Psychology graduate students would like to read more in gradPSYCH about how to finish their dissertations and find internships, jobs and scholar ships, according to a reader survey for the new student magazine, which debuted May 2003. About 88 students responded to the survey, which was disseminated at the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) booth during APA's 2003 Annual Convention in Toronto.
The survey also found that:
57% said they are "very interested" in articles on scholarships, 56% on dissertation advice and 52% on how to obtain internships. Students also gave high marks to possible features about career planning and general tips for a good internship or postdoc experience, according to the survey.
60% of the students surveyed said they read the premiere issue, and 91% of those students reported reading more than half of the magazine.
60% of students said that the gradPSYCH Web site (gradpsych.apags.org) would be more beneficial to them if it included information that supplements the magazine's articles; 63% favored other links or resources related to the articles; and 42% backed interactive discussions about the articles.
Students said that they also would like to read about current, and even controversial, issues in psychology, such as cultural competency training and preparation and prescription privileges efforts for psychologists.
Ethical dilemmas students reported included negotiating publication credit, protecting the confidentiality of client information, and professionalism and relationships with professors and supervisors.
When asked what worries them the most about starting a career in psychology, students reported such struggles as deciding how to specialize within psychology, finding a job, securing funding for research and working with managed care.
Carol Williams-Nickelson, PsyD, APAGS associate executive director, says gradPSYCH aims to help students address such concerns and challenges in their doctoral training. She adds that the reader survey provided APAGS with valuable insight on these student issues and the types of stories and guidance that gradPSYCH can provide to help students negotiate graduate school more smoothly.
"We truly want this magazine to be for and about graduate students-so we will continue to talk to our readers through focus groups, surveys, e-mail and other methods to ensure that we are in touch with what our members need," Williams-Nickelson says.