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Social / Emotional Aspects of Giftedness

"Myth 1. Gifted students should be with students their own age. The worry expressed here is that something inappropriate or untoward will occur if different age groups spend time together. Parents, teachers, and administrators worry that groups of multi-age children will struggle with exploitation, intimidation, inappropriate modeling, and sexuality. This prevailing myth undergirds some advocates' preferences for educational models that emphasize enrichment rather than acceleration. The logic is as follows: "We should keep the students together even if they have already mastered the material." Some believers of this myth will claim that research supports this point, but in fact they are mistaken. Writers have published this sentiment, but research does not support this idea." Tracy Cross, Competing with myths about the social and emotional development of gifted students

Also visit Stress and Giftedness, Depression and Suicide, Sensitivities, Counseling, Spirituality and Dabrowski's Theory... and Social Stuff in Hot Topics! for great Social/Emotional books for our kids...

Competing with myths about the social and emotional development of gifted students Recommended by Tracy Cross
As a wise person (Lao Tsu) once said, "Nothing is more difficult than competing with a myth." Doing so, however, can create tremendous opportunities for people. Myth 1. Gifted students should be with students their own age...
 
Counseling the Gifted and Talented Recommended by Linda Kreger Silverman
A great resource for understanding the many and complex needs of gifted children... Also available from Amazon.ca
 
The Divergent Thinker Recommended by Deidre V. Lovecky
Divergent thinkers have a real preference for unusual, original and idiosyncratic responses. Being a divergent thinker irritates and upsets other people who often feel the divergent one should sit down and shut up, and wonder why he or she can't just be like everyone else. It does not occur to most people that the divergent thinker can't stop being divergent. One cannot blend into a crowd if the crowd is so different from oneself that it is not camouflage. It's like trying to hide an elephant in a flock of chickens by telling the elephant to squat down and cluck a lot...
 
Don’t let 20/20 hindsight happen to you Recommended University of Michigan Health Minute update
Everyone needs to be on the lookout for warning signs of teen suicide, say grieving parents and a U-M psychologist.   The warning signs of suicidal thoughts in young people are often confused with the “normal” experiences of the teen years. But it is possible to learn to identify the signs of risk...
 
The effects of acceleration on the social and emotional development of gifted students Recommended by Lynn Pollins
The potential effects of acceleration on the social and emotional development of gifted students were examined from two perspectives.  No study, regardless of its orientation on these dimensions, has demonstrated any permanent or significant negative effects of acceleration on social and emotional development. There is no validity to the argument that acceleration is harmful to the social and emotional development of gifted youths...
 
Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings Recommended Christine Fonseca (or from Amazon)
Easy-to-read, using real-world examples through case studies and role-plays that show parents and teachers how to interact with gifted children in a way that teaches them how to recognize, monitor, and adjust their behavior. Worksheets, tip sheets, and checklists are included to help parents, teachers, and the students themselves learn to cope with the explosive feelings that often accompany giftedness. Specific strategies for stress management, underperformance in school, perfectionism, and social anxiety make this a must-read for anyone wishing to make a positive lasting impact on the lives of gifted children...
 
Factors in the Social Adjustment and Social Acceptability of Extremely Gifted Children Recommended by Miraca Gross
Whereas ability grouping with age-peers, or a moderate degree of acceleration, may be an appropriate response to the academic and social needs of moderately gifted students, they are not adequate to the needs of the exceptionally and profoundly gifted. Extremely gifted students require a carefully designed and monitored program of radical acceleration, linked to ability grouping and individualized instruction...
 
From "the saddest sound" to the D Major chord: The gift of accelerated progression Recommended by Miraca Gross
This session looks at how gifted students differ from their age-peers in many aspects of their social and emotional development and explains why well-planned programs of acceleration enhance these students’ self-esteem, their love of learning, their acceptance of themselves and their gifts, and their capacity to form warm and supportive friendships. For many gifted students, acceleration replaces discord with harmony...
 
