Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The present research project expands on impostor phenomenon (IP) literature by incorporating an intentional intersectional framework using two studies to determine if IP mediates (explains) the relationship between group stereotype threat susceptibility and mental health outcomes for Black women college students attending predominantly White institutions. by including a diary study to ascertain the frequency, intensity, and triggers for impostor beliefs, this project provides support for context dependent impostorism. It provides clarification around what types of situations precede the endorsement of heightened impostor beliefs for Black women college students. This project answers the following research questions amongst a sample of Black women college students attending predominantly White institutions: 1) Do global impostor feelings mediate the relationship between the endorsement of group stereotypical beliefs and mental health outcomes? and 2) Utilizing a diary study methodology, does situational context (race, gender, status of those involved, number of those involved) influence event-contingent endorsement of impostor beliefs? Findings from the first research question indicate that impostor beliefs mediate (explain) the relationship between increased endorsement of group stereotypical beliefs and anxiety (partial mediation) and depression (full mediation). for the second research question, a grounded theory analysis found four themes related to events that trigger impostor beliefs for this student sample: Negative Classroom Dynamics, Concerns About Others' Perceptions of Their Competence, Viewing Self and Abilities Negatively, and Negative Experiences with Authority. Findings for the second research question also indicate that increased frequency of impostor belief events was related to a higher proportion of emotional intensity. Regarding characteristics of the triggering impostor belief events, only events that included eleven or more individuals were associated with increased frequency of impostor belief triggering events.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.