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Relationship between organizational citizenship behavior and emotional intelligence in ministry of justice' employees in Urmia.


There has been a growing interest in the study of organizational citizenship behavior(OCB) as a workplace construct [14,20,5,17,6]. Researchers have devoted attention to identifying the antecedents of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Infact, after proving the importance and value of citizenship the education systems intended to extend and intensify this important factor. Appearance of citizenship concept in organization and management science under title of organizational citizenship behavior indeed is formed as a combination of social, political and educational science.

A growing body of research into organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) suggests that employees demonstrate greater role performance when they experience a strong connection to their organization, have a sense of ownership over to its continued success, are loyal to their role and work colleagues and have found a sense of meaning and purpose in their daily work. Similar results have been found for intact work teams [8].

Research exploring OCB and an organisational overall performance has also found significant relationship. Organisations whose employees demonstrate OCBs enjoy higher managerial productivity, the efficient onboarding of new hires, improved strategic planning, business processes and the allocation of key organizational resources and the frequency of communication between and across work groups [20].

There is even research into the relationship between OCB and its antecedents, those factors that determine an individual or work team's propensity to demonstrate OCBs when at work [8]. In one such study, Van Dyne, Graham and Dienesch [25] identified six key characteristics underpinning employee's willingness to display OCBs: positive job attitudes, shared workplace values, the amount of motivating job characteristics, length of tenure, job level and , a low incident of employee cynicism.

Howener, it remains why unclear what the meditating factors of OCB are. Most research to date has focusing on exploring the meditating relationship of employee job satisfaction to OCB [4].

Formal research is yet to determine a comprehensive account of the characteristics shown to meditate an individual employee's choice to go beyond just that required to perform immediate job role. Studies exploring the specific factors contributing to employee discretionary effort remains of significant interest to organizational behavior research [15].

OCB has often been referred to in academic literature as a construct focused on helping [8]. Those employees that demonstrate OCB s are more likely to provide others with assistance in completing work tasks and demonstrate loyalty to work colleagues and the organization, foster connectedness with other individuals and work teams, and promote the goals of the organization whilst also contributing to its social and psychological environment [13]. Variance in each of these import organizational outcomes has also been predicted using various measures of employee Emotional Intelligence(EI) [2].

Therefore it was hypothesized that OCBs would enjoy a positive relationship with the demonstration of employee EI in the workplace. Recent research completed by Sitter [24] supports - although only partially - this hypothesized relationship.

There are many definitions of emotional intelligence(EI) currently in literature, one useful definition states that EI involves thinking with emotion and effectively communication the outcome of that thinking [3]. Therefore, an individual's EI potential is related to his or her level of cognitive, emotional/affective, intrapersonal, inter-personal and aesthetic development. Obviously, individual differences in EI are more complex than an individual just thinking about how her or she feels [10].

Researches result suggests that there is a relationship between OCB and EI, however, the result also suggests that an individual's choice to demonstrate OCB more likely to be intrinsically motivated [4].

Although academic research demonstrates the important role of EI in facilitating high employee performance [7] and OCBs [24], less is known about why an employee demonstrates OCBs. What intrinsically motivates an individual employee to utilize discretionary effort independent of any explicit recognition by the organisation's formal reward system? The present research aims to explore the relationship between organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and Emotional Intelligence(EI).

Literature Review:

Organizational Citizenship Behvior(OCB):

Organizations to be successful should have employees who go beyond their formal job responsibilities and freely give off their time and energy to succeed at the task. Such behavior is neither prescribed nor rewarded, yet, it contributes to the smooth functioning of the organization [16].

The summary of literature review indicates that different citizenship behaviors are separable and various definitions have been presented, but there are a lot of overlaps between them. Some approaches are as follows:

a) Organ model:

Probably the most valid classification for organizational citizenship behavior elements has been presented Organ [18] that is used in the different researches. Organ has presented a classification of organizational citizenship behavior approaches which formed the concept of OCB follows:

1- Conscientiousness: A mood therein the organization members perform specific behaviors and work beyond the minimum task level required for conducting that work or in other word, the individuals who express advanced citizenship behavior. In the worst conditions and even in illness and disability state, they continue their work that implies their high conscientiousness. This approach has been considered as working conscience in the studies of Graham and Fareh et al [9] and Lambert [12] model as the obedience that is explained in the next sections.

