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Professional challenges in elite sports medicine and science: Composite vignettes of practitioner emotional labor

Hings, Rebecca F., Wagstaff, Christopher R. D., Anderson, Valerie, Gilmore, Sarah and Thelwell, Richard C. 2018. Professional challenges in elite sports medicine and science: Composite vignettes of practitioner emotional labor. Psychology of Sport and Exercise 35 (1) , pp. 66-73. 10.1016/j.psychsport.2017.11.007

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Objectives:Our aim was to provide an insight into professional challenges encountered by sports medics andscientists (SMSs) in elite sport organizations and illuminate the emotional labor required to navigate suchchallenges. Design:A semi-structured interview research design was used, and data informed the development of composite vignettes, a form of creative non-fiction. Method:Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with sport and exercise psychologists (n= 6),physiotherapists (n= 5), strength and conditioning coaches (n= 5), one sports doctor and one generic sportsscientist to facilitate data collection via guided reflection. An interpretive thematic analysis was performed, andkey codes and themes were used to develop three composite vignettes. Results:The composites were based on participant accounts comprising three professional roles: (a) sport andexercise psychologist, (b) physiotherapist, and (c) strength and conditioning coach. The interplay between thefactors affecting emotional labor in the SMSfield (e.g., ethics, power, culture), the enactment of emotional labor(e.g., emotion regulation and observable expressions), and the outcomes (e.g., personal and professional) areilluminated in the vignettes. Conclusions:These data extend research on professional practice in SMS and emotional labor in three ways: (a)providing a novel theoretical contribution to explain emotional labor in professionally-challenging situations (b)examining the requirements for SMSs to enact emotional labor as part of their professional role and (c) buildingupon other innovative and rigorous forms of data representation that might be used as a pedagogical tool forreflection with students, trainees, and neophytes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1469-0292
Date of Acceptance: 9 November 2017
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2019 10:31

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