Can Firefighters' Mental Health Be Predicted by Emotional Intelligence and Proactive Coping?

  • Wagner S
  • Martin C
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The present study explores emotional intelligence and proactive coping as possible protective factors for both a group of paid-professional firefighters (n = 94) and a group of similar comparison participants (n = 91). Each respondent completed the Impact of Events Scale-Revised, Symptom Checklist 90-Revised, Emotional Intelligence Scale, and Proactive Coping Scale. Using an exploratory/liberal Type 1 error rate (alpha < .10), our results suggested that for firefighters emotional intelligence negatively predicted self-reported traumatic stress (beta = -.198), while proactive coping negatively predicted several other mental health symptoms (obsessive-compulsive beta = -.192, depression beta = -.220, anxiety beta = -.295). For the comparison participants, the pattern of results was substantially different from the firefighters in that emotional intelligence negatively predicted several mental health symptoms (interpersonal sensitivity beta = - .465, depression beta = - .239, anxiety beta = -.269, hostility beta = -.349) and proactive coping only predicted a lack of psychoticism (beta = -.216). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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