The relationship between occupational stress, emotional intelligence and coping strategies in air traffic controllers

Brink, Estelle (2009-03)

Thesis (MComm (Industrial Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.


The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Stress and Coping Strategies in the occupation of air traffic control. The focus was to determine whether the Emotional Intelligence of an Air Traffic Controller might have an effect on the recognition and management of stressful situations, and influence the way they select coping strategies. Due to a lack of research on air traffic control in South Africa, focus are not only on the stress levels of Air Traffic Controllers, but also how their Emotional Intelligence could assist in the recognition and management of the stress they experience, and ultimately then contribute to select appropriate Coping Strategies. A literature study discussed the role of Air Traffic Controllers, and factors that contribute to them experiencing stress. The constructs of Stress, Emotional Intelligence and Coping were elaborated on in detail. The constructs were defined as follows: Stress, as any demand eliciting a negative emotional state, that exceeds an individual’s resources to cope; Emotional Intelligence, as the process of emotional information processing consisting of the dimensions of Self Awareness, Self Regulation, Motivation, Empathy and Social Skills (Rahim & Minors, 2003); and Coping as the efforts to manage environmental and internal demands and conflicts which tax or exceed a person’s resources (Lazarus & Launier, 1978).

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