NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED566364
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 110
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-5477-7
Anxiety and the Imposter Phenomenon among Graduate Students in Online versus Traditional Programs
Fraenza, Christy B.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Walden University
High anxiety levels have been associated with high levels of the imposter phenomenon (IP), a negative experience of feeling like a fraud. Because IP can leave a person living in a negative cycle of anxiety that could limit participation in academic pursuits, the purpose of this study was to determine if there were differences in IP between students attending a traditional program and those attending an online program. The theoretical foundation of this study was social influence, which holds that students with high levels of anxiety may feel pressured in a traditional setting because of the social cues of others and by institutional norms. This quantitative study used a between-subjects design to compare 2 independent samples (115 online students and 105 traditional students) that were recruited via a participant pool at an online university and by contacting program directors at a traditional university. This study did not control for any demographic differences between the samples. The study used the Clance Imposter Phenomenon Scale, the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale, the Perfectionistic Self-Presentation Scale, and a basic demographic survey. Results indicated that students in the traditional program had significantly higher IP scores than those in an online program. Results also indicated a significant, positive relationship between IP scores and anxiety scores. Regression analysis revealed perfectionism as the most influential predictor of IP scores. Because the scale used for perfectionism explored socially prescribed perfectionism, the results appear to suggest an underlying social component to IP. These results will help inform institutions of how to best serve graduate students who might be stuck in the negative cycle of IP that could limit their participation in academic ventures and add to the body of literature on IP. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Zung Self Rating Depression Scale