Emotional Intelligence, Religiosity and Self-Efficacy as Predictors of Psychological Well-Being among Secondary School Adolescents in Ogbomoso, Nigeria

Adeyemo, D. A.
Department of Guidance and Counselling
University of Ibadan, Ibadan
Adeleye, A. T.
Department of Guidance and Counselling
University of Ibadan, Ibadan

The study investigated emotional intelligence, religiosity and self-efficacy as predictors of psychological well-being among secondary school adolescents. The study made use of stratified random sampling in selecting 292 adolescents from ten (10) secondary schools in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria. The sample age ranged between 13 -20 years. Four instruments were used, namely: General Self-Efficacy Scale, Well-being Manifestation Measurement Scale; The Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale (WLEIS); and Religiosity Scale. Data analysis involved the use of multiple regression and Pearson Product Moment correlation. The results indicated that the three independent variables as a block were effective in predicting psychological well-being of adolescents. On the basis of the finding, it was suggested that teachers should endeavour to teach rudiments of emotional intelligence to the students while school counselors and psychologists should develop programmes to foster emotional intelligence and self-efficacy.
Keywords: Emotional intelligence, Religiosity, Self-efficacy, Psychological Well-being, Adolescents.

Adolescence as a developmental period is filled with many challenges. Early developmental theorists, particularly Erickson (Erickson, 1959) have defined the period of adolescence as one of identity versus role confusion, in which adolescents must determine who they are, combining their self-understanding and social roles into a coherent identity.
Today, Adolescents live in a society which has become multi-complex, thus making the roles of adolescents very diffuse and confusing. The roles of adolescents and their developmental tasks are no longer well defined and prescribed. Knowledge explosion, material wealth pursuit, plurality of the society and estrangement from the extended family system, the hypocrisy of adult standards, the fallacy of physical maturity all present a great battle for the adolescent to fight with the dilemma of indefinite status.
Coupled with this complexity are the multifarious needs (biogenic, physiogenic, sociogenic and psychogenic) that the adolescent has to satisfy. He has got exuberant energy with which to pursue his needs but perhaps not the logical rationale with which to estimate the balance between degrees of freedom and the threshold of danger. Thus, adolescent engages in activities that pose real threat to his/ her psychological well-being.
Adolescence is full of challenges. The change is fast, everywhere and hard to keep up with: the body changes in response to increasing levels of sex hormones; the thinking process changes as the child is able to think more broadly and in abstract ways; the social life changes as new people and peers come into scope. Yet the child needs to deal with every single one of these changes, all at the same time! Thus, making the issue of psychological well-being, that of adolescence.
Psychological well-being is a multi-dimensional concept. Cheerfulness, optimism, playfulness, self-control, a sense of detachment and freedom from frustration, anxiety and loneliness had been accepted as dimensions of psychological well-being ( Sinha & Verma, 1992). McCulloch (1991) has shown that satisfaction, morale, positive affect and social support constitute psychological well-being.
Psychological well-being is a point of much emphasis in society today. Whereas insurance companies and society in general once thought of a person’s health mainly in physical terms, in modern society personal wellness has come to refer to a more thorough definition that includes psychological well-being. In regard to psychological well-being, within the literature, happiness has generally been viewed as the outcome variable (Ryff, 1989).
Traditionally, psychological research has focused on negative states, their determinants and consequences (Shehan, 1984, Chang, 1998). Studies on depression, separation, alienation and similar topics focus on people’s suffering and its deleterious effects on their psychological and physical states until relatively recently, when few studies have been conducted on subjective moods or feelings of well-being and their determinants (Crocker, Luthertanen, Baline, & Broadnax, 1994).
