Stress Research on Doctoral Programs by Priscilla Dawn Johnson
+ PRISCILLA DAWN JOHNSONEducational Leadership Doctoral StudentWhitlowe R. Green College of Education Prairie View A&M University March 2011WHAT’S EATING PRAIRIE VIEW PANTHERS? AN EXPLORATORY QUEST FOR HEALING & HELPING OF STRESS AMONG EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP DOCTORAL STUDENTS
+ Acknowledgements n Theresearcher would like to thank those students who provided personal insight about their doctoral experience. Special thanks to Dr. William A. Kritsonis for introducing me to the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning philosophy and Dr. Lisa Hobson for providing statistical information to complete this study.
+ Statement of the Problem n Professors and students state that obtaining a doctorate degree is a selfish, surprising, and rewarding experience. Participants did not foresee the difficulty in pursuing a doctorate. As students finish their degree, others are stuck in ABD (all but dissertation). Doctoral students waddle in stress as their mind and body becomes affected. Stress is a serious condition that has the ability to turn an emotion into physical form.
+ Purpose of This Study n The purpose of this exploratory research is to understand what causes stress in Educational Leadership (EDUL) Doctoral students at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU). The researcher seeks to find the elixir used to achieve the sense of healing and inspiration. This study was conducted to examine whether a larger scale research is necessary to find causes and healing for stressors in the lives of doctoral students. Results show a larger scale study is appropriate.
+ Objectives/Research Questions What causes stress in the life of a doctoral student? What are the fears of doctoral students? What are the sources of healing from stress?
+ Theoretical Frameworkn The theoretical realm of Synnoetics is a branch Synnoetics from the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning by Dr. William A. Kritsonis. Synnoetics is a reflection of our personal life and the skills utilized to master personal knowledge. Our interactions with others weave the spiritual sense of significance. Our spirit is the sphere in which all relations dwell (2007). Personal Knowledge Reflection of Personal Life & Skills Spirituality
+ Review of Literature ² According to WDC, spiritual healing involves improving the wholeness of a person’s mind, body, and spirit (2011). Our spirit is a living force. Healing the spirit requires moving it to a normal state by altering behaviors and mind frames. ² Gockel’s 2009 study with 12 participants, who identified spirituality as a source of healing, found a new coping strategy. Spiritual coping took place when participants exhibited “undoing patterns” by reconstructing the meaning of their problem. ² Gardner’s 2008 study identified attrition factors among 60 doctoral students. Women left their program due to personal reasons pertaining to family and marriage. In addition, students identified poor advising, politics, and preparation for graduate school as reasons for leaving their doctoral program.
+ Review of Literature ² Flinders University (2008) conducted a study to examine the effectiveness of their PhD preparation program. They found that when inhibiting factors such as anxiety, fear of failure, perfectionism, and procrastination were addressed, students were more confident about completing their PhD. ² In a study of 15 fit PhD students, the metabolite allopregnanolone increased during PhD examinations. Allopregnanolone can accrue in the brain and become synthesized as a neurosteriod. This is important because neurosteriods play a part in nervous system malfunctions like depression, anxiety, learning, and memory dysfunctions.
+ Methodology Code of data for themes Instrument: Researcher Surveyed 28 generated; students from phone approximate interviews; 10 Purposeful population of 75 sample of EDUL open-ended students taking questions PhD Students EDUL doctoral in COE classes Survey Sample: § Years in program ranged from 7 months – 2 1/2 years § Surveyed males & females § Ages ranged from 25-64 § Two other researchers validated and reviewed this methodology § All students verbally agreed to participate in this study
+ Major Findings What’s Eating PVAMU EDUL Doctoral Students? Sources of Causes of Their Fears Healing From Stress Stress Planning Assignments Their dissertation Exercise/physical activity Balance of work in Comprehensive classes exams Religion Time management Not doing well or (family, work, & Family, friends, not finishing school) professors
+ Major Findings Ø Most students surveyed are pursuing a PhD because it is a life goal, for upward mobility, or to have the creden;als to help others in a greater capacity Ø Students stay mo;vated by fragments that construct their mind frame: “begin with end in mind!”
+ Conclusions & Recommendations From this Study: Increase the realm of Synnoetics to increase your spirit of success and personal knowledge! INCREASE PERSONAL REFLECTION Create a routine or Create an action plan Celebrate your hobby that relieves to defeat your accomplishments stress challenges INCRESE YOUR SKILLS Dissertation Seek guidance on Build time preparation course, expectations for managements skills books, and guides comprehensive exams
+ References n Droogleever Fortuyn, H. A., van Broekhoven, F., Span, P. N., Bäckström, T., Zitman, F. G., & Verkes, R. J. (2004). Effects of PhD examination stress on allopregnanolone and cortisol plasma levels and peripheral benzodiazepine receptor density. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 29(10), 1341-1344. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2004.02.003 n Gardner, S. K. (2009). Student and faculty attributions of attrition in high and low- completing doctoral programs in the united states. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning, 58(1), 97-112. n Gockel, A. (2009). Spirituality and the process of healing: A narrative study. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 19(4), 217-230. doi:10.1080/10508610903143248 n Kearns, H., Gardiner, M., & Marshall, K. (2008). Innovation in PhD completion: the hardy shall succeed (and be happy!). Higher Education Research & Development, 27(1), 77-89. doi:10.1080/07294360701658781 n Kritsonis, W. A. (2007). Ways of knowing through the realms of meaning. Houston, TX: National Forum Journals. n WDC. (2011, n.d.). Re: Wellness destinations central: Take the journey [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.wellnessdestinationscentral.com/about/therapy- glossary/