The significance of emotional intelligence to students’ learning motivation and academic achievement: A study in Hong Kong with a Confucian heritage

Hau lin Tam, Sylvia Y.C.L. Kwok, Anna N.N. Hui, Doris Ka yin Chan, Cynthia Leung, Janet Leung, Herman Lo, Simon Lai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Students in Hong Kong are facing tremendous stress due to the overly competitive atmosphere and high expectations of academic success from their parents. Although Hong Kong was a British colony for more than 150 years, some of the traditional Confucian values remained embedded in Hong Kong citizens. Moreover, those values were highly influential for both parents and students in building a framework of expectation regarding education. However, superior expectations could lead to frustrations, causing stress and mental health problems for the students. This study aimed to seek a way for students from a CHC background to succeed academically without enduring the overwhelming stress that could potentially lead to emotional breakdowns. By examining the intertwined relationship between EI and learning motivation, the two reputable factors for academic achievement, in a sample of 737 primary students, the current study discovered the significant role of EI in improving students’ academic achievement. Results from this study suggest that by enhancing students’ level of EI, their learning motivation would increase accordingly, and eventually, their academic achievement would improve. Several implications for EI improvement were revealed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105847
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Academic achievement
  • Confucian heritage culture
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Learning motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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