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ERIC Number: ED546175
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 374
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2676-0620-4
Transforming Scholars: A Narrative Inquiry of Doctoral Student Psychosocial Development
Tessmer, Kimberly Adkins
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Mercer University
This study explored the doctoral student experience through the lens of college student psychosocial development theory. Although psychosocial development has been a mainstay in the research of undergraduate education, doctoral student psychosocial development has received little attention. The primary research objective was to engage, listen to, and through the narrative, describe the developmental journeys of four recent doctoral graduates. Participants in this study included two males and two females who earned their Ph.D. in education in either an online or face-to-face program within the past five years. The qualitative methodology used for this study was critical event narrative inquiry. Participants were asked to reflect upon their entire doctoral student experience to explore the developmental nature of critical events of challenge and support. The findings describe the psychosocial developmental experience from the perspective of the four participants. My findings suggest that doctoral student psychosocial development is uniquely experienced and informed by individual perceptions. Doctoral students do not follow prescriptive patterns of development. Perceptions may be influenced by differences in how doctoral students experience developmental readiness in response to new challenges that require them to become self-directed learners and producers rather than consumers of knowledge. Development lies in the recognition and interpretation of challenges as opportunities for transformative growth. Events of support that assist doctoral students in the process of recognition and reflection of events of challenge promote developmental awareness and self-discovery. The findings from this study increase understanding of how the dynamics of events of challenge and support influence the doctoral student experience. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A