Date of Conferral







Brandon Cosley


Hispanic college student retention and dropout rates are regarded as social and economic crises in the United States. Research studies with minority students suggest Hispanic students may feel out of place. Impostor phenomenon (IP) is a psychological pattern involving feeling like a fraud that may explain their experience. Several studies with minority students suggest IP and learning environment (LE) may be correlated. Other minority student studies indicate an association between ethnic identity (EI) and IP. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to examine the relationship between IP, EI, and LE in a Hispanic university student population. The theoretical basis for this study was grounded in the social identity theory (SIT) and self-categorization theory (SCT). According to the SIT and SCT, individuals can develop 2 principle identities: a personal self and a collective self. A descriptive between-subjects design was used to compare 3 independent samples of 90 Hispanic college students recruited from a Hispanic serving institution (HSI), a primarily White learning institution (PWI), and an online learning (OL) institution. Participants completed the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS), the Social and Personal Identities Scale (SIPI), and a demographic survey. A 3-step hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that LE and IP were unrelated at all levels of EI. Social change implications of this study include educators having a better understanding of Hispanic college student experience in a variety of LEs. Identifying factors that relate to or negate success can help to better inform the development of resources that aid Hispanic college students to improve outcomes.