Emotional Intelligence of Adolescents Playing Internet Games

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Sun-Mi Chae, PhD, RN, CPNP
College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
Mia Seo, PhD, RN
Department of Family Counseling, Dankook University, Yongin, South Korea
Hee Sun Kang, PhD, RN
Department of nursing, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, South Korea

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the relaions of emotional intelligence to internet game use in adolescents.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to acknowldege the importance of emotional intelligence enhancing interventions for high-risk users of internet game.

Purpose: Internet game overuse among adolescents poses serious concerns and has been linked with poor academic achievement and deterioration of social relationship. Emotional intelligence (EI) leads to manage one's own emotions and to appropriately respond to other' emotions in order to build a positive relationship. However, little is known about relations of EI and internet game use. The purpose of this study was to investigate relations of EI and internet game use in Korean adolescents. Methods: This study is a cross-sectional descriptive survey using a convenience sample. The participants of this study were 2,199 students from 10 elementary, middle, and high schools in South Korea. The Internet game addiction scale and the Inventory of EI were used. Data were collected from April 11 to June 17, 2011. Pearson correlation coefficients and independent t-test were used to identify the correlation between variables and to compare differences in EI between general and high-risk users of internet game. Results: The average age of the participants was 13.37 years. There were 1,293 (58.8%) male and 906 (41.2%) female students. The average days playing internet games were 3.24 days. About three fourths of them played internet games more than 4 hours a day. Of the participants, 1,947 students (88.54%) were general users, and 252 students (11.46%) were high-risk user. EI had a weak but significantly negative correlation with internet game use (r = -.14, p < .01). There was a significant difference in EI between general and high-risk users (t = 4.85, p <.001). Conclusion: Our study results imply that high-risk game users have lower level of EI than general users do. Therefore, nurses in schools or community should regularly screen emotions of adolescents playing internet games and develop strategies to enhance their EI associated with internet games.