2- Altruism: refers to the useful and effective behaviors such as creating closeness, empathy and compassion between the colleagues that helps directly or indirectly the employees involved in working problems, for example helping who have a high volume of work. As Graham, altruism has been defined as interpersonal assist and as Lambert [12] as the participation and responsibility that is explained in the next sections.

3- Civic virtue: including behaviors such as attending the extraordinary activities when this presence is not required, supporting the presented development and changes made by the organization managers and tendency to atudying the book, magazine and increasing general information and paying attention to the handing poster and notice in the organization for the others information. This approach of organizational citizenship behavior is corresponding to the faithfully support in Graham study and protection of organizational benefits in the model of Fareh et al [9] and organizational loyalty and civic behavior in the model of Podsakoff [20] that is explained in the next sections.

3- Magnanimity: refers to patience against undesirable and unsuitable situations without objection, dissatisfaction and complaining. As Graham magnanimity has been defined as individual ardency, Podsakoff et al [20] defined as chivalry and Lambert [12] as loyalty that is explained in the next section.

4- Respect and reverence: this approach indicates the manner of bahaving with the colleagues, heads and audiences of organization. The people who bahave with the others with respect have advanced citizenship behavior. This factor has been considered as social etiquettes in studies applied by Fareh et al [9] and as loyalty in the studies provided by Lambert [12].

b) Graham model:

He assumes 4 following approaches for this behavior, as well:

1-Interpersonal helping: that foccuses on helping the others to perform the jobs.

2- Individual ardency: describes the relationship with the others in working environment towards individual or group academic advance.

3- Individual effort; performing a specific work equal or more than the person's assigned task.

Faithfully support: means improving the organization's image outside it (Graham, quoted by Amini, [1]).

c) Fareh et al model:

Fareh et al [9] have considered the elements of organizational citizenship behavior according to the cultural conditions of china as follows:

Social etiquettes, altruism, work conscience, protecting the organizational benefits [9].

d) Podsakoff et al model:

1- Helping behaviors; Including voluntarily helping the others or prevention from happening problems related to work.

2- Sportsmanship: one of organizational citizenship behaviors that have been considered less than helping behaviors. As Organ [19] sportsmanship has been defined as tendency to tolerating the unavoidable annoying conditions in work without complaint and expressing the sadness.

3- Organizational loyalty: this category of behaviors including defending the organization against the threats, participation in achieving the reputation for the organization and collaboration with the others to achieve the whole benefits. Organizational loyalty due to promotion of organizational position before external beneficiaries is necessary. Protection and defend against external threats and binding even in undesirable conditions may be deemed as loyalty.

4- Organizational obedience: organizational obedience has a long record in the context of organizational citizenship behavior. Organizational obedience is accepting the necessity and appropriateness of logic rules and organizational regulations that are reflected in job descriptions and polocies of organization. Respecting the rules and instructions, believing the work completion at the appointed time and adequate consideration to the job indicates the obedience. The reason for considering the this behavior as the organizational citizenship behavior is that even despite of expecting every person to obey all organizational regulations, rules and procedures at any situation, many of employees don't do it simply. Therefore, these employees who obey all regulations and instructions out of conscience even in the event of lacking supervision are deemed as good citizens.

5- Individual initiatives: this type of organizational citizenship behavior is an extra-role behavior that is beyond the minimum expected general requirements. The behaviors including tasks voluntary creative activity were explained as the e,ements of this structure.

6- Civic behavior or virtue: the civic behavior is arising from interest or commitment in the organization. Supervision over environment for the purpose of identifying the opportunities and threats is a sample of these behaviors (considering the changes of industry due to its effect on the organization) even by personal reimbursement. This behavior reflects the individual's understanding of this point that he is a part of whole and as the citizens are responsible for the society, he as an organization member has some responsibilities for the organization. In Organ's studies, this factor has been considered as a civic behavior and as organizational collaboration in the studies applied by Graham quoted by Amini [1].

