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Journal Article

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Trait emotional intelligence, Career adaptability, Chinese youths, University students



Background Young people often experience dramatic changes, both psychologically and physically, as they are transiting from students to working adults. However, there is still a lack of empirical studies on the relationship between the trait emotional intelligence and the career adaptability of youths in the Asia-Pacific region. This research examines that relationship in Chinese youths in Hong Kong. Method Cross-sectional data (N = 500) was collected from two universities in 2019 and 2020. The 2019 sample was made up of 256 Chinese university students (117 males, 139 females; ages 21-25). The 2020 sample included 244 Chinese university students (132 males, 112 females; ages 21-25). The participants were asked to complete the Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale (WLEIS) to evaluate their emotional intelligence in the domains of self-emotion appraisal, other people’s emotion appraisal, regulation of emotion, and use of emotion. Participants completed the Career Adapt-Abilities Scale (CAAS) to assess their career adaptability in the areas of concern, control, curiosity, and confidence. Results All domains of trait emotional intelligence were positively associated with career adaptability. Multiple Regression analysis showed that self-emotion appraisal and appraisal of other people’s emotional were the most predictive factors in terms of career adaptability. Together, these two dimensions of emotional intelligence explain 12.5%, 26.2%, 13.4% and 69.4% respectively of the variance in students’ concern, control, curiosity, and confidence in relation to career adaptability. Conclusion The results highlight the importance of emotional intelligence in career adaptability. It is thus of value to study further whether career adaptability of young people may improve if emotional intelligence is incorporated into the student curriculum. The findings offer valuable insights for educators and teachers who are responsible for wellrounded development of students, and will thereby foster healthy lifestyles, stable emotional well-being and greater career adaptability in adolescents.

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BMC Public Health

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