Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Jeff Ashby, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kenneth Rice, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Cirleen DeBlaere, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Philip Gnilka, Ph.D.


Perfectionism has consistently gained attention in the literature over the last several decades (Stoeber & Otto, 2006) and recent research indicates that perfectionism in individuals is on the rise (Curran & Hill, 2019). From academic pursuits among students (e.g., Rice et al., 2015) to professional performance (e.g., Bravata et al., 2019), perfectionism affects a wide range of individuals and specific areas of their lives. Perfectionism has been linked to several negative consequential physical and mental health outcomes (Molnar et al., 2020; Eley et al., 2020) including depression (e.g., Chai et al., 2020), self-esteem (e.g., Cokley, et al, 2018), and the imposter phenomenon (e.g., Wang et al., 2019). While there have been several studies that have examined the relationship of perfectionism and depression (e.g., Wang et al., 2019; Park et al., 2010), the research has not fully considered the influence of the imposter phenomenon and self-esteem on this relationship. This study replicated and extended the moderation model presented in Wang et al. (2019) and investigated the relationship between depression and perfectionism and whether imposter phenomenon and self-esteem moderate the relationships between these variables in a three-way interaction. Results showed that, contrary to the study hypothesis, a three-way interaction of perfectionism by self-esteem by the imposter phenomenon on depression was not significant. This study can inform helpful interventions, which may reduce or prevent depressive symptoms and could result in more effective treatment and efficient symptom reduction for with some perfectionistic clients.


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