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

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

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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.

Introduction Procrastination is common today, whether it is putting off an assignment for school or a presentation for work. Although some miss their deadlines and face penalties, others are able to pull off high quality work at the last minute. How people cope with procrastination can vary greatly. Some wait until the last minute infrequently and therefore do not dwell on the action of procrastinating. Others do not like the stress of procrastinating and never wait that long again. For some, procrastination is a chronic issue that leads to feelings of being an impostor, despite success they may achieve. There are more people who over prepare and feel like a fake. These people have fallen victim to the Impostor Phenomenon (IP).

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