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Psychosocial well-being among male and female Ph.D. students: how important is the mentoring style of the supervisor?

Hanne Derycke (UGent) , Ronan Van Rossem (UGent) and Katia Levecque (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
Background: A good interpersonal relationship between a Ph.D. student and his/her supervisor is crucial for the success of a Ph.D. project and could be expected to have an important impact on the well-being of the Ph.D. student. Moreover, it is not clear whether the supervisor-student relationship has a different effect on the well-being of male and female Ph.D. students. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the mentoring style of the Ph.D. supervisor influences the well-being of male and female Ph.D. students differently by taking into account students’ perceived psychosocial work conditions (Karasek, 1979) as possible mediating factors. Method: The present study is based on data collected using the Survey of Junior Researchers from 952 male and 928 female Ph.D. students in 4 Flemish universities. The mentoring style was assessed using two scales, measuring how strongly Ph.D. students perceived their supervisor to be authoritative and supportive. Three measures of psychosocial well-being were included: job satisfaction, pleasure at work and need for recovery. Structural equation modelling was applied for men and women separately to explore the underlying structure of the relationships among mentoring style, psychosocial work conditions and well-being. Results: Our results indicated that for both men and women the relation between mentoring style and well-being was partially mediated by Ph.D. students’ psychosocial work conditions such as perceived job demands, control and social support from co-workers and supervisor. For both male and female Ph.D. students, results showed that the more they perceived their supervisor as supportive, the higher their social support from colleagues and supervisor, job control and job satisfaction. In contrast, the more they perceived their supervisor as authoritative, the higher their job demands and the lower co-worker support, job control and pleasure at work. Women reported lower supervisor support when they perceived their supervisor as authoritative. A highly authoritative mentoring style was only positively related with need for recovery after work among male students. The effects of the psychosocial work conditions on student well-being were comparable for male and female students. Conclusion: These findings suggest that Ph.D. supervisors should become aware of how their mentoring style may influence Ph.D. students’ perception of psychosocial work conditions and well-being. A supportive mentoring style positively influences student well-being, while an authoritative mentoring style has a negative effect on well-being, especially among male Ph.D. students.

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MLA
Derycke, Hanne, Ronan Van Rossem, and Katia Levecque. “Psychosocial Well-being Among Male and Female Ph.D. Students: How Important Is the Mentoring Style of the Supervisor?” Dag Van De Sociologie (DVDS - 2012), Abstracts. 2012. Print.
APA
Derycke, H., Van Rossem, R., & Levecque, K. (2012). Psychosocial well-being among male and female Ph.D. students: how important is the mentoring style of the supervisor? Dag van de sociologie (DVDS - 2012), Abstracts. Presented at the Dag van de Sociologie (DVDS - 2012).
Chicago author-date
Derycke, Hanne, Ronan Van Rossem, and Katia Levecque. 2012. “Psychosocial Well-being Among Male and Female Ph.D. Students: How Important Is the Mentoring Style of the Supervisor?” In Dag Van De Sociologie (DVDS - 2012), Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Derycke, Hanne, Ronan Van Rossem, and Katia Levecque. 2012. “Psychosocial Well-being Among Male and Female Ph.D. Students: How Important Is the Mentoring Style of the Supervisor?” In Dag Van De Sociologie (DVDS - 2012), Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Derycke H, Van Rossem R, Levecque K. Psychosocial well-being among male and female Ph.D. students: how important is the mentoring style of the supervisor? Dag van de sociologie (DVDS - 2012), Abstracts. 2012.
IEEE
[1]
H. Derycke, R. Van Rossem, and K. Levecque, “Psychosocial well-being among male and female Ph.D. students: how important is the mentoring style of the supervisor?,” in Dag van de sociologie (DVDS - 2012), Abstracts, Utrecht, Nederland, 2012.
@inproceedings{2997511,
  abstract     = {{Background: A good interpersonal relationship between a Ph.D. student and his/her supervisor is crucial for the success of a Ph.D. project and could be expected to have an important impact on the well-being of the Ph.D. student. Moreover, it is not clear whether the supervisor-student relationship has a different effect on the well-being of male and female Ph.D. students. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the mentoring style of the Ph.D. supervisor influences the well-being of male and female Ph.D. students differently by taking into account students’ perceived psychosocial work conditions (Karasek, 1979) as possible mediating factors. Method: The present study is based on data collected using the Survey of Junior Researchers from 952 male and 928 female Ph.D. students in 4 Flemish universities. The mentoring style was assessed using two scales, measuring how strongly Ph.D. students perceived their supervisor to be authoritative and supportive. Three measures of psychosocial well-being were included: job satisfaction, pleasure at work and need for recovery. Structural equation modelling was applied for men and women separately to explore the underlying structure of the relationships among mentoring style, psychosocial work conditions and well-being. Results: Our results indicated that for both men and women the relation between mentoring style and well-being was partially mediated by Ph.D. students’ psychosocial work conditions such as perceived job demands, control and social support from co-workers and supervisor. For both male and female Ph.D. students, results showed that the more they perceived their supervisor as supportive, the higher their social support from colleagues and supervisor, job control and job satisfaction. In contrast, the more they perceived their supervisor as authoritative, the higher their job demands and the lower co-worker support, job control and pleasure at work. Women reported lower supervisor support when they perceived their supervisor as authoritative. A highly authoritative mentoring style was only positively related with need for recovery after work among male students. The effects of the psychosocial work conditions on student well-being were comparable for male and female students. Conclusion: These findings suggest that Ph.D. supervisors should become aware of how their mentoring style may influence Ph.D. students’ perception of psychosocial work conditions and well-being. A supportive mentoring style positively influences student well-being, while an authoritative mentoring style has a negative effect on well-being, especially among male Ph.D. students.}},
  author       = {{Derycke, Hanne and Van Rossem, Ronan and Levecque, Katia}},
  booktitle    = {{Dag van de sociologie (DVDS - 2012), Abstracts}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{Utrecht, Nederland}},
  title        = {{Psychosocial well-being among male and female Ph.D. students: how important is the mentoring style of the supervisor?}},
  year         = {{2012}},
}