The well-being of PhD students has become of interest recently after reports of high levels of psychological distress and mental illness amongst these students. To measure well-being among PhD students, some studies have used instruments that measure constructs related to well-being, most commonly psychological distress, whilst other aspects of well-being are overlooked. This review used a systematic approach to investigate how well-being is conceptualised in this literature and to identify and evaluate the quality of instruments used to measure PhD students’ well-being. The search strategy identified 19 articles for inclusion. Most studies measured constructs related to well-being, mainly mental illness symptoms, or constructs associated with subjective well-being and self-determination theory. Few studies measured aspects of psychological well-being. Furthermore, few questionnaires were validated for a PhD student population and many measures had no validity or reliability information available. Future research should be conducted using good quality measures to assess overlooked aspects of the six-factor model of well-being and provide a comprehensive assessment of well-being in this student group.
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- Doctorate students
- Mental health
- PhD students
- Psychological well-being