Perhaps, due to the fact that psychological well-being is a subjective term which means different things to different people, earliest literature focused on short-term affective well-being (happiness) at the expense of enduring effects. Ryff(1989) operationally defined psychological well-being as: self-acceptance, and personal growth. The theory behind this view aimed at measuring all aspects of this form of well-being and created a broader, more accurate definition.
However, there are remarkable differences in the abilities of adolescents to cope with the challenges which confront them. Some adolescents have great difficulty in dealing with problems which for others would be minor. When these young people are not able to cope with stresses in an adaptive manner they may develop problem behaviours and are at risk of developing mental health problems. Other adolescents with major problems seem to be able to emerge from stressful encounter not only successfully, but also with increased abilities and resources (Seoffge-Kreake, 1995).
It is worthy to note that contemporary studies undoubtedly show that higher functions in no small measure develop under the influence of social and cultural factors. Perhaps the reason why emotional intelligence though adopted as a relatively new concept, has always, even if largely unacknowledged, been a part of humanity. It is a novel area with regard to research, especially with regard to testing emotional intelligence and establishing the role of emotional intelligence during the adolescence.
Adolescence is in and of itself a difficult challenge in the realms of emotions. The adolescent is faced with new relationships and atmosphere where proper social integration is of utmost importance for success. As the adolescent travels on this journey to the time of graduation and engages in the progression towards adulthood, being emotionally competent is not only important, it is a necessary ingredient for successful journey. Goleman (1995) stated that students who have emotional competency can better deal with the pressure of peer politics, the higher demands required for academics, and the temptations of alcohol, drugs and sex.
According to Salovey and Mayer (1990), emotional intelligence involves abilities that may be categorized into five domains:
i) Self-Awareness – observing oneself and recognizing a feelings as it happens.
ii) Managing emotions – handling feelings so that they are appropriate; realizing what is behind a feeling; finding ways to handle fears and anxieties, anger and sadness.
iii) Motivating oneself- Channeling emotions in the service of a goal; emotional self-control; delaying gratification and stifling impulses.
iv) Empathy- Sensitivity to others’ feelings and concerns and taking their perspective, appreciating the difference in how people are feeling about things.
v) Handling relationship: managing emotions in others; social competence and social skills.
A look at the domains summarized above, shows that they have a wide range of useful implications for adolescents in secondary schools. When faced with the struggle of broken families, abuse, the temptation of drugs, alcohol and sex as well as other struggles all five factors of emotional intelligence can contribute to an adolescent being true to himself or herself. Furthermore, these domains can assist in fostering a strong form of development in body, mind and spirit for each adolescent.
According to Mayer and Cobb (2000), the current definition of emotional intelligence as defined by Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso (2000), includes the capacity to perceive, understand and manage emotions”. A student high in emotional intelligence based on the above definition should have some of the elements required for also being high in psychological well-being such as self-acceptance, positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, purpose in life and personal growth.
Emotional intelligence has been theoretically related to several important human values including life satisfaction, the quality of interpersonal relationships, and success in occupations that involve considerable reasoning with emotional information such as those involving creativity, leadership, sales and psychotherapy (Bar-On, 1997; Goleman, 1995; Palmer, Walls, Burgess, & Tough, 2001; Salovey & Mayer, 1990). It was noted in the findings of Palmer, Donaldson and Stough (2001) that emotional intelligence was moderately correlated with psychological well-being and significantly explained some of the variance in psychological well- being.
