Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Victoria A. Shivy


This study examined emotional labor as a potential source of stress for nursing students, as nursing students' performance of emotional labor may impact their working lives in important ways. Participants were 107 undergraduate and graduate nursing students enrolled in a large southeastern university who completed the Discrete EmotionsEmotional Labor Scale (DEELS; Glomb & Tews, 20041, the Student Nurse Stress Index (SNSI; Jones & Johnston, 1999), the Job Descriptive Index (JDI; Balzer et al., 20001, and the Job in General (JIG; Balzer et al., 2000) scales. Two sub-samples of nursing students were identified, one of which held a registered nurse license (seasoned group; N = 54), and the other which had no previous clinical training in nursing (unseasoned group; N = 53). First, it was hypothesized that frequency of faking emotions and suppressingemotions would predict stress and satisfaction levels for the overall sample. A second hypothesis explored if seasoned nursing students engaged in higher frequencies of faking and suppression of emotion when performing clinical nursing work. Results indicated that frequency of faking emotion was negatively correlated with student nursing stress overall, and also nursing stress about interface worries. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that faking emotion and suppression emotion while engaged in clinical nursing work were significant predictors of overall nursing student stress. In addition, faking and suppressing emotion were significant predictors of stress related to the balance of personal and professional life. However, use of emotional labor strategies did not predictstress related to personal problems, or satisfaction with either work or the job in general. Furthermore, no differences were found with regard to frequencies of faking and suppressing emotion when seasoned and unseasoned students were compared. Other findings included that clinical nursing experience was positively related to genuine expression of emotion. In addition, students reported both high levels of stress with school and high levels of satisfaction. Students suppressed emotion while engaged in clinical work more frequently than they faked emotion. Overall, results of the present study suggested a link between nursing student performance of emotional labor strategies and their stress levels.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Psychology Commons