The purpose of this qualitative interpretative phenomenological study was to answer the research questions of how funeral directors experience stressful situations at work, how they deal with stressful situations at work, and how their emotional intelligence (EI) is reflected in the ways they deal with that stress. A phenomenological approach helped explore participants lived experiences by examining both their conscious reflections and actions involving the phenomena. The conceptual frameworks of Mayer and Salovey’s emotional intelligence theory and Selye’s general adaptation theory were utilized in this study. Purposive, quota sampling was used to select a sample of eleven funeral directors, who were members of the Texas Funeral Directors Association in central Texas. Each participated in personal face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyze and interpret their responses. Seven themes emerged: (a) feelings of distress, (b) feelings of eustress, (c) defense mechanisms, (d) de-stressors utilization, (e) outside help, (f) reflections of EI can be seen by looking at a person’s intrapersonal thoughts and behaviors, (g) reflections of EI can be seen by looking at a person’s interpersonal thoughts and behaviors. The study found that while funeral directors experience both feelings of distress and eustress, the ones that experience the greatest distress were female, under the age of 45, and working in a rural setting. When distressed, the majority of the funeral directors used adaptative coping techniques but those experiencing the greatest distress were using malaptive techniques. Finally, this study found those with higher EI were better able to regulate their own and others’ emotions.
|Commitee:||Schmitz, Sheila, Widner, Robert|
|School:||Grand Canyon University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 80/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Psychology, Occupational psychology|
|Keywords:||Burnout, Emotional intelligence, Funeral directors, Occupational stress|
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