Document Type : Original Article
Associate Professor of Health Psychology, Department of Psychology, Literature and Humanities Faculty, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
Ph.D. Candidate of Clinical Psychology, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
Background: Educational situations greatly affect the mental growth and health of individuals, as well as their psychological resources. Of the psychological resources involved in education, academic self-efficacy, academic motivation, and optimism are noteworthy.
Objectives: The present study aimed at comparing academic self-efficacy, academic motivation, and optimism among professional doctorate students at Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on all the first- and fifth-year medical, dentistry, and pharmacy students of Kerman University of Medical Sciences in the academic year 2018-19 as the statistical population, of whom 266 subjects were selected by simple random cluster sampling. Data were collected using the Vallerand academic motivation and the Owen and Froman college academic self-efficacy scales, as well as the life orientation test (Scheier and Carver) questionnaires. MANOVA was used to analyze the data.
Results: Dental students had the highest level of self-efficacy (P=0.007). Also, the mean scores of academic self-efficacy (P = 0.001) and optimism (P = 0.03) were higher among the fifth-year students. On the other hand, in the interaction of the study field with the entry year, self-efficacy was significant (P = 0.001). There was no significant difference in the academic motivation among the students of different study fields (P = 0.16) and according to the entry years. (P = 0.13)
Conclusion: Dental students choose their field of study with more interest, which further maintains and increases their academic motivation during the seven years of academic education. On the other hand, interest in the field of study is one of the variables influencing the maintenance and increase of the self-efficacy construct over time.
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