7- Self-growth; including voluntary behaviors of employees for improvement of their knowledge, skills and capabilities. The characteristic of this behavior is that the new group of skills is learned for development of collaboration domain in organization, however this approach of organizational citizenship behavior has not been studied in the literature, studies and research. Nonetheless, it seems this type of behaviors that are subject to the discretion of employees are distinct from other organizational citizenship behavior contextually [20].

4-Lambert model:

1- First class: obedience including respecting the structures and processes regulary. This class, as the viewpoint of Lambert inclues the Organ's conscientiousness factor.

2- Second class: loyalty and development of activities includind rendering the appropriate services to the employees and preserving the values. As Lambert, loyalty includes the courtesy and magnanimity of Organ.

3- Third class: collaboration and responsibility including self-control under regulations and laws. As Lambert, altruism and complaisance factors of Organ are placed in this class [11].

Emotional Intelligence(EI):

In recent years Emotional Intelligence(EI) has become of great interest in psychologyical research. In researching theories on emotional intelligence and its relationship to organizational citizenship behavior, the researchers were unable to find many theoretical and empirical studies that pertained solely to these two constructs. Studies conducted with employees show that emotional intelligence is a skill that minimises the negative stress consequences.

Both the public and academia remained mostly unaware of emotional intelligence until 1995, when Daniel Goleman popularised the construct in his trade book, Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ. Emotional intelligence quickly captured the interest of the media, general public and researchers. Emotional intelligence and emotional quotient (EQ) were, in fact, selected as the most useful new words or phrases of 1995 by the American Dialect Society and, from there, the concept of emotional intelligence made it to the cover of Time magazine. Following shortly behind this development, Bar-On [2] introduced his work on emotional intelligence and this led to the 1990s being flooded with work by Goleman, Bar-On [2] and Mayer and Salovey, who proved emotional intelligence as a type of ability.

According to Salovey and Mayer, emotions are organised responses that cross psychological subsystems, which include the physiological, cognitive, motivational and experiential systems. Emotions within an individual, both positive and negative, arise from a response to either an internal or an external event. Emotions can be distinguished from the closely related concept of moods in that emotions are shorter and generally more intense.

With regard to intelligence, the most often cited definition is Wechsler's statement that 'intelligence is the aggregate of global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his environment'. Closely overlapping the construct of emotional intelligence are the constructs of social intelligence, alexithymia, affective orientation, emotional competence and psychological mindedness. It is apparent that the evolution of the definition of emotional intelligence is echoed in the various definitions of these constructs.

The construct of alexithymia, for example, refers to difficulty in identifying and distinguishing bodily sensations of emotional arousal and difficulty in describing feelings. The construct of affective orientation refers to the extent to which people are aware of their emotions. The construct of emotional competence is defined as a demonstration of capacity and skill in eliciting emotional-social transactions and is regarded more as a transaction than a characteristic. The definitions of alexithymia, affective orientation and emotional competence parallel the definition of emotional intelligence, incorporating the aspects of thinking, feeling, being aware and expressing emotions as defined by Mayer and Salovey and Goleman.

Attempting a more holistic approach and a move towards the definition of emotional intelligence are the constructs of social intelligence and psychological mindedness. The construct of social intelligence incorporates the ability to think, feel and behave in order to achieve social tasks while functioning in a social environment. The construct of psychological mindedness is more encompassing and refers to the desire to learn the possible meanings and causes of both internal and external experiences as well as to the ability to look inwards rather than only outwards at environmental factors, thus allowing the conceptualisation of the relationship across thoughts, feelings and actions within an environment. The constructs of social intelligence and psychological mindedness are therefore closer to the definition of emotional intelligence as defined by Bar-On [2] below because they incorporate the concepts of thinking, feeling and actions within a certain environment.

Theoretical foundation of the Bar-On model:

Darwin's early work on the importance of emotional expression for survival and adaptation (1872/1965) has influenced the ongoing development of the Bar-On model, which both stresses the importance of emotional expression and views the outcome of emotionally and socially intelligent behaviour in Darwinian terms of effective adaptation. Additional influence on this thinking can be traced to Thorndike's description of social intelligence and its importance for human performance and to Wechsler's observations relating to the impact of non-cognitive and conative factors on what he refers to as 'intelligent behaviour'. Sifneos' description of alexithymia on the pathological end of the emotional-social intelligence (ESI) continuum and Appelbaum's conceptualisation of psychological mindedness on the eupsychic end of this continuum have also impacted on the ongoing development of the Bar-On model [2].

