Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Kyna Shelley

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Thomas Lipscomb

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Thomas O'Brien

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Peter Paprzycki

Committee Member 4 School



Employees in service professions often utilize emotional labor strategies. The purpose of this quantitative study was to evaluate speech-language pathologists’ (SLPs) experiences regarding emotional labor and the extent to which emotional labor is possibly related to job stress, compassion satisfaction, and compassion fatigue. This study also considered the SLPs’ occupational settings in relationship to emotional labor.

A pilot study was conducted and minor revisions were made to the instrument prior to the final study. The researcher collected and analyzed data using an online survey comprised of three validated instruments, ELS, SLPSI, and ProQOL-5. The participants were 270 certified speech-language pathologists across 45 states within the United States. This investigation revealed that speech-language pathologists used genuine emotions more often than surface acting or deep acting when interacting with their clients/students. However, there was no notable difference between the three emotional labor strategies used across occupational settings. The results from a Pearson correlation revealed a statistically, strong positive correlation between the use of genuine emotion and compassion satisfaction and a significant, moderate negative correlation between genuine emotion and compassion fatigue. Though compassion fatigue was relatively low in this sample of SLPs, they did report a moderately noticeable impact of stress primarily due to time and workload management which was predominantly manifested through emotional fatigue. These results are relevant to the field of speech-language pathology as they support the need for further research in these areas of concern, leading to the development of policies and procedures that may help to reduce stress and further increase the use of positive aspects of emotional labor.