Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School Psychology

First Advisor

Timothy Poynton

Second Advisor

Kerrie Wilkins-Yel

Third Advisor

Jayden Thai


Utilizing a framework informed by social cognitive career and critical race theory, this dissertation sought to better understand feelings of impostorism and academic persistence intentions in doctoral students studying clinical, counseling, and school psychology. The degree of anti-racism within one’s doctoral program, as well as the strength of the advisor and advisee relationship, were also assessed. The quantitative study surveyed 441 participants using a 62-item Qualtrics survey. Participants provided sociodemographic characteristics like racial and ethnic identity, gender identity, type of degree (Ph.D. vs. Psy.D.), discipline of degree (clinical, counseling, or school psychology), year in program, age, hours worked, and highest education earned by a parental figure. The measures used for assessment included the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS), the College Persistence Questionnaire (CPQ), one subscale from the Anti-Racism Behavioral Inventory (ARBI), and the Advisee Version of the Advisory Working Alliance Inventory (AWAI). The quantitative study used analyses of variance to compare sociodemographic characteristics to feelings of impostorism and academic persistence intentions. Linear regressions were also employed to determine if impostorism feelings predicted academic persistence intentions, as well as if anti-racism within one’s program and advisor/advisee relationships moderated that relationship. Results found that racial and ethnic identity and age were significant predictors of impostorism, while being a Person of Color and average hours worked predicted academic persistence intentions of doctoral students. Regression results indicated that feelings of impostorism predicted academic persistence intentions in doctoral students. Moreover, the relationship between an advisor and advisee was found to have a moderating effect on the relationship between impostorism and academic persistence intentions. The current study offers valuable insight on factors that influence doctoral students’ educational experience, and it also underscores the need for further research on first-generation college Students of Color.


Free and open access to this Campus Access Thesis is made available to the UMass Boston community by ScholarWorks at UMass Boston. Those not on campus and those without a UMass Boston campus username and password may gain access to this thesis through resources like Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global ( or through Interlibrary Loan. If you have a UMass Boston campus username and password and would like to download this work from off-campus, click on the "Off-Campus UMass Boston Users