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Table 3 Risk and protective factors associated with DR mental health in terms of the type and volume of evidence

From: Understanding the mental health of doctoral researchers: a mixed methods systematic review with meta-analysis and meta-synthesis

  Quantitative only Qualitative only Both
Single Multiple Single Multiple
Risk Being single.
Not having children
Lower socio-economic status
In final year
Viewed studies as a burden
Study-related self-efficacy
Negative writing habits
Difficulties in personal life
Competitiveness amongst peers.
Lack of academic identity
Pre-existing mental health problems
Dissonance between personal and institutional values
No physical presence on campus
Poor quality friendships
Feeling like an outsider
Imposter phenomenon
Putting studies above all else
Feeling like a product
Unhealthy work culture
Being female
Protective Positive writing habits Five factor personality traits.
Support from postdoctoral researchers Involvement in non-PhD activities
Being part of multiple groups (inside and outside of academia)
Being authentic
Seeing the bigger picture
Feeling their research matters
Setting realistic goals
Social support
Viewing PhD as a process
Positive supervisor relationship
  1. Single = evidenced in a single study; multiple = evidenced across more than one study