What do Doctoral Students Value in their Ideal Mentor?


The purpose of this study was to contribute to the construct validity of the scores from Rose’s (2003) 34-item Ideal Mentor Scale (IMS) and to examine whether male and female doctoral students value different attributes in their ideal mentor. Two hundred and twenty-four doctoral students from colleges (Education, Public Health, Nursing, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Business) throughout a large state research university participated in the study. Confirmatory factor analysis of the IMS revealed that the fit of the three-factor model (Integrity, Guidance, and Relationship) was not satisfactory. A major source of misfit involved covariances between errors of similarly worded items. Gender comparisons of the three subscales and individual items on the IMS indicated that male and female doctoral students were more alike than different regarding qualities they desire in their ideal mentor. The largest difference was observed on the item Believe in me (Integrity subscale) with female doctoral students rating this as more important than male students. The potential of the Ideal Mentor Scale for stimulating conversations about mentoring and clarifying expectations of students and faculty is discussed.

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@inproceedings{BellEllison2008WhatDD, title={What do Doctoral Students Value in their Ideal Mentor?}, author={Bethany A. Bell-Ellison and Robert F. Dedrick}, year={2008} }