Religiosity includes having or showing belief in and reverence for God or a deity, as well as participation in activities pertaining to that faith such as attending services/worship regularly and participating in other social activities with one’s religious community. Religiosity has been linked to a greater sense of well-being in late adulthood as well as to the ability to better cope with stressful events in middle adulthood [Koenig, Smiley, & Gonzalez, 1999; Santrock 2002].
Religious practices and beliefs often play a role in understanding oneself and the world especially when given meaning and value for the relation between oneself, others, surrounding environment and existence (Canda,1989). Religious beliefs become more abstract, more principled, and more independent during the adolescence years. Specifically, adolescents’ beliefs become rituals, practices and strict observance of religions customs (Steinberg, 2002).
Generally speaking, the stated importance of religion- and especially of participation in an organized religion – declines somewhat during the adolescence years. More younger adolescents than older adolescents attend church regularly, and, not surprisingly, more of younger adolescents state that religion is important to them (Benson, Donahue & Erickson, 1989; Johnson, O’Malley, & Bachman, 1986).
Some, but not all, researches suggest that religious adolescents are less depressed than other adolescents, significantly less likely than peers to engage in premarital sexual intercourse, and somewhat less likely to engage in deviant behaviour, (Benson et al; 1989; Donahue, 1994; Litchfield, Thomas, & Li 1997; Wright, Frost, & Wisecarver, 1993). Not only does religious participation affect other aspects of adolescents’ behaviour, but certain behaviour themselves also affect religious participation.
The implications of religion and spirituality for individual well-being had captured the attention of many foundational social theorists, [ e.g Marx, 1844, Freud, 1928; James , 1912; Weber, 1958; & Maslow, 1954]. However, there has been renewed interest in systemically exploring the interface between religi-spirituality and psychological well-being. Drawing across studies from this body of research, several recent review articles have concluded that there is a modest salutary association between various aspects of religi-spirituality and psychological well-being (Hackney & Sanders, 2003; Koenig & Larson, 2001; Sawatzky, Ratner, & Chiu 2005).
Earlier classic theorizing (Durkheim,1951) on the importance of social integration for individual well-being suggests how religious participation might lead to individuals better psychological well-being noting that engagement with institutions like religion can serve to temper individuals’ desire and thereby help them to achieve better psychological well-being. Scholars have suggested that religious involvement promotes individuals well-being by providing them access to social support, a source from which to cultivate soul identity, as well as a factor that encourages individuals to avoid negative health behaviours (George, Ellison, & Larson 2002).
Findings from previous studies that simultaneously have examined multiple dimensions of psychological well-being suggest that different patterns of association between religiosity, spirituality, and well-being are likely to emerge across diverse dimensions of psychological well-being (e.g. Frasier, Mintz, & Mobley 2005; Maselko & Kubzansky, 2006).Corroborating earlier researchers, Greenfield and Nadine (2007), noted that associations between more frequent formal religious participation and psychological well-being were largely contingent upon the dimension of psychological well-being under consideration.
Self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1977) provides insight into the components of human motivation and behaviour. The theory posits the importance of perceived self-efficacy as the primary stimulus for pursuing a behaviour. Self-efficacy is one’s belief in his or her ability to perform a specific behaviour to achieve an outcome.
Self-efficacy is usually thought to influence behaviour in specific domains of action and is considered to be a universal construct, which applies to all individuals regardless of race, gender or culture. Self-efficacy beliefs determine an individuals’ resiliency to adversity and her vulnerability to stress and depression (Bandura, Caprara, Barbaranelli, Gerbino & Pastorelli, 2003).General self-efficacy aims at a broad and stable sense of personal competence to deal effectively with a variety of stressful situations (Scherer et al., 1982; Schwarzer, 1994). Research reported that general self-efficacy was related to physical and mental health (Wang & Liu, 2000).

