Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Donna Talbot

Second Advisor

Dr. John Geisler

Third Advisor

Dr. M. Arthur Garmon


Some researchers have recognized the importance of understanding women’s experiences. Some psychosocial characteristics, such as low levels of self-esteem and self-efficacy, and low success expectations have been identified as barriers for women’s career development (Betz, 1994). Because many women have continued to select careers that are considered as female-dominated (e.g., teaching) and because psychosocial characteristics and experiences of teachers such as self-esteem and the impostor phenomenon can have an influence on their students’ self-esteem, this researcher believed that this is an important topic for continued research. Although these two concepts, self-esteem and impostor phenomenon, have been documented as two unrelated experiences (Clance, 1985), it does not seem a wise course of action to abandon further research in examining a possible relationship between them.

The primary purpose of the present study was to examine the psychosocial characteristics of self-esteem and impostor phenomenon of a particular group of women. All of these women were school teachers, kindergarten through grade 12. The information gathered was used to determine the relationship between these two variables: self-esteem and the impostor phenomenon. There was also an attempt to determine if there was a difference between White and Black female teachers regarding self-esteem and the impostor phenomenon. Some selected demographics were used to determine if there were other personal variables that may help predict levels of self-esteem and the impostor phenomenon.

There was evidence that although there was indication that senior high school teachers have problems with self-esteem, female teachers, kindergarten through grade 12, experience minor problems with self-esteem. In reviewing the difference between the Black and White teachers’ self-esteem, there was no significant difference between their mean scores. The evidence also demonstrates that teachers, kindergarten through grade 12, both Black and White, experience a moderate level of the impostor phenomenon. The findings for relationship between self-esteem and impostor phenomenon are inconsistent with some researchers who report that there is no relationship between self-esteem and the impostor phenomenon. The implications of the findings are discussed and recommendations for further research are made.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access