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‘Towards an effective supervisory relationship in research degree supervision: insights from attachment theory’

Andriopoulou, Panoraia and Prowse, Alicia (2020) ‘Towards an effective supervisory relationship in research degree supervision: insights from attachment theory’. Teaching in Higher Education. pp. 1-14. ISSN 1356-2517

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Abstract

While the interpersonal nature of the supervisory relationship in research degree supervision has been recognised and different models of supervisory styles have been developed, the research supervision literature has yet to acknowledge the relational individual differences and the relational dynamics that are at play within the supervisor-supervisee relationship. This paper draws on literature from the higher education, clinical supervision, and leadershipfields and utilises attachment theory as a conceptual framework in an attempt to shed some light on the attachment processes and dynamics of the research supervisory relationship. The review of the evidence presented here clearly indicates the usefulness and applicability of attachment theory in the research supervision practice. This paper makes a contribution to the higher education and research supervision literature by offering new directions for research and by providing practical guidelines for the training of postgraduate research supervisors.

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