Psychological well-being of graduate students
The psychological well-being of postgraduate students not only influences the achievement of educational goals but also affects their decisions to continue an academic career, as well as the productivity of future researchers, teachers, and scientific supervisors. The present study aimed to assess the psychological well-being of postgraduate students.
Materials and Methods: A remote survey was conducted with all postgraduate students of the Academy of Postgraduate Education of the Federal State Budgetary Institution Federal Medical and Biological Agency of Russia. Of the 42 respondents, 23 were men. The average age of respondents was 31.3±6.20 years, with men at 29.7±6.34 years and women at 33.2±5.56 years. The Ryff questionnaire, adapted by Lepeshinsky, was used for the survey. This questionnaire consists of 84 statements across nine scales: positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental control, personal growth, life goals, self-acceptance, affect balance, meaningfulness of life, and a person as an open system. The Likert scale was used for response options. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software, version 23, to identify relationships between psychological well-being indicators and scales with respondent characteristics and to compare median well-being indicators with normative values.
Results: The median values of psychological well-being levels and scales were higher than normative values. Overall psychological well-being levels and scales were not dependent on age, gender, or year of study (p>0.05). However, psychological well-being indicators varied among postgraduate students of different scientific specialties (p=0.008), as did the scales of "environmental control" (p=0.016), "personal growth" (p=0.022), "life goals" (p=0.006), "affect balance" (p=0.045), "meaningfulness of life" (p=0.002), and "person as an open system" (p=0.002).
Discussion: The high indicators of psychological well-being and the absence of a relationship between well-being and age, gender, and duration of study contradict the findings of external research. The observed relationship of psychological well-being is likely mediated and determined by socio-demographic personal characteristics of the respondents or the varying concentrations of proven well-being triggers in the environments of individual specialties.
Conclusions: It is essential to monitor and compare the academic progress and psychological well-being of postgraduate students to develop strategies for maintaining psychological well-being during education.