Gifted Kids at Risk: Who's Listening? Recommended by Pat Schuler, Creative Insights
It is time to say clearly: bright kids are not better, yet they are different; and because they are, they face different issues
 
Giftedness: The view from within Recommended by Martha J. Morelock
The different reality that marks giftedness... and how it plays out in physical, emotional, and practical asynchronies
 
Guiding the Gifted Child: A Practical Source for Parents and Teachers Recommended by James T. Webb, Elizabeth A. Meckstroth, Stephanie S. Tolan
Considered the classic text of this field. Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
 
Inside-Out: Understanding the Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Children Recommended by Linda Kreger Silverman
Giftedness creates a different organization of the Self. Gifted children and adults feel cut off from the rest of society—out of sync.
bullet- “Why do you make everything so complicated?”
bullet- “Why do you take everything so seriously?”
bullet- “Why is everything so important to you?”
Dr. Pat Gatto-Walden calls these “the terrible toos”: The gifted are “too” everything: too sensitive, too intense, too driven, too honest, too idealist, too moral, too perfectionistic, too much for other people! So they live with the great secret, instilled from early childhood on, that there is something inherently wrong with being who they are because they don’t fit in...
 
It Isn't Easy Being a Genius Recommended by Jim Collins, New York Times
LET me begin by making something very clear: I'm not a genius. Tomorrow, 25 people are going to find themselves making similar protestations - at least most of them are ... here's a little insight into what the new fellows experienced over the last few days and what they're going to have to deal with...
 
The "me" behind the mask: Intellectually gifted students and the search for identity Recommended by Miraca Gross
To be valued within a peer culture which values conformity, gifted young people may mask their giftedness and develop alternative identities which are perceived as more socially acceptable. The weaving of this protective mask requires the gifted child to conceal her love of learning, her interests which differ from those of age-peers, and her advanced moral development. If this assumed identity does indeed bring her the social acceptance she seeks, the gifted child may become afraid to take off her mask...
 
On the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Children Recommended by Tracy Cross (or from Amazon)
A compilation of Tracy Cross' columns from Gifted Child Today in a single book. What we know, and what we don't know about the social and emotional issues facing gifted children. Now updated with new information and research...
 
"Play Partner" or "Sure Shelter"? Why gifted children prefer older friends.. Recommended by Miraca Gross
A recent Australian study compared conceptions of friendship held by average ability students, moderately gifted and highly gifted primary school students. Average ability display age-appropriate development, associating friendship with sharing of material goods, reciprocal assistance with common play interests. Gifted children, however, display friendship expectations which usually characterise children some years older, associating friendship with trust, intimacy and the sharing of deep confidences. Highly gifted children particularly seek fidelity, and friends who will accept them as they are - the "sure shelter"
 
Social-Emotional Curriculum With Gifted and Talented Students Recommended by Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Tracy Cross and F. Richard Olenchak
A thorough introduction to methods for developing social-emotional curricula for use with gifted and talented learners in the school setting, including strategies that work for implementing social-emotional needs in the everyday curricula... A handy guide to developing social-emotional curricula for gifted students.
 
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted: 30 Essays on Giftedness, 30 Years of SENG Recommended 
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) offers a collection of 30 essays from leading experts in the gifted community. The essays provide an overview and resource for anyone who works with or cares for the gifted, from gifted adults and teens to parents of gifted children, educators, counselors or medical professionals...
 
The Socioaffective Impact of Acceleration and Ability Grouping: Recommendations for Best Practice Recommended by Maureen Neihart, National Institute of Education, Singapore (free with NAGC or SAGE Publications membership)
Although the academic gains associated with acceleration and peer ability grouping are well documented, resistance to their use for gifted students continues because of concerns that such practices will cause social or emotional harm to students. Research indicates that grade skipping, early school entrance, and early admission to college have socioaffective benefits for gifted students who are selected on the basis of demonstrated academic, social, and emotional maturity, but may be harmful to unselected students who are arbitrarily accelerated on the basis of IQ, achievement, or social maturity...
 
Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) Recommended **Click for Conference
SENG seeks to inform gifted individuals, their families, and the professionals who work with them about the unique social and emotional needs of gifted persons. We support programs that foster in gifted individuals the mental health and social competence necessary for them to be free to choose ways to develop and express their abilities and talents fully. 

With support, gifted individuals can develop abilities that enhance their own lives and the lives of others. Without understanding and support, they may be inhibited in the development of their gifts and talents, which can result in significant negative personal and societal consequences. The mission of SENG is to empower caring families and communities to influence more positively and effectively the development of giftedness in those individuals entrusted to their care.
 
