Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Byron K. Hargrove, Ph.D.

Second Supervisor

Judy Wolfe, Ed.D.


Student affairs professionals are often susceptible to burnout due to the nature of their job, the addition of other responsibilities and campus challenges, and the combating of emotionally stressful situations every day. Burnout has been shown to limit the performance of student affairs professionals, foster a hostile work environment, and lead to attrition. One promising yet understudied predictive factor for burnout has been the role of impostorism. While a few studies have examined this phenomenon in some helping professions, e.g., faculty and medical professionals, no studies have examined the impostorism-burnout link in student affairs professionals. The present study partially replicated the impostorism-burnout studies conducted with medical professionals. Student affairs professionals, like medical professionals, may experience similar compassion fatigue due to the nature of their work and the demands of the work environment. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to measure the prevalence of impostorism and burnout, the interrelationships between impostorism and burnout and any demographic differences among U.S. student affairs professionals. After utilizing both convenience and snowball sampling, 742 respondents completed an online Qualtrics survey (i.e., demographic questionnaire, the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS) and a single-item burnout measure). Results revealed that both impostorism and burnout were prevalent among student affairs professionals. As expected, respondents reported frequent feelings of impostorism and moderate burnout. Impostorism was found to be a small, yet significant predictor of burnout scores. No significant demographic differences were revealed. Implications for practice, training, and research were discussed.

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