Promoting psychological wellbeing in doctoral students: A qualitative study adopting a positive psychology perspective

Jackman, Patricia and Sisson, Kelly (2021) Promoting psychological wellbeing in doctoral students: A qualitative study adopting a positive psychology perspective. Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education . ISSN 2398-4686

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/SGPE-11-2020-0073

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Promoting psychological wellbeing in doctoral students: A qualitative study adopting a positive psychology perspective
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Abstract

Abstract
Purpose: Concerns about psychological wellbeing in doctoral students has grown in recent years. The aim of this study was to explore qualitatively doctoral students’ perceptions of factors that promoted their psychological wellbeing during the doctoral journey.
Design: Nine recent doctoral graduates at an English university participated in the study. Participants recalled their experience and psychological wellbeing during the doctoral journey via a life grid and semi-structured interview. The life grids were visually inspected to identify high points in psychological wellbeing, while the interview data were analysed thematically.
Findings: Our analysis produced seven themes representing factors that participants described during periods of better psychological wellbeing: accomplishments; intrinsic rewards; self-efficacy; comprehension and understanding; supervisor support; wider support network; and self-care and lifestyle.
Originality/value: By adopting a positive psychology approach and exploring qualitatively factors that promoted psychological wellbeing in doctoral students, this article demonstrates the utility of approaching research on doctoral students’ psychological wellbeing from a positive psychology perspective. Findings are discussed in relation to the extant literature, and future directions for research are outlined.

Keywords:mental health, postgraduate research, higher education, doctoral education, PhD, life grid, supervisor, self-efficacy
Subjects:X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
C Biological Sciences > C841 Health Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:46034
Deposited On:06 Sep 2021 14:49

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