Challenge and hindrance demands of doctoral education: conceptualization, scale development and validation

Vrinda Acharya, Ambigai Rajendran, Nandan Prabhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The present study develops, conceptualizes and validates a scale based on the transactional stress theory to assess the perceived challenge and hindrance demands of doctoral programs that impact doctoral students’ psychological well-being. Design/methodology/approach: This research employs an exploratory-mixed methodology comprising five phases with a sequential qualitative-quantitative approach. A rigorous scale development process is adopted to validate the instrument’s psychometric properties. The study respondents are Indian full-time doctoral students in the management discipline. Findings: The findings show that the construct of perceived challenge and hindrance demands is a first-order four-factor and a second-order two-factor model. The study has validated the scale to capture the challenge and hindrance demands of doctoral research programs with the following sub-constructs: doctoral program resource inadequacies, doctoral program ambiguity, doctoral program workload and complexity. Practical implications: The recommended challenge demands and hindrance demands (CHD) scale provides a benchmark for doctoral institutes and program supervisors in focussing on research students’ perception of their doctoral education demands to reduce the strain and increase their well-being during their doctoral program journey. Originality/value: Hindrance demands adversely influence the motivation resources needed for doctoral education; challenge demands positively impact the research students’ internal resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-41
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 02-01-2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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