Hanging in the balance: conceptualising doctoral researcher mental health as a dynamic balance across key tensions characterising the PhD experience

Berry, C, Valeix, S, Niven, J E, Chapman, L, Roberts, P E and Hazell, C M (2020) Hanging in the balance: conceptualising doctoral researcher mental health as a dynamic balance across key tensions characterising the PhD experience. International Journal of Educational Research, 102. a101575 1-16. ISSN 0883-0355

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Abstract

Doctoral researchers (DRs) appear at elevated risk of mental health problems and poor wellbeing during the PhD process, yet there is limited high quality research in this area. We aimed to derive a conceptual model of DR mental health risk and protective factors using thematic analysis of focus group data. The model positions mental health as reflecting dynamic balance across key tensions characterising the doctoral experience (chaos-cosmos, product-person, agency-acceptance, social-individual, safety-authenticity) within core experiential domains; the doctoral researcher, the supervisory relationship, and the system. Individual factors, including historical and personal characteristics, impact on mental health and the expression and balance of key tensions. Key practice recommendations include supporting DR mental health with a whole university approach rather than intervention silos.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
School of Psychology > Psychology
Professional Services > Research & Enterprise
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2020 07:17
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2020 16:24
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/91780

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