Exploring the Link between Mindset and Psychological Well-Being among Veterinary Students

Rachel Whittington, Daphne Loads, Susan Rhind, Ian Handel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study set out to improve our understanding of potential pedagogical factors which may influence the mental health of veterinary students. Previous research has demonstrated that the type of feedback given to children by parents and teachers can strongly influence young people’s beliefs in their ability to modify their intelligence - their ‘mindset’. There is also evidence that we can change the mindset of students relating to their intelligence by changing the methods by which we teach and assess. We used a paper based questionnaire to assess mindset and psychological wellbeing in veterinary students (n=148). We found an association between students’ mindset relating to their intelligence and their psychological wellbeing. Students believing that their level of intelligence was fixed had significantly lower scores on five out of six areas of psychological well-being compared to students who believed that their intelligence was malleable. Giving process rather than person feedback and reducing assessment methods that encourage comparison with other students could increase the proportion of our students with a growth mindset and, if the association we identified is causal, improve their psychological wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Volume44
Issue number1
Early online date18 Feb 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Feb 2017

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