Purpose of the Study
Due to the increasing maladjusted behaviour manifested by many adolescents and against the proven empirical facts that adolescence is not necessarily inherently stressful, it is necessary to have a look at the factors that contribute to psychological well-being of adolescents. Specifically the study examined emotional intelligence, religiosity and self-sefficacy as predictors of psychological well-being.
Research questions
Based on articulated objectives of the study, the following research questions were addressed in the work.
1. Are there significant relationships among emotional intelligence, religiosity and self-efficacy and psychological well-being?
2. What is the joint effect of emotional intelligence, religiosity and self-efficacy on psychological well-being?
3. What is the separate effect of emotional intelligence, religiosity and self-efficacy on psychological well-being?

Research Design
The descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. In this type of design, the researchers are interested in knowing the influence of the independent variables on the dependent variables without necessarily manipulating the independent variables.
Ten secondary schools were randomly selected from the five local government areas in Ogbomoso. Stratified random sampling was employed where each local government formed a stratum. In each of the local governments, two schools were randomly selected and 30 students were selected from each school. The age of the respondents ranges between 13 and 20 years, with a mean age of 15.90 and SD of 3.4. There were 161 (55.1%) males and 151 (44.9%) females. There were 230 (78.8%) Christians and 62 (21.2) Muslims.
Five instruments were used to collect the data for the study. The description of the instruments is given below:
The General Self-Efficacy Scale: The scale was developed by Matthias Jerusalem and Ralf Schwarger in 1979 with German version which was later revised. It was developed to assess a general sense of perceived self-efficacy for adult population, including adolescents. Responses are made on a 4-point scale and summing up the responses to all ten items to yield the final composite score ranging from 10 to 40. In samples from 23 nations, Cronbach’s alpha ranged from .76 to .90, with the majority in the high .80. The scale is unidimensional. Criterion – related validity is documented in numerous correlations studies. The response format is 1 = Not at all true, 2 = Hardly true, 3 = Moderately true, 4 = Exactly true.
Well-being Manifestation Measurement Scale: This scale was developed by Masse, Poulin, Dassa, Lambert, Belair and Battaglini (1998b). The need for a scale which is shorter and easy to administer informed the choice of this scale. The scale contains 25 – items with six factors. The six factors are control of self and event, happiness, social involvement, self-esteem, mental balance, and sociability. Masse et al (1998a) found an overall Cronbach alpha of 0.93 = .85 and a range of .71 on the subscales. They also found that the item explained 52% of the variance in psychological well-being.
Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale (WLEIS): The scale was designed by Wong and Law (2002) based on the four dimensions of emotional intelligence as proposed by Davis et al 1998. It consists of 16 items in which 4 items were drawn from each dimension.
Self-Emotional Appraisal (SEA), Other Emotional Appraisal (OEA), Use of Emotional (UOE) and Regulation Of Emotion (ROE). Emotional intelligence scale yield coefficient alpha of: Self Emotion, 0.89, Regulation Of Emotion 0.89, Use Of Emotion 0.80, and Others Emotion 0.89.
Religiosity Scale: This scale was developed by the researchers in the course of the research work. The scale is made up of 12 items. Responses are made on a 5 – point Likert format i.e. Strongly Agree, Agree, Undecided, Disagree. It has a reliability coefficient of 0.88 determined by test-retest method.
The questionnaires were administered on the participants in their various schools following the approval of the school authorities. The administration of the instruments took one week. As a result of the fact that the participants had to respond to four instruments, it was not possible to retrieve them on the very day of administration. This necessitated further visits by the researchers. Of the three hundred distributed, two hundred and ninety-two were retrieved. This represents a response rate of 97.3%.
Data Analysis
Data were analysed using Pearson product moment correlation and multiple regression analysis.


Table 1: Mean, Standard Deviation Correlation among the Variables
emoint 1.jpg

Table 1 shows that:
1. Emotional intelligence, religiosity and self-efficacy have significant relationship with psychological well-being (P<0.05)
2. Religiosity has a significant relationship with emotional intelligence (P<0.05) but not with self-efficacy (P>0.05).
3. Self-efficacy has a significant relationship with emotional intelligence (P<0.05) but not with religiosity (P>0.05).
4. Emotional intelligence has a significant relationship with religiosity and self – efficacy (P<0.05).

Table 2: Regression Analysis showing the joint effect of emotional intelligence, religiosity and self-efficacy on the psychological well-being of the respondents.

From table 2, it was found that the linear combination of religiosity, self-efficacy and emotional intelligence had significant effect on the psychological well-being of the respondents (F(3,288) = 63.218, P<0.05). The independent variables also yielded a coefficient of multiple regression (R) of 0.397, and multiple regression square (R2) adjusted of 0.391. This means that 39.1% of the total variance in psychological well-being of the participants could be explained by the combination of religiosity, self-efficacy and emotional intelligence.

Table 3: Relative contributions of the independent variables on psychological well-being of the respondents

Table 3 shows for each independent variable, the unstandardised regression weight (β), the standard error of estimate (SEβ), the standardized coefficient, the t-ratio and level at which the T-ratio is significant. Emotional intelligence made the highest contribution (β = .544, t= 10.598, P<0.05). This is followed by self-efficacy which contributed (β = .179, t = 3.66, P<.05) and then religiosity (β=.003,t=.065, P> .05 ).

