How is Emotional Intelligence Related to Psychological Distress of Young Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic?


  • IJSPS Admin
  • Nazariah Shari'e Janon Janon International Islamic University Malaysia
  • Siti Nur Nadiah Ahmad Daud International Islamic University Malaysia


COVID-19 pandemic, Emotional intelligence, Psychological distress, Young adults


Adults experience many challenges during young adulthood as they try to fulfil social expectations of securing a career and financial stability, establishing romantic relationships and marriage, and nurturing their offspring. Failure to realize these expectations, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to losing one’s job, being unemployed, and leaving children to fend for themselves as parents have to work from home, are likely to cause young adults to experience psychological distress. The present study aims to examine the average score on psychological distress of young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic and if personal variable (i.e., emotional intelligence) is associated with their psychological health (i.e., distress). A cross-sectional survey design was distributed to 199 young Malaysian adults aged between 19-39 years old. Participants were recruited conveniently, and they completed the measure of emotional intelligence (USMEQ-i) and psychological well-being (GHQ-12) via Google survey form. Descriptive analysis indicates that the participants have an average mean of psychological distress (M=12.45; SD=6.64), and the Pearson product-moment correlation analysis shows that emotional intelligence negatively correlated with psychological distress (r=-0.33, n=199, p=.01). It is also found that the USMEQ-i personal competency subscale negatively correlated with psychological distress. Limitations of this study are discussed, and findings are analysed in line with those of past research.

Author Biographies

Nazariah Shari'e Janon Janon, International Islamic University Malaysia

Kulliyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences

Siti Nur Nadiah Ahmad Daud, International Islamic University Malaysia

Kulliyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences