A Mixed Methods Study of Mental Health, Emotional Intelligence and Religiosity in Muslim Students

  • Sana Khan International Open University
Keywords: emotional intelligence, higher education, mental health, religiousity


Current study employed an explanatory sequential mixed methods design explored the relationships between mental health, emotional intelligence (EI) and religiosity of Muslim students. Random sampling method was used to recruit students for the quantitative part of the study. 382 students (273 females and 109 males) from higher education institutions participated in the study. No significant difference was reported in the EI and religiosity between the genders and between students from Muslim majority and minority countries. Lower levels of EI and religiosity was reported in the students from non-Islamic institutions when compared to the students from the Islamic institutions as well as in students from the younger age-group in comparison to the students from the older age group. Additionally, this study reported no significant difference in the mental health in the students between the different categories. Majority of the groups showed a negative but significant correlation between mental health (psychological distress) and religiosity. A negative but significant correlation between EI and mental health (psychological distress) was found across all the groups. A positive and significant correlation was shown between EI and religiosity across all categories. To understand these results, a qualitative study was carried out to capture the voice of the experts from the fields of mental health, EI and religiosity. 16 experts participated in the study. Findings of this study showed that various Islamic religious aspects and practices act as protective factors for maintaining good mental health. The presence of a healthy and supportive upbringing was also important for having stable mental health. The experts also reported that many EI competencies are deeply embedded in the teachings of Islam which aids in having high levels of EI which in turn is crucial for sustaining healthy mental states.


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