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Well-being in UK Clinical Psychology Doctoral Trainees: A Grounded Theory of Professional Experiences and Well-Being Meaning-making

Fisher, Kimberley (2023) Well-being in UK Clinical Psychology Doctoral Trainees: A Grounded Theory of Professional Experiences and Well-Being Meaning-making. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

This thesis explores the well-being of UK Clinical Psychology trainees (CPTs), providing unique contributions to the field through assimilation of existing knowledge and the development of a new theory of CPT well-being.

A literature review describes, critiques, and assimilates 14 peer-reviewed and doctoral papers on the well-being, stress or mental health of CPTs in the UK. CPTs’ levels of stress, mental health and well-being in the studies were comparable to, or worse than general population data. A significant subset of CPTs experienced clinically significant indicators of mental health problems and were likely to experience difficulties in disclosing these. Perfectionism, imposter syndrome and working relationships were identified as important factors impacting well-being. The quality of the papers was acceptable, however, several variables limited the field and affected data interpretation and synthesis. Recommendations for future research included the need for longitudinal studies and consideration of the variety of measures impact of academic activities and further exploration of how trainees make sense of their well-being.

The empirical paper presents the authors original research exploring the meaning of well-being for CPTs via the views of those entering training (CPT-Es). The study aimed to move beyond the literature review by developing a grounded theory of the social construction of UK CPTs’ well-being. Twelve participants were interviewed, and a theory developed. The core of the theory posits that challenges to personal well-being pose a threat to CPT-Es whose well-being-related threat is influenced by shared narratives (i.e. common stories) and the extent to which the individual believes these. The theory goes on to identify salient contextual factors and identify CPT-Es’ responses to this system. The results are discussed in relation to current literature and pertinent theories before making recommendations for applications and future research.

An executive summary provides a plain-language overview of the empirical paper.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Education
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2024 11:48
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2024 11:48

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