Impostor Phenomenon in Undergraduates and Pharmacy Students at a Small Private University

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Objective. The purpose of the study was to observe the prevalence of impostor phenomenon (IP) among students attending Ohio Northern University, and assess secondary factors that impact the severity of IP. Method. Using the validated Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale the incidence of IP was assessed at Ohio Northern University (ONU). The investigators hypothesized that students enrolled in the College of Pharmacy would demonstrate more intense levels of IP than students enrolled in other majors within the University. Results. 391 students of the approximately 3100 students (12.6%) completed the survey and qualified for the study. Students for this study were recruited via email. This method was utilized for two reasons; it was the best way to reach the entirety of the student body and at this time, students were transitioning from campus to home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of a total possible score of 100, all colleges scored an average IP score between 68 and 75. These scores are interpreted as "frequently experiences impostor feelings." No statistical significance in scores was found by college, gender, ethnicity/race, year in school, or specific major. Conclusion. Impostor phenomenon is common at Ohio Northern University and does not discriminate by college, age, gender, race/ethnicity, year in school, or academic major. There is a need for external intervention to educate students on the impact of IP and reduce the impact. Interventions should be targeted to all students enrolled at the University regardless of educational program or other demographics.

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