The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know? Recommended by Maureen Neihart, Sally M. Reis, Nancy M. Robinson, Sidney M. Moon
What does the research (slim as it is) tell us?  Essential reading for those who wish to enable gifted students to develop their strengths and to position them to make the contributions of which they are capable.  Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
 
Talk with Teens About What Matters to Them: Ready-to-Use Discussions on Stress, Identity, Feelings, Relationships, Family, and the Future Recommended by Jean Sunde Peterson
All young people need a safe, supportive place to “just talk” with caring peers and an attentive adult. Talk with Teens has been tested with thousands of teens in many kinds of schools, community centers, churches, and workshops. Its guided discussions are proven ways to reach out to young people and address their social and emotional needs. Teens gain self-awareness and self-esteem, practice problem-solving and goal-setting, feel more in control of their lives, and learn that they have much in common with one another—they are not alone.
 
The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends Recommended by Natalie Madorsky Elman & Eileen Kennedy-Moore
With chapters including The Vulnerable Child, The Intimidating Child, The Different Drummer, The Little Adult, and The Pessimistic Child, among others, this is a great tool for parents to help their gifted kids learn and understand the subtle art if being a friend!
 
Adolescence and gifted: Addressing existential dread by J'Anne Ellsworth
Gifted youth may be especially susceptible to experiencing Existential Dread. If teachers, parents and students work together, the following solutions are suggested for consideration: a) nourish students socially, (b) work toward acceptance of giftedness and teach methods for enhancing emotional development, (c) provide philosophical nurturance...
 
Affective Component in the Education of the Gifted by Karen S. Johnson, in Gifted Child Today ($)
What is an Affective Component in a Curriculum?  An affective component also can be perceived as teaching values and morals. Most importantly, it is used to address the basic needs that children have to be appreciated and accepted...
 
Affective development of gifted students with nontraditional talents by F. Richard Olenchak, in Roeper Review
Children whose talents and gifts exist in those domains distinct from the intellectual, academic, and athletic realms should still be considered gifted. They are especially talented in one or more areas of human pursuit although their talent is reflected in domains unique from those customarily served by schools; and their social and emotional development appears to be unique. Such young people are in particular danger for generalized school failure, for the manifestation of a variety of social and emotional problems...
 
All Rivers Lead to the Sea: A Follow-up Study of Gifted Young Adults by Kathleen Noble, Nancy Robinson and Susan Gunderson
...accelerating one's secondary education is as healthy a decision for many highly capable students as remaining with agemates.  The social and emotional development of most highly qualified students has been neither compromised nor harmed by acceleration.  Early entrance to college may prove to be one of the most navigable rivers a student can run...  (requires Adobe Reader)
 
The benefits of exploring opera for the Social and Emotional development of high-ability students by Kristin B. Berman
The exploration of opera with high-ability students can contribute to positive social and emotional development, particularly the development of humane intelligence, by stimulating ethical and moral awareness, making connections with age-old truths of humanity, and providing a powerful genre for self-expression, as well as exploring ways that opera can be introduced and produced in schools...
 
Bright star -- black sky: A phenomenological study of depression as a window into the psyche of the gifted adolescent by P. Susan Jackson
...investigated the lived experience of the depressive state of ten gifted adolescents. Analysis revealed a complex stratum of influences fueling the depressive experience. At the core of the experience is the gifted teen's absolute need for knowledge for communion and for expression. The analysis revealed that the gifted adolescent is at risk for varying degrees of depression when any or all of these needs are stymied...
 
But What About the Prom? Students' Perceptions of Early College Entrance by Kathleen Noble and Julie Drummond
This study examined student perceptions of early college entrance, focusing on the reasons students choose this unusual educational option; their experiences with peers, regular-age students, and professors; and the effects of skipping high school on their social, emotional, and intellectual development (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Case Study about Richard P. Feynman submitted by Sylvia Zinser
Feynman was a highly gifted person who had found his position in life. Coming out of a very supportive environment he was free to explore all directions of science and life. He created an image for himself - the way he wanted to be seen by others. This image included behaving like nobody expected him to behave. But this self-image also lead Feynman into believing that he was not at the right place in his young age. He saw himself as a ”faker”. Despite this he kept showing this image to the outside throughout his life...
 
Cause for Concern, or Reason to Celebrate: Maureen Neihart Discusses her Research on the Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children by Maureen Niehart
Research that resulted in her book, The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know?. Neihart distinguished facts supported through multiple, empirical studies from common myth about gifted students. Some of her key findings were...
 
Choices and Challenges by Danette Finn
As we get older we begin to have more control over how we live our life. We start defining who we are. Many of us are discovering who we are and building communities of our own. While some of us are more sure of ourselves than others, each and every one of us are trying to figure out what we want in life and how to achieve it. For the first time we are in control of our own lives. The choices that we make have real consequences...
 
