Does increased emotional intelligence reduce students’ tendency toward substance abuse?

  • Fatemeh Darban
  • Edris Koohsari
  • Enayatollah Safarzai


Background: Substance abuse is a learned social behavior that is the result of interaction between individual and social factors. Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence is one of the factors affecting the formation of social relationships. Aim: The present study was conducted to determine the relationship between emotional intelligence and tendency toward substance abuse among students in Iran.

Methods: In this cross-sectional correlation study, the research population included 120 students from Iranshahr School of Medical Sciences in 2016 who were selected using stratified random sampling. Data were collected using the Brad and Greaves Emotional Intelligence Inventory and the Zargar et al.’s Addiction Potential Inventory.

Results: The mean scores of emotional intelligence in the population and the tendency toward addiction were 91.3 ± 17.4 and 80.8 ± 29.0, respectively. The results of Pearson correlation test indicated the presence of a significant inverse relationship between emotional intelligence and tendency toward substance use such that people with higher emotional intelligence had a lower tendency toward substance use (p value <0.05).

Conclusions: An inverse relationship existed between emotional intelligence and tendency to use substances. Thus, it is recommended using strategies for increasing emotional intelligence and proper management of emotions in students to reduce their tendency toward substance use.

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