Logo Logo

Vilser, Melanie; Gentele, Selina; Mausz, Irmgard (2024): Putting PhD students front and center: an empirical analysis using the Effort-Reward Imbalance Model. Frontiers in Psychology, 14: 1298242. ISSN 1664-1078

[thumbnail of fpsyg-14-1298242.pdf] Published Article

The publication is available under the license Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (823kB)



A doctorate is associated with numerous challenges for many PhD students, including financial insecurities, little support from supervisors, and time pressure. The present study explores well-being of PhD students via the Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) model as well as the potential protective factor resilience.


A web-based questionnaire survey was conducted among 1,275 PhD students from Germany. Data was collected at two measurement points over a six-week follow-up period.


As hypothesized, overcommitment was found to mediate the relationship between ERI and perceived stress while no mediation effect was found for work engagement. Resilience strengthened the relationship between ERI and overcommitment, especially for an increasing unfavorable ERI, and counterintuitively did not act as a protective factor.


Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, providing a deeper understanding on the ERI model and the negative coping pattern overcommitment in the context of PhD students.

View Item
View Item