Impostor feelings as a moderator and mediator of the relationship between perceived discrimination and mental health among racial/ethnic minority college students

Kevin Cokley, Leann Smith, Donte Bernard, Ashley Hurst, Stacey Jackson, Steven Stone, Olufunke Awosogba, Chastity Saucer, Marlon Bailey, Davia Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated whether impostor feelings would both moderate and mediate the relationship between perceived discrimination and mental health in a sample of diverse ethnic minority college students (106 African Americans, 102 Asian Americans, 108 Latino/a Americans) at an urban public university. African American students reported higher perceived discrimination than Asian American and Latino/a American students, while no racial/ethnic group differences were reported for impostor feelings. Analyses revealed that among African American students, high levels of impostor feelings moderated the perceived discrimination and depression relationship and mediated the perceived discrimination and anxiety relationship. Among Asian American students, impostor feelings mediated the relationship between perceived discrimination and both depression and anxiety. Among Latino/a American students low levels of impostor feelings moderated the relationship between perceived discrimination and both depression and anxiety, and partially mediated the relationship between perceived discrimination and anxiety. Multigroup path analyses revealed a significantly stronger impact of impostor feelings on depression among African American students and a stronger impact of perceived discrimination on impostor feelings among African American and Latino/a American students. Clinical implications and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-154
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Impostor phenomenon
  • Mental health
  • Perceived discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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