Social support, social identification, mental wellbeing, and psychological distress in doctoral students: A person-centred analysis

Jackman, Patricia, Slater, Matthew J., Carter, Esther C. , Sisson, Kelly and Bird, Matthew (2022) Social support, social identification, mental wellbeing, and psychological distress in doctoral students: A person-centred analysis. Journal of Further and Higher Education . ISSN 0309-877X

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Social support, social identification, mental wellbeing, and psychological distress in doctoral students: A person-centred analysis
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Abstract

This study extends the doctoral education literature by examining how social support and social identification, as they apply to peers, supervisors, and the academic community, are related to mental wellbeing and psychological distress in doctoral students by using person-centred analysis to create social profiles. Doctoral students (N = 200) completed a cross-sectional survey including measures of perceived support, received support, social identification, mental wellbeing, and psychological distress. Adopting a person-centred analysis approach, we identified six distinct social profiles for mental wellbeing, and four social profiles for psychological distress. Further between-profile analysis indicated that the “high support-identification” profile was associated with higher levels of mental wellbeing and lowest levels of psychological distress. In comparison, the “low support-identification” profile reported significantly lower mental wellbeing and significantly higher psychological distress. Taken together, the findings demonstrate the value of person-centred analysis and offers new insights into the nuances of relationships between social support, social identification, mental wellbeing, and psychological distress. The theoretical and practical implications arising from this research are discussed.

Keywords:doctoral education, early career researcher, mental health, research environment, supervision, peer support
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C811 Occupational Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C812 Educational Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:49761
Deposited On:27 Jun 2022 11:45

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