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Impostor Phenomenon and Females’ Self-Esteem, GPA, and Relationship with Mother

Melissa R. Garwick, Annalise C. Ford, Jennifer L. Hughes*, Agnes Scott College

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v10/garwick.html

Abstract The Impostor Phenomenon (IP) has been found mainly in high-achieving women in academic and career fields. Clance and Imes (1978) were the first researchers to identify this phenomenon. For this study, we examined self-esteem levels, grade point average (GPA), and participants’ relationship with their mother. We collected data using an Internet survey taken by 401 female undergraduate and graduate students whose ages ranged from 17 to 42. As hypothesized, females’ relationship with their mother was inversely related to their IP score. However, self-esteem and GPA were not significantly related to females’ IP score. These findings caution mothers to be careful about how they develop their relationship with their daughters.

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