Terry Eckmann

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to investigate if award-winning fitness professionals with careers as fitness instructors, personal trainers, and program directors demonstrate higher emotional intelligence than non-award winning fitness professionals as measured by the Emotional Competency Inventory (ECI). The study also compared self and others’ assessment scores as well as differences among women and men and individuals of various ages.

Thirty award winners (23 women and 7 men) and 77 non-award winners (60 women and 17 men) participated in this study. The sample ranged from 23 to 70 years of age. MANOVA was used to analyze the data and significant multivariate results were found (Wilk’s Lambda = .643, F(19,88)=2.72, p=.001) when award winners and non-award winners were compared on the 18 ECI competencies. Award winners scored higher on 10 out of 18 competencies. Significant multivariate analysis results were also found (Wilks’ Lambda = .793, F(4,102)=6.67, p<001) when award winners and nonaward winners were compared on the four cluster scores and on the ECI composite score. Significant differences were also found between award winners self-assessment and their clients’ assessment on the ECI composite score, four cluster scores (Wilks’ Lambda = .704, F(4,47=4.95, p=.002), and competency scores (Wilks’ Lambda =.288,F(18,33)=4.53, p<001). Clients rated the award winners higher on the ECI composite score, three out of four cluster scores, and eight out of 18 competency scores. No significant differences were found between male and female award winners. No relationship existed between age and the score of award winners (n=30). There was a small positive relationship (p=.033) between age and the ECI composite score for all participants (n=T07). Additional analysis indicates that there is a relationship between the criteria used to select award winners and the competencies measured by the ECI.