Handbook for Doctoral Students in Education/Managing work and life

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Managing Work and Life[edit]

As a doctoral student, your wellness depends upon your ability to manage the multiple roles you have chosen. There is a rich field of research for you to draw on when planning for a balanced academic experience. Suggested steps include:

  • determine an appropriate definition of balance for you and those impacted by your decisions;
  • acknowledge that you will often be negotiating with an inflexible academic environment;
  • acknowledge and prepare for the burden of constant decision making that will involve the prioritization of competing responses for least negative impact, each of which might be critical to school, family, work or some combination.
  • protect against role overload, or insufficient time to meet all demands.
  • protect against role contagion, or preoccupation with one role while performing another.

Suggested Reading for Managing Work and Life[edit]

  • Brus, C. P. (2006). Seeking balance in graduate school: A realistic expectation or a dangerous

dilemma. In M. J. Guentzel, & B. E. Nesheim (Eds.), Supporting graduate and professional students: The role of student affairs. New Directions for Student Services, no. 115, (pp. 31-45). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  • Delamont, S., Atkinson, P., & Parry, O. (2000). The doctoral experience: Success and failure in graduate school. New York: Palmer Press.
  • Fairchild, E. E. (2003). Multiple roles of adult learners. In D. Kilgore, & P. J. Rice (Eds.), Meeting the special needs of adult students. New Directions for Student Services, no.102, pp. 11-16). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Goplerud, E. N. (1980). Social support and stress during the first year of graduate school. Professional Psychology, 283-290.
  • Hadjioannou, X., Shelton, N. R., Fu, D., & Dhanarattigannon, J. (2007). The road to a doctoral degree: Co-travelers through a perilous passage. College Student Journal, 41(1), 160-177.
  • Kenty, J. R. (2000). Stress management strategies for women doctoral students. Nurse Educator, 25(5), 251-254.
  • Krueger, P. M., & Peek, L. A. (2006). Figuring it out: A conversation about how to complete your Ph.D. College Student Journal, 40(1), 149-157.
  • Lawson, T. J., & Fuehrer, A. (2001). The role of social support in moderating the stress that first-year graduate students experience. Education, 110(2), 186-193.
  • Malone, B. G., Nelson, J. S., & Nelson, C. V. (2004). Academic and affective factors contributing to degree completion of doctoral students in educational administration. The Teacher Educator, 40(1), 33-55.
  • Stratton, J. S., Mielke, A., Kirshenbaum, S., Goodrich, A., & McRae, C. (2006). Finding a balanced life: Factors that contribute to life satisfaction in graduate students. Journal of College & Character, 7(8), 1-10.