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Public Library of Science

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Graduate students' mental health and well-being is a prominent concern across various disciplines. However, early predictors of mental health and well-being in graduate education, specifically doctoral education, have rarely been studied. The present study evaluated both the underlying latent classification of individuals' mental well-being and predictors of those classifications. Results estimated two latent classes of students' mental health and well-being: one class with generally high levels of mental well-being and one with lower levels of mental well-being. Regression analyses showed that mentoring in the second year of doctoral study, certainty of choice in the thrid year, and both academic development and sense of belonging in the fourth year were positive predictors of membership in the higher mental well-being class. In contrast to some prior studies, demographic variables were not related to the identified well-being classifications. Regression analyses further showed that mental well-being was negatively related to participants' number of publications and research self-efficacy, indicating a problematic relationship between scholarly productivity and confidence and well-being. These findings may be used to identify and provide targeted support for students who are at-risk for having or developing lower levels of mental well-being in their graduate programs.

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