This research examines five separate studies conducted between fall 2015 and the present in a rural Appalachian Kentucky high school on emotional intelligence (EI) and the suggestions from those findings. Four studies consisted of small convenience samples and one used a random selection of 50 high schools students who were then randomly divided into treatment and control groups. These studies were mixed-method studies that consisted of both quantitative and qualitative data. All of the studies were pre/posttest designs and utilized EI and Empathy instructional lessons over durations from two to 16 weeks. Each participant completed the Social Emotional Learning General Survey (SELGS), a researcher-designed socioeconomic and interest survey. The quantitative data was collected with various instruments; the largest study utilizing the valid and reliable Six Seconds® Social Emotional Learning-Youth Version (SEL-YV). The data was analyzed with either a dependent one-way T-test or Wilcoxon Ranked Pairs, depending on the sample size. The data suggests that adolescent EI and Empathy is a concern and that the apparent deficiencies have an economic impact for the future of rural Appalachia.
Keywords: Emotional Intelligence, Empathy, SELGS, Six Seconds®, and SEL-YV