Stress, coping, and social support experiences of actors working in New York City
MetadataShow full item record
Sport psychologists, seeking to work with a range of performers rather than athletes alone, have stimulated much of the burgeoning interest in performance populations who ply their talent on the public stage. A desire to understand the relationship between performance outcomes and constructs such as stress, coping, and social support have guided much of the early research with these populations. However, one performance population that has attracted little research attention is professional actors. Professional actors experience stress, coping, and social support as a consequence of working in an industry recognized as notoriously insecure (Phillips, 1993). As professionals, actors observe, deconstruct, and reflect on the human experience in order to make their portrayals as realistic as possible (Bryer & Davison, 2001). Thus, the actors' carefully considered insights on stress, coping, and social support as experienced in their field are worthy of documentation. In addition, the actor's perspective will contribute to a more complete understanding of performance populations. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to concurrently examine stress, coping, and social support experiences of actors in order to understand the processes of each construct independently and to explore the complexities of their interdependent relationship. A qualitative research design was adopted in which 17 professional actors (9 male, 8 female) working predominantly in theater in New York City, were encouraged to share their experiences of stress, coping, and social support during two semi-structured interviews. Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) transactional model of stress and coping and Winemiller et al., (1993) integrated approach were adopted as frames for data analysis. A major finding of the investigation was the value of framing stress, coping, and social support in terms of the actors ' major occupational challenges: get the job, do the job, and build a career. A second major finding was the common experiences of stress, coping, and social support identified by a range of performers. A third major finding was the constitution of the actors' unique experience. Implications for psychologists working with actors and related performers were proposed. In addition, a model of career longevity for actors was proposed.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--Boston UniversityPLEASE NOTE: Boston University Libraries did not receive an Authorization To Manage form for this thesis or dissertation. It is therefore not openly accessible, though it may be available by request. If you are the author or principal advisor of this work and would like to request open access for it, please contact us at email@example.com. Thank you.