Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Asian American Studies

Reader 1

Jennifer Ma

Reader 2

Sharon Goto

Reader 3

YouYoung Kang

Rights Information

© 2021 Justine M Iwata


This is a two-part thesis in fulfillment of the Scripps College Psychology and Asian American Studies Dual Major. The first part proposes an empirical test of the conceptual model of the impostor phenomenon for Asian American college students. The second part is a podcast based off of existing literature and application personal experiences. The impostor phenomenon describes an individual’s belief that they are an intellectual “fraud,” and includes the psychological inability to attribute one’s accomplishments and success to intrinsic skill or intelligence (Clance & Imes, 1978). Prior research has found that ethnic minority college students are particularly vulnerable to experiencing impostor feelings, with Asian Americans reporting higher levels of impostor feelings than African American and Latinx American students (Cokley, McClain, et al., 2013; Cokley, Smith, et al., 2017). The present correlational design study aims to investigate the effects of immigration generation, parental expectation, and model minority myth expectations and mediating effect of self-differentiation on the impostor phenomenon seen among first-year Asian American college students who attend predominantly White institutions. It is hypothesized that levels of parental expectations and model minority myth expectations will be positively associated with the impostor phenomenon, and this relationship will be mediated by self-differentiation which will be negatively associated with the impostor phenomenon. Similarly, the influence of immigrant generation will be analyzed. These findings can inform potential practice implications when working with Asian American clients and initiate a broader-based need at the institutional level to work to reduce impostor feelings experienced in higher education.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.