Original Research

The psychological well-being manifesting among master’s students in Industrial and Organisational Psychology

Frans Cilliers, Aden-Paul Flotman
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 42, No 1 | a1323 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v42i1.1323 | © 2016 Frans Cilliers, Aden-Paul Flotman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 November 2015 | Published: 20 June 2016

About the author(s)

Frans Cilliers, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa
Aden-Paul Flotman, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa


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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.

Keywords: positive organisational behaviour; job demands; job resources; multiple roles; support system; self-efficacy; hope/optimism


Keywords

positive organisational behaviour; job demands; job resources; multiple roles; support system; self-efficacy; hope/optimism

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Crossref Citations

1. Resilience in higher education students: a scoping review
Margo. L. Brewer, Gisela van Kessel, Brooke Sanderson, Fiona Naumann, Murray Lane, Alan Reubenson, Alice Carter
Higher Education Research & Development  vol: 38  issue: 6  first page: 1105  year: 2019  
doi: 10.1080/07294360.2019.1626810