Results as shown in table 2 indicate that the three independent variables (emotional intelligence, religiosity and self-efficacy) as a block seem to be effective in predicting psychological well-being of secondary school adolescents. The observed F-ratio is significant ( F (3,288 = 63.218, P<0.05). The multiple regression square (R2) value of (0.397) suggested that about 39.7% of the total variation in the adolescents’ psychological well-being is accounted for by a linear combination of the three independent variables.
Results from table 3 show the extent to which each of the independent variables contributed to the prediction and the value of t-ratio associated with respective variables. It indicates that emotional intelligence and self-efficacy contributed significantly to the prediction of psychological wel-lbeing of the adolescents while religiosity did not. The values of the standardised regression weights associated with these variables indicate that emotional intelligence made the greatest contribution followed by self-efficacy and then religiosity. The results corroborate the finding of De Lazzari (2000) that emotional intelligence was moderately correlated with psychological well-being and that it explained some of the variance in psychological well-being.
The significant contribution of emotional intelligence to the prediction of the psychological well-being of the adolescent is explicable considering the central role emotion - (its understanding and use) plays in the psychological well-being of people. Considering the definition of emotional intelligence by Mayer, Salovey and Caruso (2000), as “the capacity to perceive, assimilate, understand and manage emotion”, a student high in emotional intelligence based on the above definition should have some of the elements required for also being high in psychological well-being such as self-acceptance, positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, purpose in life, and personal growth. Combining the concept of social perspective taking with emotional intelligence from a developmental perspective, one might come to recognise the impact of emotional intelligence on psychological well-being.
A variety of inferences can be drawn as to why adolescents who are high in emotional intelligence also score high in psychological well-being. One explanation is that adolescents with high scores in emotional intelligence have a good knowledge of their emotions and this is characterised by self-awareness which is critical to self-acceptance which has been operationalised as a domain of psychological well-being [see, Ryff,1989]. Awareness of ones emotion is also crucial to autonomy (self-determination, independence and ability to regulate ones behaviour) and personal growth, both of which are domains of psychological well-being.
Self-efficacy significant contribution to the prediction of psychological well- being is consistent with the assertion of Wang and Liu, (2000) that general self-efficacy was related to physical and mental health. Also, self-efficacy aims at a broad and stable sense of personal competence to deal effectively with a variety of stressful situations [ Schwarzer, 1994]. Again, self-efficacy beliefs determine an individual resiliency to adversity and vulnerability to stress and depression (Bandura, Caprara, Barbaranelli, Gerbino & Pastorelli, 2003).
The finding that religiosity did not contribute significantly to psychological well- being of the adolescents is inconsistent with previous studies which have suggested that increased religious participation leads to enhanced well-being over time (Strawbridge, Shema, & Cohen, 2001). However, this is explicable using the assertions of Greenfield and Nadine (2007), that associations between more frequent formal religious participation and psychological well-being were largely contingent upon the dimension of psychological well-being. Furthermore, findings from previous studies that simultaneously have examined multiple dimensions of psychological well-being suggest that different patterns of association between religiosity and well-being are likely to emerge across diverse dimensions of psychological well being (e.g Maselko & Kubzansky,2006 ). Based on these empirical evidences it is plausible that religiosity could only predict certain aspects of psychological well-being and not psychological well-being per se and hence the inability of religiosity to predict psychological well-being in this work.

Implication of the findings
The result of this study has implication for educational settings. The fact that emotional intelligence and self-efficacy are strong predictors of psychological well-being demands that schools should begin to develop programmes to foster emotional intelligence and self-efficacy among adolescents. As emotional intelligence is teachable and learnable, teachers should endeavour to teach rudiments of emotional intelligence to students. School counsellors and psychologists could also develop emotional intelligence and self-efficacy programmes and use them to enhance psychological well-being of adolescents.

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Biographical Notes
Correspondence: drdaadeyemo@yahoo.co.uk
Dr. D.A. Adeyemo holds Doctor of Philosophy in Counselling Psychology.He is currently a Senior Lecturer with the Department of Guidance and Counselling, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. He has published several articles in Local and international Journals.His area of research interest is application of Emotional Intelligence to enhance career sucess and general well- being.
Mr. A.T. Adeleye holds a Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology with bias for adolescent and youth counselling.He is currently undergoing Doctoral trainning in the Department of Guidance and Counselling, University of Ibadan., Ibadan, Nigeria.