Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS)



Committee Chair

Dr. Tommie Nelms

First Committee Member

Dr. Janice Long

Second Committee Member

Dr. Lois Robley

Third Committee Member

Dr. Lewis VanBrackle



Testing the Reliability and Validity of Tools based on the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Four-Branch Ability Model of Emotional Intelligence with Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses

A lack of emotional skills may affect a nurse’s personal well-being and have negative effects on patient outcomes, particularly for patients with psychiatric-mental health conditions. Raising awareness of emotional intelligence (EI) among psychiatric/mental health nurses (PMHN) is therefore important. EI is a growing field in both nursing practice and nursing education but instruments to measure EI are costly or have not been validated for use with PMHN. The purpose of this descriptive correlationsal study was to measure the EI level of PMHN and to evaluate the internal consistency reliability and validity of two EI instruments. The study compared the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and the Self-Rated Emotional Intelligence Scale (SREIS) with a sample of 131 PMHN from three psychiatric nurses’ organizations. Peplau’s theory of Interpersonal Relations and the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Four-Branch Ability Model of EI were used to guide the research. PMHN in the study had a higher mean EI compared to that of 5000 participants in the normed MSCEIT sample. Both the MSCEIT and SREIS demonstrated moderate to high levels of internal consistency reliability. Significant weak correlations were seen between the perceiving and understanding emotion branches of the MSCEIT and SREIS, but more research is needed to understand concurrent validity between the MSCEIT and SREIS. Because EI is defined and measured as a set of abilities or skills by the Four-Branch Ability Model of EI, the focus on EI skills and strategies through self-awareness can be an effective way to approach helping PMHN improve their emotional skills