • 21. Sillick TJ, Schutte NS. Emotional intelligence and self-esteem mediate between perceived early parental love and adult happiness. Sensoria J Mind Brain Culture. 2006;2(2):38-48.
  • 22. Clanton SHC. An Exploratory Study Of Emotional Intelligence, Self-Esteem, And Job Satisfaction Of High-Tech-Employees. Dissertation Abstracts Int. 2005;66(01):603.
  • 23. Barkhordary M, Jalalmanesh S, Mahmodi M. The relationship between critical thinking disposition and self esteem in third and forth year bachelor nursing students. Iran J Med Educ. 2009;9(1):13-9.
  • 24. Namazi A, Alizadeh S, Kouchakzadeh-Talami S. The correlation between general health, emotional intelligence and academic achievement together on midwifery students. J Clin Nurs Midwifery. 2015;4(2):20-8.
  • 25. Hosseini MA, Dejkam M, Mirlashari J. Correlation between Academic Achievement and Self–esteem in Rehabilitation Students in Tehran University of Social Welfare & Rehabilitation. Iran J Med Educ. 2007;7(1):137-42.
  • 26. Anrich F. The impact of learning disabilities and giftedness on the selfesteem of student". Dissertation Abstracts International Section A. Human Social Sci. 2001;59:1524-30.
  • 27. Akbari M, Rezaeian H, Moudi M. Study of emotional intelligence of Arak University students and it's relation with computer anxiety. 2007.
  • 28. Shahbazi S, Hazrati M, Moattari M, Heidari M. Training problem solving skills and its effect on emotional intelligence of nursing students of Shiraz. 2012.

Table 1.

Mean Emotional Intelligence of Subjects

ScaleMean ± SDMinimumMaximum
Self-Motivation20.50 ± 2.401426
Consciousness28.35 ± 3.771640
Self-Control21.96 ±4.56934
Social Consciousness20.12 ± 3.20930
Social Skills17.03 ± 3.5292
Total107.97 ± 11.3477136

Table 2.

Mean Self-Esteem of Subjects

ScaleMean ± SDMinimumMaximum
General Self-Esteem17.87± 14.12625
Social or Peer-Self esteem6.37 ± 1.4918
Family Self-Esteem5.78 ± 1.9408
Educational Self-Esteem1.53 ± 4.8718
Total Score6.56 ± 34.111546

Table 3.

Relationship Between the Average Score of Self-Esteem and Emotional Intelligence Units

Emotional Intelligenceself-Esteem (Total Score)General Self-EsteemFamily Self-EsteemSocial Self EsteemOccupant Self-Esteem
rP ValuerP ValueRP ValuerP ValuerP Value
Emotional intelligence (total score)0.704< 0.0010.66< 0.001a0.4060.001 >a0.533< 0.001a0.4360.001 >a
Consciousness0.6090.001 >a0.5680.001 >a0.3280.001 >a0.4490.001 >a0.3790.001 >a
Self-control0.6190.001 >a0.6200.001 >a0.3950.001 >a0.4280.001 >a0.2680.001 >a
Social consciousness0.4380.001 >a0.4180.001 >a0.1930.008a0.3100.001 >a0.3180.001 >a
Social Skills0.4770.001 >a0.4440.001 >a0.2210.002a0.3220.001 >a0.3640.001 >a
a 0.05 has been considered as significant level.