Imposter Phenomena and Experience Levels in Social Work: An Initial Investigation
Imposter phenomena (IP) is when an individual experiences unwarranted feelings of inadequacy in relation to their own abilities. Often linked to self-efficacy, individuals who experience IP doubt their own skills and attribute their successes to luck as opposed to themselves. Whilst this has been studied in relation to a number of fields, IP has not been considered in relation to social work. This article investigates the prevalence of IP amongst a small sample of currently practising social workers (fifty-nine) and utilises a survey approach to assess levels of IP. This data were explored in relation to levels of experience. From the sample, it appears that IP is more frequently occurring amongst social workers than would be expected and IP experiences are less frequent with increased levels of experience. This article considers the impact of IP upon practitioners and makes suggestions for further work.
Citation : Urwin, J. (2017) Imposter Phenomena and Experience Levels in Social Work: An Initial Investigation. The British Journal of Social Work, 48 (5), pp. 1432-1446
Research Group : Participation & Social Justice
Research Institute : Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice
Peer Reviewed : Yes