Emotional Intelligence, School Success, and the Black-White Achievement Gap

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Wanda Maulding

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling


Standardized test scores do not completely determine the overall student success of a student. With this in mind, research has been conducted to find if emotional intelligence is relative to both the academic achievement and behavior of the students. Current research has shown a relationship between emotional intelligence and traditional school success measures of test scores and discipline referrals but is limited in its research among elementary school settings and whether or not emotional intelligence may be a relative factor in the Black-White achievement gap. This study helps to close the gap in the literature concerning the emotional intelligence of elementary school students and the relationship that emotional intelligence may have on the Black-White achievement gap. The study sample was comprised of 76 second through fourth grade students in a school in Mississippi. Statistical descriptions as to the extent to which these relationships may exist were derived from bivariate and multivariate regression analyses. Emotional intelligence was measured using the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory: Youth Version and Mississippi Curriculum standardized test scores (MCT). Student discipline referrals were used as measures of school success. Results of the study showed a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and academic success and gender. A slight statistically significant difference was found between emotional intelligence and race, indicating that emotional intelligence may be a component of the Black-White achievement gap. Based on the results, implications for educational and social change are discussed.