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Canadian Journal of

School Psychology
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Validity of the MayerSalovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test:


Youth VersionResearch Edition
Christine Peters, John H. Kranzler and Eric Rossen
Canadian Journal of School Psychology 2009 24: 76
DOI: 10.1177/0829573508329822
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Validity of the MayerSalovey


Caruso Emotional Intelligence
Test: Youth VersionResearch
Edition

Canadian Journal of
School Psychology
Volume 24 Number 1
March 2009 76-81
2009 Sage Publications
10.1177/0829573508329822
http://cjsp.sagepub.com
hosted at
http://online.sagepub.com

Christine Peters
John H. Kranzler
University of Florida

Eric Rossen
Prince Georges County Public Schools

Abstract: This study examines the criterion-related validity evidence of scores on the
MayerSaloveyCaruso Emotional Intelligence Test: Youth VersionResearch Version.
The authors also investigate the relationship between scores on the MSCEIT-YV and
chronological age. Results provide initial support for the construct validity of the
MSCEIT-YV but also raise questions for future research.
Rsum: Cette recherche porte sur l'vidence de la validit lie au critre des scores sur
le Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test: Youth Version-Research Version
(MSCEIT-YV). Les auteurs se penchent galement sur la relation entre les scores sur
cet instrument et l'ge chronologique. Les rsultats viennent appuyer la validit de
concept du MSCEIT-YV, mais soulvent galement des questions qui pourraient faire
l'objet de recherches ultrieures.
Keywords: emotional intelligence; MSCEIT-YV; EQ-i:YV; CISS; WJ-III; SAT-10

n Mayer and Saloveys (1997) ability model, emotional intelligence (EI) is defined
as an individuals capacity to process emotional information in order to enhance
cognitive activities and facilitate social functioning (Rivers, Brackett, Salovey, &
Mayer, 2007, p. 230). The ability model consists of overall EI and four underlying
second-order dimensions: the ability to perceive emotions, use emotions to facilitate
thought, understand emotions, and manage emotions. The MayerSaloveyCaruso
Emotional Intelligence Test Version 2.0 (MSCEIT) was developed to measure individual
differences in these cognitive processes (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2002). Research

Authors Note: Please address correspondence to John H. Kranzler, 1403 Norman Hall, P.O. Box
117047, Gainesville, FL 32611-7047; e-mail: jkranzler@coe.ufl.edu.

76
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Peters et al. / MSCEIT-YV Validity 77

indicates that the MSCEIT can be objectively scored and reliably measured, and the
pattern of relationships (convergent, discriminant, and predictive) between EI and
established psychological constructs are consistent with construct theory (Mayer,
Salovey, & Caruso, 2008).
At present, research on the ability model of EI has focused on adults. Because of
the unavailability of instruments for children and adolescents, very little is known
about ability EI and its role in the social, emotional, and academic functioning of
school-aged students. To address this need, Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso (in press)
recently developed the MSCEITYouth VersionResearch Version (MSCEIT-YV).
This study examined the criterion-related evidence of validity of the MSCEIT-YV
scores. Specifically, we examined relationships between scores on the MSCEIT-YV
and coping ability, general cognitive ability (g), academic achievement, deviant
behavior, and a self-report measure of EI for children and adolescents (viz., BarOn
Emotional Quotient Inventory: Youth Version [EQ-i:YV]; Bar-On & Parker, 2000).
To examine incremental predictive ability, we compared relationships between
scores on the MSCEIT-YV and the EQ-i:YV with the external criteria before and
after controlling for g. Scores on the MSCEIT-YV were correlated with chronological age to examine the developmental progression of EI.

Method
Participants
Participants were recruited through public schools and after-school child care
centers in North Central Florida. The sample consisted of 50 students (boys = 23,
girls = 27) in Grades 4 to 12 (M = 8.1). Chronological age of participants ranged
from 10 to 18 years (M = 14.3, SD = 2.5). Participants identified themselves as White
or Caucasian (n = 37), African American (n = 9), Hispanic (n = 2), Asian (n = 1), and
Other (n = 1). Information on their socioeconomic status was not available.

