Presenting research on Graduate Students’ Resilience and Stress Management at ICA 2019

The RISE Lab is thrilled to have our paper accepted for presentation at the 69th annual conference of the International Communication Association! The paper, titled Structurational Resilience in Graduate School: How Communication Graduate Students Manage Stress, was coauthored with Wayne State graduate students Kelsey Husnick, Alexei Berg and Caleb Mims, and University of South Florida professor Patrice M. Buzzanell.

The paper will be presented to the Organizational Communication Division, and here’s the abstract:

It is not a secret to anyone in academia that graduate education is stressful, but universities and graduate programs can reduce stressors and enable resilience among their graduate students by instilling procedures and structures that empower graduate students and aid in the performance of resilience. We call this process structurational resilience, an extension of structuration theory and resilience theory in which the institution itself is built upon and reinforces resilient processes. In this study, we interview 50 communication students enrolled in various masters and PhD programs about their lived experiences in graduate school, including how they understand and manage stress, and the tensional roles/demands of graduate school. Ultimately, we uncover ways in which graduate students perform resilience on their own, which embody Buzzanell’s processes of resilience (2010, Buzzanell et al., 2009), and model the ways in which resilience is structured into graduated education at the micro, meso, and macro levels, focusing specifically on the ways graduate programs create and reinforce resilience processes.


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