Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - NLU Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Charles E. Davis, PhD

Second Advisor

Sandra G. Zakowski, PhD

Third Advisor

Shivroup K. Grewal, PsyD


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between imposter feelings and achievement dispositions (i.e., self-handicapping behaviors and personal development competitive attitudes). It was hypothesized that imposter feelings would be positively correlated to self-handicapping behaviors and negatively correlated to personal development competitive attitudes. Female clinical psychologists with at least 10 years of postlicensure experience (N = 75) were recruited via American Psychological Association Division Listservs, the Illinois Psychological Association’s Listserv, and networking among mental health professionals. Participants completed the Clance Imposter Phenomenon Scale (CIPS), the Self-Handicapping Scale (SHS), and the Personal Development Competitive Attitude Scale (PDCA). Two Pearson product-moment correlations were run to examine the relationships. A moderate positive correlation was found between a woman’s experience of imposter characteristics and her tendency to self-handicap, confirming the first hypothesis. The second hypothesis was not confirmed, as the correlation between imposter characteristics and personal development competitive attitudes was non-significant. The findings from this study are directly applicable to the therapeutic context, as these factors provide insight into the internal experiences and perspectives of women psychologists and help to encourage a conversation regarding self-awareness in therapists.

Previous Versions

Sep 15 2020
Sep 15 2020