Correlates of emotional intelligence among Lebanese adults: the role of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, alcohol use disorder, alexithymia and work fatigue

BMC Psychol. 2021 Jan 28;9(1):18. doi: 10.1186/s40359-021-00525-6.


Background: Relationship between emotional intelligence and emotional variables such as stress, depression, anxiety and mental health has been well documented in child and adult samples. New insights into the association between emotional intelligence and different components of mental health in one study (cognitive, emotional and behavioral dimensions) can help patients, therapists, relatives, and friends to understand, explain, and cope with symptoms. There have been no studies assessing the association between the emotional intelligence (EI) with various factors in Lebanon. This study principal aim was to evaluate how EI is related to mental health issues: social anxiety, depression, alcohol use disorders (AUD), work fatigue, stress and alexithymia in Lebanon.

Methods: 789 participants were enrolled in a cross-sectional study between November 2017 and March 2018. A cluster analysis was used to evaluate participants' profiles with the help of emotional intelligence subscales, to separate the Lebanese population into equal limited units with different characteristics using the K-mean technique.

Results: Three clusters were computed dividing participants into low EI (cluster 1; 24.5%), moderate EI (cluster 2; 43.7%) and high EI (cluster 3; 31.7%) respectively. Fitting into the cluster 1 (low EI) was significantly associated with higher AUD, alexithymia, anxiety, depression, perceived stress, social phobia, emotional, mental and physical work fatigue, suicidal ideation compared to cluster 3 (high EI). Fitting into the cluster 2 (moderate EI) was significantly correlated with higher AUD, depression, alexithymia, anxiety, perceived stress, social phobia, mental work fatigue and suicidal ideation compared to cluster 3 (high EI).

Conclusion: This study results suggest that emotional intelligence is related to different variables, warranting interventions to limit/decrease alcohol abuse and mental/psychological illnesses as much possible.

Keywords: Alcohol use disorder; Alexithymia; Anxiety; Depression; Emotional intelligence; Lebanon; Suicidal ideation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Burnout, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Emotional Intelligence*
  • Fatigue / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Lebanon / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Concept
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Suicide / psychology*