Instruments
MayerSaloveyCaruso Emotional Intelligence Test: Youth VersionResearch
Version (MSCEIT-YV: Mayer et al., in press). The MSCEIT-YV was designed to measure the four-branch ability model of EI for children and youth aged 10 to 18 years.
BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory: Youth Version (EQ-i:YV). The EQ-i:YV is
a self-report measure for individuals aged 7 to18 years (Bar-On & Parker, 2000).
Internal consistency of the EQ-i:YV scales range from .65 to .90. Stability coefficients for a 3-week period are .89 for total EI and range from .77 to .89 for the
v arious scales.

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78 Canadian Journal of School Psychologists

WoodcockJohnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities and Achievement3rd Edition


(WJ-III; McGrew & Woodcock, 2001). The seven standard subtests of the WJ-III
Tests of Cognitive Abilities (WJ-III Cog) were administered. The General Intellectual
Ability (GIA) score was used to assess psychometric g. Only the Broad Math and
Reading subtests of the WJ-III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III Ach) were administered. Internal consistency reliability () is .97 for the GIA and in the .90s for Broad
Math and Reading. Testretest reliabilities for the various WJ-III tests range from
.69 to .96 for a period of up to 1 year.
Stanford Achievement Test Series, Tenth Edition (SAT 10). The SAT 10 is a nationally normed and standardized test of academic skills (Harcourt Brace, 2003). Split-half
reliability coefficients (KR20) for the SAT 10 scales are in the .80s to .90s. Although
testretest reliability was not reported, alternate forms reliability is in the .80s.
Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS; Endler & Parker, 1990). The
CISS measures three kinds of coping styles: task-oriented coping, emotion-oriented
coping, and avoidance coping. Internal consistency () is .75 to .90 for the various
scales. Testretest reliability is in the .50 to .70 range across scales over a 6-week
period. The adolescent version of the CISS was administered to all participants aged
13 years or older (n = 29).
Discipline referrals. Information on the number of discipline referrals was
obtained from student records for the most recent academic year. Discipline referrals
ranged from minor behavior problems to incidents that required intervention.

Procedure
Participants completed the self-report measures and the MSCEIT-YV in small
groups or independently. They were administered the MSCEIT-YV first, followed
by the EQi:YV and the CISS. Trained research assistants then individually administered the WJ-III. Results of the SAT 10 and number of discipline referrals were
obtained from students records.

Results
Descriptive statistics for the overall and subtest scores for all measures were
within the average range and not restricted in range. Mean scores for the MSCEIT-YV
were significantly higher than those on the EQ-i:YV, t (48) = 4.13, p < .05. Mean
number of discipline referrals was 0.67 (SD = 1.6). Internal consistency reliability
(Cronbachs ) for overall EI on the MSCEIT-YV was .84.
The Pearson productmoment correlation (r) between overall scores on the
MSCEIT-YV and the EQ-i:YV was .42 (p < .05). Except for the Facilitating

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Peters et al. / MSCEIT-YV Validity 79

Table 1
Correlations Between the MSCEIT-YV and External Criteria

MSCEIT-YV


Perceiving
Facilitating
Understanding
Managing Overall
Emotions Emotions Emotions Emotions EI
WJ-III
GIA
.40*
.12
.41*
.22
*
*
Reading
.44
.31
.40*
.07
Math
.22
.15
.25
.03
SAT 10
Reading
.39*
.42*
.53*
.29
Math
.30
.23
.52*
.08
CISS
Task
.08
.30
.02
.06
Emotion
.50*
.15
.48*
.33
Avoidance
.18
.19
.09
.26
Distraction
.13
.17
.14
.11
Social diversion
.21
.01
.10
.32
Discipline referral
.60*
.47*
.33*
.18

.35*
.35*
.17
.53*
.36*
.14
.46*
.11
.07
.07
.47*

Note: MSCEIT-YV = MayerSaloveyCaruso Emotional Intelligence Test: Youth VersionResearch


Version; EI = emotional intelligence; WJ-III = WoodcockJohnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities and
Achievement3rd Edition; GIA = General Intellectual Ability; SAT 10 = Stanford Achievement Test
Series, Tenth Edition; CISS = Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations.
*
p < .05.

Emotions scale, the branches of the MSCEIT-YV correlated moderately (p < .05)
with theoretically related scores on the EQ-i:YV. Correlations between scale scores
on both EI measures ranged from .10 to .50, with a mean r of .27.
Table 1 displays the rs between scores on the MSCEIT-YV and external criteria.
The r between the overall EI score and the GIA was .35 (p < .05). Apart from the
Managing Emotions subscale, overall EI and the subscales correlated moderately
with Broad Reading on the WJ-III. None of the MSCEIT-YV scores correlated
s ignificantly with Broad Math. Correlations between the MSCEIT-YV and the SAT
10 yielded a somewhat similar pattern of results, with higher correlations observed
between the MSCEIT-YV and reading than math. Overall EI correlated .46 (p < .05)
with the Emotion scale of the CISS. Significant correlations were also observed
between number of discipline referrals and overall EI and the Perceiving, Facilitating,
and Understanding Emotions subscales. Correlations between the overall scores on
the MSCEIT-YV and EQ-i:YV with external criteria were conducted before and after
controlling for g. Overall score of the EQi:YV did not correlate significantly with
SAT 10 reading performance before (r = .24, p > .05) or after controlling for g (r =
.38, p > .05). Overall score on the MSCEIT-YV, however, correlated significantly

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80 Canadian Journal of School Psychologists

with SAT 10 Reading after correction (r = .62, p < .05). A significant correlation was
observed between the overall EI score on the MSCEIT-YV and number of discipline
referrals after controlling for g (r = .45, p < .05).
Last, the rs between raw scores on the MSCEIT-YV and chronological age (in
months) were significant for Overall EI (rxy = 0.46, p < .05) and all subscales,
excepting the Perceiving subscale (r = .02, p > .05).

Discussion
The MSCEIT-YV (Mayer et al., in press) is a new instrument developed to assess
the constructs of the ability model of EI for children and youth between the ages of 10
to 18 years. Validation of scores on this measure is an important first step toward
understanding the growth and development of EI as well as any practical application
this instrument may have for school-aged children. Results of this research provide
preliminary support for the construct validity of scores on the MSCEIT-YV. Overall
scores on MSCEIT-YV and the EQ-i:YV correlated only moderately, indicating that
these two instruments largely measure different constructs. The MSCEIT-YV also correlated moderately with general cognitive ability and reading achievement, but not
with mathematics. The fact that higher correlations were observed between the
MSCEIT-YV and the high-stakes achievement test, the SAT 10, suggests that EI is
more strongly related to academic performance when there is need for managing emotions under stressful conditions. This is the first study to objectively measure academic
achievement and its relationship to the ability model of EI. Prior research among adults
relied on self-reported grades for college students (e.g., Rossen & Kranzler, 2009).
The relationship between EI and managing emotions is further shown in the
relationship between scores on the MSCEIT-YV and the CISS. Overall EI correlated negatively with the Emotion scale of the CISS, which reflects the tendency to respond to stressful situations with emotional outbursts. Overall EI also
correlated negatively with number of discipline referrals. These findings suggest
that students with lower EI may be at greater risk for behavioral difficulties in
schools. In addition, overall EI and all but one of the subscales on the MSCEIT-YV
correlated positively with chronological age, indicating that EI develops with age in
school-aged populations.
In conclusion, results of this study generally support the construct validity of
scores on the MSCEIT-YV as a measure of EI in the ability model. Furthermore,
the MSCEIT-YV generally outperformed the EQ-I:YV in terms of predicting
external criteria. This is consistent with the claim that the evidence tends to
favor the ability-based approach of EI over mixed models (Mayer et al., 2008,
p. 510). Although more research is certainly needed, results of this study suggest
that the MSCEIT-VY is a promising instrument that is worthy of further research
and development.

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Peters et al. / MSCEIT-YV Validity 81

References
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(MSCEIT). Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.
Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. (2008). Emotional intelligence: New ability or eclectic traits?
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