Does Service Learning Influence a Learner's Level of Emotional Intelligence?

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In this study, the relationship between service-learning (SL) and emotional intelligence (EI) was investigated among first- and third-year medical school students. The mitigating effects of previous years of formalized service-learning experience were also reviewed. Method: Eighty-four first- and third-year medical students completed a two-part online survey consisting of (a) demographic and background: questions about gender, age range, and years of previous service-learning experience, and (b) The Personal Emotional Competency Scale (PEC), which consists of 50 questions related to how participants deal with emotions in daily life. Results: The study showed a positive and statistically significant relationship between service learning and emotional intelligence and between service-learning and intrapersonal and interpersonal emotional competency. In addition, this study found there to be no significant relationship between previous years of service-learning and emotional intelligence. Conclusion: The incorporation of service-learning as a teaching strategy holds great potential in offering transformational learning experiences that increase medical students’ emotional intelligence and professional competency, as defined by ACGME.

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