Date of Award

Summer 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Melchert, Tim

Second Advisor

Anderson, Rebecca

Third Advisor

Bardwell, Rebecca


This report describes the findings of a mixed-methods study that examined the psychological reactions and use of impression management by individuals who had donated a kidney. It focused on the use of impression management and concealing information during the pre-donation psychological evaluation that is conducted to help determine the donor’s appropriateness for a donation, and the psychological reactions of living kidney donors post donation. A search of the literature found no study that has empirically investigated the prevalence of impression management and concealing information by living kidney donors during their pre-donation psychosocial evaluations. The mixed methods design utilized both a quantitative phone questionnaire (n= 76) as well as qualitative focus groups (n=21). Many of the kidney donors reported that they used impression management in their interactions with medical professionals pre-donation as they often possessed a very strong motivation to donate. Very few donors indicated, however, that they concealed information during their pre-donation evaluations. The donors’ psychological reactions post-donation were generally positive and the very large majority indicated that they had no regrets concerning donation. Some negative psychological reactions were reported, though these tended to be associated with kidney grafts that were unsuccessful.