• Mental wellbeing of caring profession students: relationship with caregiver identity, self-compassion, and intrinsic motivation.

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Green, Pauline; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2018)
      Aims To assess mental well-being in a sample of UK caring profession students and explore the relationship between mental well-being, psychological distress, caregiver role identity, self-compassion, and motivation. Background Students of caring profession subjects in UK universities typically follow a demanding educational and clinical training curriculum. Consequently, compared to other UK student groups, levels of psychological distress and mental illness are high. Design A cross-sectional observational study was conducted during the 2016-2017 academic year. Methods UK caring profession students (n=116) completed measures assessing mental well-being, psychological distress, caregiver role identity, self-compassion, and motivation. Significant correlations and independent predictors of mental well-being and psychological distress were identified. Results/Findings The current sample of UK caring profession students had low levels of mental well-being and two-thirds were deemed to have severe levels of psychological distress. Mental well-being and psychological distress were negatively associated with role identity, and positively associated with self-compassion and intrinsic motivation. Role identity, self-compassion and intrinsic motivation were significant independent predictors of mental well-being and psychological distress. Conclusion This study accords with other studies reporting that levels of psychological distress and mental illness are high amongst UK caring profession students. Findings suggest role identity, self-compassion, and intrinsic motivation are key factors that influence the mental well-being of this student group. Further research is warranted to determine whether adjusting the training curriculum to change how students identify with their caregiver role, as well as improve student levels of self-compassion and intrinsic motivation, leads to improvements in mental well-being and academic completion.