Psychology Doctoral Students’ Self-Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Relationships Among Satisfaction With Life, Stress Levels, and Self-Compassion
Psychology doctoral students face high demands with academics and clinical work, while balancing these responsibilities with relationships, finances, and health concerns (Myers et al., 2012). Research suggests psychology doctoral students struggle to implement self-care, which may relate to lower satisfaction with life and higher perceived stress levels (Colman et al., 2016; Rupert&Dorociak, 2019). The literature suggests that self-compassion may have an important role in the relationship between self-care, satisfaction with life, and levels of stress (Beaumont et al., 2017; Boellinghaus et al., 2013). Psychologists-in-training experienced heightened anxiety and are at greater risk for burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic (Norcross & Phillips, 2020). The present study administered an online survey to psychology doctoral students enrolled in APA-accredited doctoral programs in the Northeastern United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, to assess frequency of engagement in self-care practices, self-compassion, satisfaction with life, and perceived stress levels. We hypothesized that the frequency of engagement in self-care practices would predict satisfaction with life and perceived stress levels, and self-compassion would moderate the relationship between frequency of self-care and satisfaction with life, as well as frequency of self-care and perceived stress levels. Results demonstrated that the greater frequency of self-care practice predicted higher satisfaction with life and lower perceived stress levels. Self-compassion did not moderate the relationship between frequency of self-care and satisfaction with life and frequency of self-care and perceived stress levels. The findings suggest a need to integrate self-care interventions and education within graduate training in psychology.
Training and Education in Professional Psychology
Geary, Marissa R.; Shortway, Kendahl M.; Marks, Donald R.; and Block-Lerner, Jennifer, "Psychology Doctoral Students’ Self-Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Relationships Among Satisfaction With Life, Stress Levels, and Self-Compassion" (2023). Kean Publications. 294.