Impact assessment: The relationship between incivility, sense of belonging, sense of community, and well-being amongst graduate students

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Parker, Tasha
Lewis-Moss, Rhonda K.

Faculty incivility experienced by graduate students poses a severe threat to universities. Top-down incivility experienced by graduate students impacts students in various individual ways and extends across micro, meso, and macro levels. This study sought to investigate graduate students' overall experience of incivility and the impact faculty incivility has on four concepts that have emerged from the literature that influence graduate student academic experience: sense of community, sense of belonging, subjective well-being, and psychological well-being. A total of 265 graduate students from Wichita State University (WSU) participated in this study. Graduate students reported moderate levels of faculty incivility (M = 1.86, SD= .633, Md= 2) and experiencing faculty incivility about 46% of the time. This study also asked participants to respond to four narrative items that were themed separately and make up significant concepts of graduate students' experience and beliefs of incivility at WSU: pedagogy or teaching effectiveness, pro-social behavior, and institutional practices. This study also investigated the relationship between sense of community, sense of belonging, subjective well-being, and psychological well-being. Faculty incivility negatively impacted perceived faculty support while positively affecting perceived peer support. Both concepts were constructs measured by subscales of sense of belonging. Ultimately, it is evident that further research is needed to investigate the relationship between faculty incivility and the impact on graduate students and the role that peer support and other demographics serve as both protective and risk factors.

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Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology