Academic stress and emotional intelligence among undergraduate students in selected universities in Ghana


  • Mary Braimah Department of Education and Professional Studies, Bagabaga College of Education, Ghana
  • Eleanor Bosompemaa Takyi Department of Education, Methodist College of Education, Ghana
  • Ama Boatemah Sarpong Department of Education, Kibi College of Education, Ghana
  • Dogbey Alice Emmanuella Department of Pedagogy, Akatsi College of Education, Ghana
  • Samuel Kwabla Segbefia Department of Business and Social Sciences Education, University of Cape Coast, Ghana


attrition, coping strategy, emotional intelligence, psychological stress, undergraduate students


This study's objectives were to look at the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and perception of stress (PS) among Ghanaian undergraduate university students, as well as the gender differences in EI and PS scores. The present study included a sample of 460 undergraduate university students from three universities in universities in Ghana (Ashesi University, University of Ghana and University of Cape Coast). The Assessing Emotional Scale (AES) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) were utilized as part of a set of questionnaires to measure the variables under study. The link between EI and PS was investigated using Pearson correlations. The difference in genders' EI and PS scores was investigated using an independent samples t-test. The results revealed a strong positive correlation between the undergraduate university students' perception of emotion (PE) and psychological score (r=.146), management of own emotion (MOE) and PS (r=.296), management of others' emotion (MOTE) and PS (r=.197), and utilization of emotion (UE) and PS (r=.207). There was no statistically significant difference in the EI and PS scores according to the Independent Sample T-Test used to evaluate gender differences. This study aids in evaluating the connection between students' stress levels and emotional intelligence (EI). As a result, it will assist us in comprehending and disseminating knowledge about the emotional intelligence and perceived stress of university students during their undergraduate years.


Albandar, A. S., Abdel Alim, H. M., Albandar, A. M., & Basulay, N. H. (2018). The Effect of Stress on Clinical and Preclinical Dental Students’ Performance at King Abdulaziz University. Int J Dent Oral Health, 4(2).

Banerjee, N., & Chatterjee, I. (2016). Academic stress, suicidal ideation & mental well-being among 1st semester & 3rd semester medical, engineering & general stream students. Researchers World, 7(3), 73.

Baron, R. A., Franklin, R. J., & Hmieleski, K. M. (2016). Why entrepreneurs often experience low, not high, levels of stress: The joint effects of selection and psychological capital. Journal of Management, 42(3), 742-768.

Bhujade, V. M. (2017). Depression, anxiety and academic stress among college students: A brief review. Indian Journal of Health & Wellbeing, 8(7).

Buvolts, J. D., McCauley, J. L., Amstadter, A. B., Richardson, L., Kilpatrick, D., Tran, T. L., ... & Acierno, R. (2011). Mental health correlates of post-disaster increases in alcohol and cigarette smoking: A Vietnamese study. International journal of mental health and addiction, 9(1), 118-125.

Brody, L. R., Hall, J. A., & Stokes, L. R. (2016). Gender and emotion: Theory, findings, and context. Handbook of emotions, 4, 369-392.

Chaudhry, A. A., Ali, F., Jan, F. A., Sajjad, M., & Ali, S. (2013). Emotional intelligence and students: A Pakistani perspective. World Applied Sciences Journal, 22(3), 319- 325.

Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of health and social behavior, 385-396.

Cannon, J. G., Fiatarone, M. A., Fielding, R. A., & Evans, W. J. (1994). Aging and stress-induced changes in complement activation and neutrophil mobilization. Journal of Applied Physiology, 76(6), 2616-2620.

DeBerard, S. M., Spielmans, G. I., & Julka, D. C. (2004). Predictors of academic achievement and retention among college freshmen: A longitudinal study. College Student Journal, 38(1), 66-80. Retrieved March 2, 2018

Dusselier, L., Dunn, B., Wang, Y., Shelley, Mack C…II, & Whalen, D. F. (2005). Personal, health, academic, and environmental predictors of stress for residence hall students. Journal of American College Health, 54(1), 15-24.

Fix, R. L., & Fix, S. T. (2015). Trait psychopathy, emotional intelligence, and criminal thinking: Predicting illegal behavior among college students. International journal of law and psychiatry, 42, 183-188.

Forushani, N. Z., & Besharat, M. A. (2011). Relation between emotional intelligence and perceived stress among female students. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 1109-1112

Gohm, C. L., Corser, G. C., & Dalsky, D. J. (2005). Emotional intelligence under stress: Useful, unnecessary, or irrelevant? Personality and individual differences, 39(6), 1017-1028

Gross, J. J., & John, O. P. (1998). Mapping the domain of expressivity: multimethod evidence for a hierarchical model. Journal of personality and social psychology, 74(1), 170.

Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. N.Y.: Bantam Books.

Garg, R., Levin, E., & Tremblay, L. (2016). Emotional intelligence: Impact on post-secondary academic achievement. Social Psychology of Education: An International Journal, 19(3), 627-642. doi:

Krejcie, R. V., & Morgan, D. W. (1970). Determining sample size for research activities. Educational and psychological measurement, 30(3), 607-610.

