Racial Discrimination, Racial Identity, and Impostor Phenomenon: A Profile Approach

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Abstract

Objectives: This study examined the association between racial discrimination and the impostor phenomenon (IP) and the moderating influence of racial identity on this relationship. Method: One hundred fifty-seven African American college students (68% female; mean age = 18.63) completed measures of racial discrimination, racial identity, and IP during 2 waves of data collection. Results: Utilizing latent profile analyses, 4 patterns of racial identity were identified: Undifferentiated, Multiculturalist, Race-Focused, and Humanist. Racial discrimination predicted higher subsequent levels of IP. Racial identity did not moderate the impact of racial discrimination; however, students in the Multiculturalist and Humanist groups reported the lowest and highest levels of IP at Wave 2, respectively. Conclusion: IP is influenced by racial discrimination experiences as well as by the significance and meaning that individuals ascribe to being African American.

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