From Darwin to the present, most descriptions, definitions and conceptualisations of ESI include one or more of the following key components: (a) the ability to recognise, to understand and to express emotions and feelings; (b) the ability to understand how others feel and to relate to them; (c) the ability to manage and to control emotions; (d) the ability to manage change, to adapt and to solve problems of both a personal and an interpersonal nature; and (e) the ability to generate positive affect and to be self-motivated [2].

The Bar-On model provides the theoretical basis for the emotional quotient inventory (EQ-i) instrument, which was originally developed to assess various aspects of this construct and to examine its conceptualisation. According to this model, ESI is a cross-section of interrelated emotional and social competencies, skills and facilitators that determine how effectively we understand and express ourselves, understand others and relate to them, and cope with daily demands. The emotional and social competencies, skills and facilitators referred to in this conceptualisation include the five key components described above, each of these components, in turn, also comprising a number of closely related competencies, skills and facilitators. Consistent with this model, to be emotionally and socially intelligent is effectively to understand and express oneself, to understand and relate well to others, and to cope successfully with daily demands, challenges and pressures. This is based, first and foremost, on one's intrapersonal ability to be aware of one's feelings, to understand one's strengths and weaknesses and to express one's feelings and thoughts non-destructively. On the interpersonal level, being emotionally and socially intelligent encompasses the ability to be aware of others' emotions, feelings and needs and to establish and maintain cooperative, constructive and mutually satisfying relationships. Ultimately, being emotionally and socially intelligent means to manage personal, social and environmental change effectively by realistically and flexibly coping with the immediate situation, solving problems and making decisions. To do this, people need to manage emotions so that their emotions work for them and not against them and to be sufficiently optimistic, positive and self-motivated [2].

Bar-On [2] defines emotional intelligence as an array of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies and skills. These influence one's ability to cope with environmental demands and pressures [2].

A description of the emotional intelligence model of Bar-On comprises five scales with fifteen subscales. These are comprising self-regard, emotional awareness, assertiveness, independence and self-actualisation; comprising empathy, social responsibility and interpersonal relationships; comprising stress tolerance and impulse control; comprising reality testing, flexibility and problem solving; and comprising optimism and happiness [2]. The description of each of the scales is presented in below. According to McCallum & Piper, the model proposed by Bar-On is perhaps the clearest and most comprehensive to date. The model of emotional intelligence by Bar-On [2] can be summarised as follows:

* The model comprises the intrapersonal, interpersonal, stress management, adaptability and general mood scales

* The scales of stress management, adaptability and general mood are unique to the model

* The model maps more clearly onto the five-factor model

* Its definition offers the context of environment.



The participants for the present study consisted of 60 employees (20 male, 40 females) in ministry of justice' Employees in Urmia. The sample was selected by using stratified random sampling method from among ministry of justice' Employees in Urmia. Participants completed the following questionnaire measures, all scales were adapted for Iranian population:

Schutte Emotional Intelligence Scale(SEIS):

The SEIS, developed by Schutte and her colleagues, is a trait-based measure of emotional intelligence consisting of 33 positive and negatively keyed items measuring four dimensions: Appraisal of Emotions In self, Appraisal of Emotions In others, Emotional Regulation in self and using Emotions in problem solving. The instrument utilizes a five-point lickert scale, where 1 = never and 5=always. Scale items can be summed to provide a Total Emotional Intelligence(Total EI) score, with a reported reliability coefficient (a) for total EI of 0/90[23].

Organizational Citizenship Behaviour Scale(OSBS):

The OCBS, developed by Van Dyne, Graham and Dienesch [25], is a 34-item instrument measuring five factors of OCB: Loyalty, Obedience, Social Participation, Advocacy participation and functional participation, Items are responded to using a saven poin lickert scale, where 1=does not apply to me and 7=applies very well to me. All items can be summed to produce a Total OCB score. According to the scale authors, Total OCB has a reported reliability coefficient(a) of 0/95 [25].


