How Impostor Syndrome Affects Minority Students [Video]


For people who find it difficult to take a compliment or feeling like a fake, they might be experiencing the so-called impostor syndrome. And college students who get to suffer from this phenomenon could also suffer mental distress.

According to Scientific American, Impostor syndrome is what a person feels when they have self-doubt, insecurity or feeling of fraud even if they have proven otherwise. This is also commonly observed among smart and successful individuals who cannot seem to believe what they have done despite their personal accomplishments.

Now, a recent study by the researchers at the University of Texas at Austin has found that impostor syndrome is actually prevalent among minority students and is a contributing factor to feelings of depression, anxiety and discrimination, USA Today College reported.

The high levels of impostor feelings were actually observed among Latino, as well as African-American students. The impostor syndrome that these students felt were said to be due to racial prejudices which make them feel anxious and depressed. This is observed to be true even when these students have achieved impressive accomplishments.

Kevin Cokley, one of the authors of the study and a University of Texas professor of African diaspora studies and counseling psychology, believes that it is important to explore this impostor phenomenon among minority students. That's because the thinks that these impostor feelings are caused by the racial stereotypes that these students deal with, and their awareness of the stereotypes will only make the phenomenon in these groups intensified.

What the researchers recommend is that counselors and mental health professionals ask their students regularly about "impostorism" whenever they do counseling sessions. They also recommend that feelings in minority students are closely monitored as it impacts their mental wellbeing and unnecessarily causes mental distress.

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