Where do I belong? How a sense of identity with vet school and university impacts veterinary student wellbeing.

Kirsty Hughes, Jessie Paterson, Kasia Banas

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Psychological wellbeing among both veterinary students and professionals is relatively poor, and it is therefore important to identify protective mechanisms that could be developed during veterinary education. We partnered with a researcher from psychology to explore whether the wellbeing of Vet School students is associated with social identification – the feeling of being connected to other students in the School.
Methods. A single cohort of Vet School students was surveyed in their first year upon entry to the programme, in their second year after some time to adapt, and in their third year during Covid-19 restrictions. At each timepoint, the survey included questions about identifying with the Vet School and the wider University, and various aspects of wellbeing.
Results. Across the three waves, identification with the Vet School was very high (around 6 on a 7-point scale), and significantly higher than identification with the wider University. The findings indicated that identification with the Vet School was significantly associated with higher levels of thriving and less depression. Analysis of the most recent survey is ongoing, but early results indicate that students who maintained a high level of identification were also less likely to experience depression or burnout during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Discussion. Our findings suggest that there is a consistent relationship between identification and wellbeing. Further research is needed to establish whether interventions that boost identification would also be effective for improving wellbeing in the veterinary profession.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2021
EventVetEd 2021 - Online
Duration: 7 Jul 202110 Jul 2021


ConferenceVetEd 2021


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