Pearson correlation test was used to study the association between organizational citizenship behavior and emotional intelligence.

The theoretical range, means(M), standard deviations(SD), reliability coefficient(a) and Pearson's correlation coefficients(r) for each measure used in the present study are presented in Table 1. In general, the means, standard deviations and alpha coefficients were similar to those reported by the scale authors.

As shown in Table 1, participants in the present study demonstrate a level OCBs higher than the theoretical mid-point for the OCBs. This result suggests a higher degree of discretionary effort is being used by those who participated in the present study. However, participants demonstrate a level of overall EI(Total EI) slightly below the midpoint score for the SEIS.

Further, the results presented in Table also show that employees' Total OCB is significantly and positively correlated with their ovelall level of EI.

As presented in Table 2, regression was conducted to predict Total OCB. Total EI was entered. The regression model was significant with Total EI accounting for 28% of the variance in Total OCB(F(1,47)=18.14, p<0.001).

Discussion and Conclusion:

The present study aimed to examine the relationship between OCB and EI. There will be a significant and positive relationship between EI and OCB. There are rare studies that show the relationship between emotional intelligence and organizational citizenship behavior [24,22,6]. The present study aimed to replicate the findings of previous research [22,23], wich utilized trait-based measures of workplace EI. The results provide further support for the positive role of EI in employee demonstration of OCBs.

An employee's overall level of EI was a significant predictor of an emploee's demonstration of OCBs, accounting for 28% of the variance.

As suggested by Wright [26], the skills, abilities and competencies coupled with the level of motivation, commitment and engagement act as drivers in terms of the employees' actions. Their task and discretionary behavior improves. It make them to go beyond the normal actions. Emotional intelligence, when applied to the workplace, involves the capacity to effectively perceive, express, understand and manage emotions in a professional and effective manner at work.


Caution should be exercised when interpreting the findings presented for this study due the small sample size. Future research should attempt to generate a larger participant sample.


The current study has a number of practical implications for managers, leaders and organizations. Firstly, develop programs for the employees' emotional intelligence ability and organizational citizenship behavior. If the employees feel secure, emotionally stable, satisfied and affectively connected to organization, commit against their responsibility. More importantly, developing employees' emotional intelligence competency such as interpersonal to increase employees' ability to cope with change.

It has been shown in the literature that employees who show high organizational citizenship behavior exhibit a readiness to share and walk that extra mile to ensure the organization's success [6]. Besides, leaders or managers need to employ various strategies that would move employees into organizational citizenship behavior.

Besides, academicians who are involved in social interaction need emotional intelligence competency to work effectively in a social setting. Therefore, developing those competencies might help academic staff to improve work performance, such as, maintaining high academic standards in the classroom, teaching quality, research dedication and producing not only the brightest students but also those sought and employable for the industry. This study has implications for the strategic managerial roles and responsibilities as change agents in the organization. Besides, to enhance employees' motivation, they also need to consider incorporating a culture of appreciation and reward for those who are deserving and a progressive management approach that leads to development and improvement in work quality and management of change.


Article history:

Received 25 October 2014 Received in revised form 26 November 2014

Accepted 12 December 2014 Available online 15 January 2015


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(1) Eslam Jabari and (2) Akbar Soleimannezhad

(1) M.A Political sciences

(2) Assistant professor, Payame Noor University

Corresponding Author: Eslam Jabari, M.A Political sciences.

Table 1: Descriptive statistics, reliability coefficients(a)
and between-scale correlations(r) for each measure.

           Range         M        SD      a      SEIS

OCBS      34-238      172.25    21.32    .92    .53 ***

SEIS      33-165       82.88     9.42    .94

*** p<0.001

Table 2: Regression analysis predicting Total OCB using
variables Total EI(N=60).

Predictor   Beta(B)      t        R    R2      R2

Total EI      .53     4.26 ***   .53   .28   .26 ***

*** p<0.001
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Author:Jabari, Eslam; Soleimannezhad, Akbar
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Date:Dec 15, 2014
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