I Will Not Stand in My Way – Exploring the Effects of Mindfulness on Impostor Feelings through Self-Authorship in Female STEM Graduate Students
The impostor phenomenon (IP) describes a feeling of intellectual phoniness. Research states that particularly, female STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) college students in male-dominant programs are affected. The IP implies negative consequences on female students’ mental health, which endangers their retention, feelings of belonging, academic self-efficacy and success. Such issues can ultimately contribute to the STEM gender gap. This is concerning in terms of restricted career opportunities for women and limited diversity in the STEM workforce. Mindfulness is said to have a positive influence on depression, anxiety, and stress. Moreover, it has shown to support students’ academic self-efficacy and self-awareness. Using self-authorship theory, the purpose of this mixed-methods study is to explore first, the effects of an eight-week, self-led mindfulness program on female STEM graduate students’ experience with the IP in computer science and engineering programs and second, their advancement on the self-authorship trajectory.