An investment model analysis of commitment and well-being in graduate school.
Although graduate students are integral to the successful education, research, and future progress of higher academic institutions, many students report experiencing significant stress and depression during graduate school. In fact, more than 50 percent of those who enter graduate school never complete their advanced degree. The current study employed the investment model (Rusbult, Martz, & Agnew, 1998) to predict variability in student commitment and psychological wellbeing. Graduate students (N = 397) in doctoral psychology programs across North America completed an online survey. Structural equation modeling revealed support for the hypothesized model. Specifically, feeling more satisfied with and invested in graduate school predicted more commitment to one’s program. Independently, perceiving higher quality alternatives to graduate school predicted less commitment to one’s program. Greater commitment, in turn, predicted better psychological well-being, which was captured by indicators of mental health, anxiety, life satisfaction, and perceived stress. Findings remained after controlling for year in school and frequency of meetings with one’s advisor. These findings highlight several areas in which steps can be taken to increase graduate student well-being.
Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Rodriguez, L. M., Bush, A. L., Uysal, A., Lin, H., Knee, C. R., & Petty, K. N. (2010, January). An investment model analysis of commitment and well-being in graduate school. Presented at the 11th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Las Vegas, NV.
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