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Emerging scholars: predictors of independent researcher identification in education PhD students

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cheryll A. Albold (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Deborah Taub

Abstract: Conducting independent research is a rite of passage in most PhD programs. Yet, little is known about the factors in the higher educational process that meaningfully shape doctoral students' self-beliefs about conducting independent research. This study used psychosocial and social cognitive variables to predict doctoral students' independent researcher identification and career interest. A total of 129 PhD students enrolled in a single School of Education at a public university in the southeastern United States completed measures of research self-efficacy, mentorship effectiveness, research experience, and stage of degree progress, as well as demographic information and responded to two single item visual analog scales measuring their degree of independent researcher identity and research career interest, respectively. A multiple regression analysis showed that the study model significantly predicted 42.8% of students' independent researcher identification and to a lesser degree (11.1%) students' research career interest. In the model, research self-efficacy was the sole significant unique contributor to researcher identification thus validating its critical importance for PhD students. Significant differences were observed in participants' researcher identification and research career interest based on stage of degree progress and some or no pre-dissertation research experience. However, no significance was observed for either regarding students' research career interest. The results validate the utility of social cognitive theoretical frameworks with doctoral students, suggests the need for proactive career development models to encourage students' exploration of research career options, and also that research self-efficacy may be closely related to mentorship effectiveness in helping students to establish independent researcher identification.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2011
Keywords
Doctoral, Identification, Ph.D, Researcher, Self-efficacy, Students
Subjects
Doctoral students $x Research $v Case studies
College teaching $x Vocational guidance $z United States $v Case studies
Dissertations, Academic $x Research $v Case studies