Real-world shock has historically been defined as a form of transition shock experienced during the transition from the academic to the professional world. It is marked by distinct phases and causes both emotional and physical stress. Previous research has found that real-world shock is experienced by new members of a variety of fields, especially training-intensive service professions such as education and medicine. However, even though the profession of American Sign Language/English interpreting is also a training-intensive service profession, there is no research that indicates whether or not new members of the profession experience similar shock to their counterparts in other professions. As such, this thesis shall attempt to determine if real-world shock is experienced by new interpreters of American Sign Language. To do so, a survey was electronically distributed to American Sign Language/English interpreters throughout the United States of America. The resulting data collected was analyzed to determine if new interpreters experience real-world shock and, if so, what the root cause of it is. It was found that interpreters of American Sign Language and English do experience real-world shock upon entering the profession. Furthermore, the shock is a result of the profession rather than from intercultural interactions with the d/Deaf community.

Exit Requirement


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Committee Chair

Elisa Maroney

Committee Member

Amanda R. Smith

Committee Member

S. David Zuckerman


transition shock, interpreting, sign language



Type (DCMI Terms)


Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Critical and Cultural Studies | International and Intercultural Communication | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Special Education and Teaching

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