Koubova, V., & Buchko, A. A. (2013). Life-work balance: Emotional intelligence is a crucial component of achieving both personal life and work performance. Management Research Review, 36(7), 700-719

Low, G. R., & Nelson, D. B. (2006). Emotional intelligence and college success: A research-based assessment and intervention model. Center for Education Development and Evaluation Research (CEDER), Kingsville, TX, USA.

Lazarus, R. (1999). Stress and emotion: A new synthesis. London: Free Association Press

Mahmud, Z. (2011). Handbook of Research Methodology: University Publication Centre (UPENA).

Masih, P. P., & Gulrez, N. K. (2006). Age and gender differences in stress. Recent trends in human stress management, 97-104.

Mumina, N., Wafa, S. A. W. S. K., & Teong, K. V. (2016). Emotional Intelligence under Stress: Valuable or Overrated? Global Journal of Human-Social Science and Culture Research, 16(2).

Mohzan, M. A. M., Hassan, N., & Halil, N. A. (2013). The influence of emotional intelligence on academic achievement. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 90, 303-312.

Naghavi, F., & Redzuan, M. (2011). The relationship between gender and emotional intelligence. World Applied Sciences Journal, 15(4), 555-561

Nasir, M., & Masrur, R. (2010). An exploration of emotional intelligence of the students of IIUI in relation to gender, age, and academic achievement. Bulletin of education and research, 32(1).

Phillips, A. C. (2013). Perceived stress. Encyclopedia of behavioral medicine, 1453- 1454.

Petrides, K. V. (2009). Technical manual for the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaires (TEIQue) (1st edition, 4th printing). London: Psychometric Laboratory.

Ranasinghe, P., Wathurapatha, W. S., Mathangasinghe, Y., & Ponnamperuma, G. (2017). Emotional intelligence perceived stress and academic performance of Sri Lankan medical undergraduates. BMC medical education, 17(1), 41

Radeef, A. S., Faisal, G. G., Ali, S. M., & Ismail, M. K. H. M. (2014). Source of stressors and emotional disturbances among undergraduate science students in Malaysia. International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences, 3(2), 401- 410.

Rivers, S. E., Brackett, M. A., Omori, M., Sickler, C., Bertoli, M. C., & Salovey, P. (2013). Emotion Skills as a Protective Factor for Risky Behaviors Among College Students. Journal of College Student Development, 54(2), 172-183. DOI: 10.1353/csd.2013.0012

Roy, S., & Covelli, B. (2021). COVID-19 Induced Transition from Classroom to Online Mid Semester: Case Study on Faculty and Students' Preferences and Opinions. Higher Learning Research

Ruiz‐Aranda, D., Extremera, N., & Pineda‐Galan, C. (2014). Emotional intelligence, life satisfaction and subjective happiness in female student health professionals: the mediating effect of perceived stress. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, 21(2), 106-113.

Saklofske, D. H., Austin, E. J., Mastoras, S. M., Beaton, L., & Osborne, S. E. (2012). Relationships of personality, affect emotional intelligence and coping with student stress and academic success: Different patterns of association for stress and success. Learning and Individual Differences, 22(2), 251-257

Serrat, O. (2017). Understanding and developing emotional intelligence. In Knowledge solutions (pp. 329-339). Springer, Singapore.

Salovey, P. & Mayer, J. (1997). Emotional Intelligence. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 9, 185-211.

Saddki, N., Sukerman, N., & Mohamad, D. (2017). Association between emotional intelligence and perceived stress in undergraduate dental students. The Malaysian journal of medical sciences: MJMS, 24(1), 59.

Shaheen, S., & Shaheen, H. (2016). Emotional intelligence in relation to psychological well-being among students. The International Journal of Indian Psychology, 3(4), 206-2013.

Shaikh, B., Kahloon, A., Kazmi, M., Khalid, H., Nawaz, K., Khan, N. A., Khan, S. (2004). Students, stress and Coping Strategies: A Case of Pakistani Medical School. Education for Health, 17(3), 346-353.

Towbes, L. C., & Cohen, L. H. (1996). Chronic stress in the lives of college students: Scale development and prospective prediction of distress. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 25(2), 199.

Wang, M., & Saudino, K. J. (2011). Emotion regulation and stress. Journal of Adult Development, 18(2), 95-103.

Wong, L. Z. (2019, August 7). KL lowest among 40 cities in terms of work-life balance. Retrieved from

Zeena, M.A., Rao, К., Rao, S., Subbakrishna, D.К., & Prabhu, G.G. (1990). Stress coping in psychologically distressed and non-distressed college students. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 13, 63-70.



How to Cite

Braimah, M., Takyi, E. B., Sarpong, A. B., Emmanuella, D. A., & Segbefia, S. K. (2022). Academic stress and emotional intelligence among undergraduate students in selected universities in Ghana. Hybrid Journal of Psychology, 3(1). Retrieved from