Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

School

School of Education

Program

Educational Psychology MA

First Advisor

Elvin Gabriel

Second Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Abstract

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of perceived stress and self efficacy on student satisfaction with the dissertation process among doctoral students in educational psychology in selected universities in the United States.

Method

Survey research method was used as the research platform for this study. Online surveys using Survey Monkey were administered to doctoral student in Educational Psychology from selected universities in the United States. Dissertation self-efficacy was measured with the Dissertation Self-Efficacy Scale (DSES; Varney, 2003). Perceived Stress was measured with the Perceived Stress Scale-10 (PSS-10; Cohen, Kamarch & Mermelstein, 1983). Student satisfaction was measured by a single, straight forward question on how satisfied doctoral candidates and recent graduates were with the dissertation process. Descriptive statistics analysis was performed by frequency, mean and standard deviation to find out how satisfied were doctoral students in educational psychology with the dissertation process. Independent samples T-test were used to test significant gender differences in the satisfaction with the dissertation process. Finally, multiple regression analysis was conducted to analyze the correlations between perceived stress, self-efficacy and satisfaction with the dissertation process.

Results

Results indicated that participants in this study reported moderate levels of satisfaction with the dissertation process. The independent-samples t-test indicated no gender differences in student satisfaction with the dissertation process. Descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis indicated that both perceived stress and self efficacy are positively and significantly correlated with satisfaction, suggesting that those with high levels of self-efficacy and moderate levels of perceived stress tend to be more satisfied with the dissertation process. Also, regression analysis indicated that the two predictor model accounts for 28% of the variance in satisfaction with the dissertation process.

Conclusions

In summary, high levels of dissertation self-efficacy and moderate or optimal levels of stress, influence satisfaction with the dissertation process and could enhance program completion of educational psychology doctoral students. Both students and institutions should focus on increasing doctoral candidates’ dissertation self-efficacy, maintaining moderate or optimal levels of stress and reducing high stress when necessary, and also on increasing student satisfaction with the dissertation process by maintaining program quality and encouraging positive and supportive student-advisor relationships.

Subject Area

Dissertations, Academic, Self-efficacy, Stress (Psychology), Doctoral students--United States--Research

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