Predicting Algerian Doctoral Students’ Academic Burnout Using the Expectancy-Value Model: The Effect of Faculty Attachment and Years of Enrolment

Rida Sellali, Nour El Houda Lahiouel
International Journal of Doctoral Studies  •  Volume 17  •  2022  •  pp. 513-532

The purpose of the current study is to investigate the effect of expectancy-value beliefs on Algerian doctoral students’ academic burnout. Descriptive-inferential research was adopted to measure the potential association and predictive relationship between the variables of the study.

It is commonly known that candidates undertaking a doctoral course experience significant amounts of pressure for the sake of finishing their doctoral programmes. However, their expectations of success and course values, which stem from the very essence of motivation theory, are assumed to be connected to their experience of academic burnout.

Quantitative research methods were used to study the relationship between the variables of the study. Through snowball sampling, the sample of the study consisted of doctoral students (N= 104) from three different Algerian universities, representing five faculties (Nature and Life Sciences, Science and Technology, Maths and Computer Sciences, Economy, and Languages and Literature). The measures used in this study are adapted versions of the Students’ Expectations and Value Beliefs Survey, and the Maslash Burnout Inventory – Students’ Survey (MBI-SS).

This study attempts to expand on the existing literature on the rather new concept of student burnout through the inclusion of the expectancy-value variables and offers practical recommendations to practitioners, supervisors, and doctoral students alike.

The findings indicated the existence of significant differences between doctoral candidates in terms of their faculty attachment and years of enrolment in their respective courses. The study also revealed the existence of significant negative correlations between the dimensions of expectancy-value and academic burnout. Students’ success expectancy and course values were significant negative predictors of Algerian doctoral students’ academic burnout.

Supervisors are recommended to equip their doctoral supervisees with realistic expectations of the required abilities of the course right from the beginning, elaborate on the abilities needed to finish their respective doctoral programmes, and regularly remind them of the values of their programmes should they experience academic burnout.

The present study relies heavily on quantitative research methods. Researchers could expand on the same topic of the current study by examining the subjective inclinations of doctoral candidates to understand more about the association of their success expectancy and course values to their experience of academic burnout. Researchers could also expand on the sample of the study in different contexts in the world to add more constructive criticism to the current study, with better probability sampling techniques.

The current study seeks to raise awareness on the importance of doctoral candidates’ perception of their respective doctoral programmes and potentially decrease failure and dropout rates by shifting focus to the regulation of their perceived success expectations and course values.

As far as future research is concerned, several other variables may more or less be associated with the concept of academic burnout within doctoral students, at least in the Algerian higher education context, such as candidates’ physical and emotional engagement, employment opportunities, and supervision satisfaction. Expectancy-value may have a moderating role in the relationship of these variables with experience of academic burnout, all of which can be studied through Structural Equation Modelling.

academic burnout, expectancy-value, doctoral students
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