Coping Through Awareness by Andrew S. Mahoney
Coping for a highly gifted person requires knowing oneself and becoming more aware of what is truly involved with being highly gifted. Coping is also a process that should allow one to contend better with his giftedness throughout life...
 
The Cost of Equality by Jeannie Alford Hagy  (EdWeek registered guests can read up to 2 articles per week)
Genius is not always recognized, understood, or appreciated, particularly in a child...
 
Depression and Suicide
Additional resources on depression and suicide, from Hoagies' Gifted Education Page...
 
Developing Self-Understanding and Resilience in Gifted Students: A Unit for Upper Elementary and Secondary Gifted Learners by Heather Danforth
Gifted students have particular affective needs, partly because of their different developmental patterns and partly because of the mismatch between their development and the expectations in schools and other places that cater to the developmental norm. A good gifted program will incorporate affective instruction to help students to deal with their particular needs in productive ways, so that they can feel happy and successful. This unit is designed to provide gifted teachers and counselors with one possible way to address these needs... (TeachersPayTeachers requires free registration)
 
Different strokes: Perceptions of social and emotional development among early college entrants by Kathleen Noble, Tara Arndt, Tristan Nicholson, Thor Sletten and Arturo Zamora
31 UW Early Entrance students participated in focus group discussions in which they discussed their social and emotional experiences as young college students. All believed themselves to be more mature than they would have been had they gone to high school and all reported themselves to be well-socialized...
 
Emotional Intelligence and Creativity of their Gifted Children: A Summary of CTD's Spring 1998 conference by Rhoda Rosen
It is vital to nurture emotional intelligence alongside cognitive intelligence to produce a confident, self-assured adult who enjoys and is capable of being productive; warning against stressing the cognitive at the expense of the emotional development of the gifted child; provides ways for parents to identify early warning signs that their gifted child may be struggling to establish emotional security....
 
The Emotional Journey of the Gifted and Talented Adolescent Female by Suzanne Blakeley
At 14, our daughter lost a hard fought struggle. Her slow descent into depression began during fourth grade after our family's relocation... Once self-confident and happy, she became filled with anxiety and frustration by the end of middle school. In ninth grade Sarah was haunted by rapid thoughts, and sleepless nights. Her tremendous mental energies eventually spiraled inward, settling into a looping, repetitive chant: I'm unacceptable
 
The Emotional Needs of the Gifted Child by Annemarie Roeper
The emotions of the gifted grow out of their greater cognitive awareness which then translates into feelings. Because of their greater awareness, gifted children understand the consequences of their behavior and develop feelings of guilt sooner and stronger than others...
Emotional Sensitivity in Gifted Children and Guidelines for Handling the Dark Side of Emotional Sensitivity in Gifted Children by Sal Mendaglio
On the positive side, this characteristic is reflected in concern for others, their plight, and feelings.  The shadow side of heightened sensitivity can be easily described but coping effectively with it is a different matter...  (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Enhancing Learning Outcomes for Diversely Gifted Adolescents: Education in the Social/Emotional Domain by Dona J. Matthews
An approach to addressing both [young women and students from minority groups, who continue to be underrepresented at the highest career achievement levels, and traditional support systems, like family and community, dissolving and disintegrating] is the implementation of a Human Development course of study, starting early and building systematically over time. In such a course, students could be helped to construct principled understandings of social and emotional functioning, becoming more aware of the benefits of social diversity, and wiser decision-makers. Applications appropriate for working with gifted secondary school students are discussed
 
Factors in the social adjustment and social acceptability of extremely gifted children by Miraca U.M. Gross
The MBTI was administered to 226 gifted and talented tenth and eleventh graders. Talented teens preferred ENFP. Gender differences were calculated as well among artistic youth and academically talented youth. Male artistic youth preferred F and academic females preferred T. Teachers of the talented preferred ENFJ. Other teachers preferred ESFJ. Implications for teaching these students are discussed
 
Feeling Boys and Thinking Girls: Talented Adolescents and Their Teachers by Jane Piirto
The MBTI was administered to 226 gifted and talented tenth and eleventh graders. Talented teens preferred ENFP. Gender differences were calculated as well among artistic youth and academically talented youth. Male artistic youth preferred F and academic females preferred T. Teachers of the talented preferred ENFJ. Other teachers preferred ESFJ. Implications for teaching these students are discussed
 
Feelings and attitudes of gifted students by Tiffany Field, Jeff Harding, Regina Yando, Ketty Gonzalez, David Lasko, Debra Bendell and Carol Marks
Compares gifted and nongifted students from a homogeneous sample within the same school. In addition, not just one but several dimensions were assessed - social, emotional, and cognitive. Gifted students' self-perceptions were compared with those of nongifted students on intimacy with family and peers, social support, family responsibilities, self-esteem, depression, and risk-taking behavior...
 
