Department of Dental Hygiene, Graduate School of Hanseo University1
Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Health Science, Dankook University2
Objectives: The study was a cross-sectional research to examine dental hygiene students' multi-cultural experiences, emotional intelligence and cultural competency and to understand the correlations among them. Methods: The study was conducted from September 1st to October 31st 2016, based on the survey of 449 students in the department of dental hygiene at 7 Universities. The questionnaire consisted of 57 questions including general characteristics (n=7), multi-cultural experiences (n=7), emotional intelligence (n=16) and cultural competency (n=27). Results: Each score of students' emotional intelligence and cultural competency is 3.43 and 3.01 respectively in 5-point scale. An analysis of correlations between emotional intelligence and cultural competency shows that the higher the emotional intelligence, the higher the cultural competency (r=0.342). The factors affecting the cultural competency include use of emotions (β= 0.327, p<0.001), control of emotions (β=0.254, p=0.001), frequency of multi-cultural media (β=0.221, p<0.001) and experience of multi-cultural class (β=0.221, p=0.002). The modified explanatory power in this model is 28.2% (F=10.856, p<0.001). Conclusions: There was a positive correlation between emotional intelligence and cultural competency, and the contacts with multi-culture and experience of class are identified as the affecting factors. Dental hygiene students should acquire theoretical experiences regarding the multi-culture through curriculum or continuous educations and it is necessary to promote such educations in order to develop and apply the programs for the enhancement of emotional intelligence.