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First‑year college students’ emotional intelligence and help-seeking behaviours as correlates of their academic achievement

Melese Astatke


The main purpose of the study was examining the correlations of emotional intelligence, academic help-seeking behaviour, and psychological help-seeking behaviour on students’ academic achievement in Woldia College of Teacher Education (WCTE), Woldia, Ethiopia. The participants were 283 first‑year regular diploma students of the college in the academic year of 2015/2016. The study employed a quantitative approach which followed correlation design involving four instruments to collect data for the study: Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire, Academic Help-Seeking Behaviour Questionnaire, Psychological Help-Seeking Behaviour Questionnaire, and Cumulative Grade Point Average. To answer the research questions raised in the study, descriptive statistics such as mean and standard deviation and Pearson product-moment analysis, as well as inferential statistics such as independent sample t‑test, multiple regression tests, and beta coefficients were conducted. The Pearson correlation analysis reported the  following findings: (1) emotional intelligence, academic help-seeking behaviour and, psychological help-seeking behaviour had a significant positive correlation with students’ academic achievement; (2) emotional intelligence and academic help-seeking behaviour had a positive but not significant  correlation with each other; (3) however,  emotional intelligence was  negatively but not significantly correlated with psychological help-seeking behaviour. The multiple regression analysis showed that there was a significant contribution of emotional intelligence, academic help-seeking behaviour and psychological help-seeking behaviour to the total variance of academic achievement. The beta coefficients revealed that the independent contributions of independent variables of the study to the total variance of academic achievement were found to be emotional intelligence, academic help-seeking behaviour, and psychological help-seeking behaviour, respectively. The independent sample t‑test reported that there were  significant gender differences in students’ emotional intelligence and psychological help-seeking behaviour. The gender differences in academic help-seeking behaviour and academic achievement were not statistically significant. Finally, it was recommended that parents, instructors,  counsellors, and administrative bodies should work on promoting students’ emotional intelligence and developing students’ help-seeking behaviours (academic and psychological help-seeking behaviours) to enhance academic achievement of students in WCTE.

Keywords: academic achievement; academic help-seeking behaviour;  emotional intelligence; psychological helpseeking behaviour