This mixed methods study explored the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI), traits of personality, and performance on occupational therapy (OT) fieldwork. The purpose of this study was to determine whether EI or personality was predictive of student performance during the clinical portion of the academic program. In the first phase of this two-part study, 42 students enrolled in an OT program participated in two measures: The Genos EI (short form), and the Big Five Inventory. Student scores on these two measures were correlated with scoring on the AOTA Level II Fieldwork Performance Evaluation (FWPE) form. In the second phase of the study, 20 Clinical Fieldwork Educators (CFE's) were interviewed to determine their perception of the importance of EI and personality traits in regard to fieldwork performance. An analysis of the quantitative data was conducted using hierarchical linear regression, and a positive significant relationship was found between EI and fieldwork performance. Further analysis using partial correlation was conducted on each of the Big Five domains of personality, and no significant relationship was found between personality and fieldwork performance. An analysis of the qualitative data found multiple themes highlighting the importance of EI and traits of personality when communicating and collaborating with patients and their families, working as part of a team, and demonstrating empathy and compassion for others. This study adds additional information to the limited evidence on the key factors to fieldwork success in an OT program. The evidence presented here has practical and theoretical implications for OT admissions committees to consider when selecting candidates who will not only be successful academically, but clinically as well.


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu

Graduation Date





Gill, Michele


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


Learning Sciences and Educational Research

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction




CFE0008319; DP0023756



Release Date

December 2020

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)