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Validation of an Instrument to Measure Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Graduate Students’ Mental Health (Work in Progress)

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Mental Health of Graduate Students

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

10

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35482

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35482

Download Count

166

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Paper Authors

biography

Sarah Jane Bork University of Michigan Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4344-554X

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Sarah received her B.S. and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Ohio State University in 2017. She is now at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she is pursuing her PhD in Engineering Education Research with an emphasis on the engineering graduate students’ experience as it pertains to the student-advisor relationship and students’ mental health.

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biography

Joi-Lynn Mondisa University of Michigan Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3959-6548

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Joi Mondisa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering and an Engineering Education Faculty Member at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. Dr. Mondisa holds a PhD in Engineering Education, an MS in Industrial Engineering, an MBA, and a BS in General Engineering. She researches STEM mentoring experiences and mentoring intervention programs in higher education.

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Abstract

The mental health of students in higher education has been an increased focus in recent research. Current literature points to aspects of the student’s social environment, such as feelings of connectedness, a sense of belonging, social self-efficacy, and social support, influencing students’ reported mental health measures in addition to lasting academic impacts. It is still unclear, however, to the extent which of these concepts are present in current surveys used to assess graduate student mental health. The research question guiding this study is, What underlying factors are important when looking at the mental health of science, engineering, and mathematics graduate students?

This study will look specifically at the Healthy Minds Study (HMS), conducted by the Healthy Minds Network (HMN): Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health group, to try and determine the underlying structure of the HMS questionnaire as it relates to the social context. Data collected from the 2013 survey by the HMN will be analyzed. Responses will be included for United States graduate students in the natural sciences, mathematics, and/or engineering field of study. These responses will then be randomly split to conduct a cross-validation study to determine which underlying factor structures are present in the existing HMN survey instrument relating to science, engineering, and mathematics graduate student mental health.

The anticipated results will reveal the underlying factor structures of these items through the exploratory factor analysis and attempt to explain these groupings by evaluating a proposed factor structure through the confirmatory factor analysis. The ultimate purpose of this work is to shed light on factors that influence science, engineering, and mathematics graduate student mental health so that graduate students, faculty, and staff can use these results for both individual and programmatic change. This study will help do so by providing some direction and guidance to those who wish to use the larger HMN survey in future analysis.

Bork, S. J., & Mondisa, J. (2020, June), Validation of an Instrument to Measure Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Graduate Students’ Mental Health (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35482

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