Emotional Laour in Teaching Secondary Physical Education

Ye Hoon Lee, Hyungil Harry Kwon, Hwajung Oh


Background: Teaching physical education is an emotion-laden context which requires physical education teachers to engage in emotional labor in order to foster their well-being, as well as student’s outcomes. Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the predictability of emotional labour strategies on job satisfaction and emotional exhaustion among secondary physical education teachers in South Korea. Specifically, the four forms of emotional labour (i.e., surface acting, deep acting, genuine positive expression, and genuine negative expression) were hypothesized to have different influences on job satisfaction and emotional exhaustion. Method: A total of 225 full-time physical education teachers were invited to participate in the paper-pencil survey. The questionnaires contained items measuring the four forms of emotional labour, emotional exhaustion, and job satisfaction which had been modified to fit the physical education setting. Results: The results indicated that surface acting, genuine positive expression, and genuine expression was significantly associated with emotional exhaustion whereas only genuine positive expression was significantly associated with job satisfaction and emotional exhaustion. Finally, emotional exhaustion mediates the relationship between surface acting and job satisfaction, genuine positive expression and job satisfaction, and genuine negative expression and job satisfaction. Conclusion: These results suggest that emotional labour plays a critical role on physical education teachers’ well-being and job attitude. 

Keywords: emotional regulation, physical education teacher, genuine expression, Asian culture, surface acting

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