Article | . 2018 Vol. 18, Issue. 3
The relationship between emotional intelligence and cultural competency of dental hygiene students

Department of Dental Hygiene, Graduate School of Hanseo University1
Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Health Science, Dankook University2

2018.. 385:97


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.

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