The psychological well-being manifesting among master's students in industrial and organisational psychology.

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 4
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Orientation: Psychological well-being among master’s students is seen as a contributing factor towards having a meaningful, enjoyable and productive experience as a student. Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to provide a qualitative description of the psychological well-being experiences of first-year students in a part-time coursework master’s degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology (IOP) in order to foster an empathetic understanding of their experiences. Motivation for the study: The understanding of their master’s students’ psychological wellbeing experiences will assist university IOP departments in facilitating the appropriate psychological containment to students and the optimisation of their resilience towards meaningfully completing their first year and perhaps also their master’s degree. Research design, approach and method: Qualitative research was conducted within a hermeneutic interpretive stance. Data were gathered from a focus group with 10 conveniently chosen participants. Thematic content analysis provided eight themes, which were interpreted and linked to the literature on psychological well-being. Main findings: Student distress caused by job demands leads to languishing and feeling overwhelmed. In contrast, student eustress resulting from job resources leads to flourishing, consisting of self-efficacy, locus of control and optimism. Practical implications: University IOP departments can use the information towards understanding their master’s students’ psychological well-being experiences, which could assist in the students’ successful and timeous completion of their studies. Contribution: The study contributes to the literature on master’s students’ real negative and positive experiences and psychological well-being, which university departments often deny or dismiss as idiosyncratic.