For the Gifted Child and Young Adult...
Articles and books explicitly for the gifted child or young adult...
 
Fostering the social and emotional development of gifted children through guided viewing of film by Thomas P. Hébert and Kristie L. Speirs Neumeister
The authors propose guided viewing of film as a strategy through which teachers and counselors may assist young gifted students in gaining helpful insights to deal with problems they face. This article presents a theoretical foundation for this approach, a variety of strategies for implementation, and a collection of films appropriate for use with gifted students...
 
Foundations for understanding the social-emotional needs of the highly gifted by Ellen Fiedler
Theoretical perspective for shedding light on psychosocial correlates of gifts based on Dabrowski. According to Dabrowski, the theory has two key facets: levels of emotional development and overexcitabilities or areas of intensity that individuals may possess...
 
Friendship Patterns in Highly Intelligent Children by Paul M. Janos, Kristi A. Marwood and Nancy M. Robinson
A study comparing responses of high IQ and moderately high IQ children and their parents to a detailed set of questions about friendship...  Boys and girls each preferred friends of their own sex.  More of the high IQ children reported their friends to be older than themselves, that they did not have enough friends, and that being smart made it harder for them to make friends...
 
Gender and Giftedness by Barbara A. Kerr and Megan Foley Nicpon
Both gifted girls and gifted boys experience conflicts between gender identity and achievement motivation. These conflicts can prevent gifted young people from attaining the education they need, from following through on career goals, and from forming satisfying and healthy relationships. Social pressure to attain ideals of masculinity and femininity often works against the development of talent in young people. An understanding of gender and giftedness can help counselors to guide young people through the critical “milestones and danger zones” in which the fulfillment of talent is threatened by gender socialization...
 
Gifted Children and Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development by Tracy L. Cross, in Gifted Child Today ($)
Identification of giftedness is often linked to early evidence of ability. The potential success of any identification process to locate children of extraordinary ability is often subject to the extent to which children have developed a sense of autonomy and engage in self-initiating behaviors. Not successfully resolving the crises of the previous three states will have a negative impact on later life. In addition, the culmination of not resolving the crises will reduce the likelihood of children being identified as gifted...
 
Gifted Children: Youth Mental Health Update by Julia Osborn
In this century, considerable knowledge about gifted children has been accumulated, yet little of this knowledge has reached mental health professionals, pediatricians, school personnel or others working with children. This is due to the common and mistaken belief that these children endowed with superior intelligence and talents have no special educational needs...
 
The Gifted Identity Formation Model by Andrew S. Mahoney
Knowing one's giftedness and having a well-developed sense of identity as a gifted person are crucial for the development of the self. Many gifted people struggle with their giftedness, what it means to be gifted and how to develop that potential because there are few models available to assist in the identity development and counseling of gifted people...
 
The Gifted Introvert by Lesley Sword
Society, parents and teachers do try to turn introverts into extraverts. However, they need to understand that there are no right or wrong ways of functioning but simply differences. Introversion is perfectly normal and does not need “curing”.  It is no use waiting for your child to grow out of it or expecting your partner or yourself to change into an extravert. This may be more socially acceptable but it is an impossible task. (MS Word file)
 
Giftedness is Heart & Soul by Annemarie Roeper
The traditional model of education tends to look at human beings as basically driven by cognition.  An alternative model of education called, "Self Actualization and Interdependence" (SAI), sees education as a global, all-encompassing process of growth...
 
GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens by Kelly Huegel
Do you know someone who is queer or questioning?  This book is for him or her... and for you.  Here's the information that helps you accept  Also read Am I Blue?: Coming Out from the Silence by Marion Dane Bauer, fiction, great for the questioning teen or his/her friends...
 
Good Friends Are Hard to Find: Help Your Child Find, Make, and Keep Friends by Fred Frankel and Barry Wetmore
A step by step guide to 'what's age appropriate' for play, and how parents can make rules for kids to keep them moving in the direction of making and keeping friends. Good for shy kids and kids who seem to not get those unwritten social rules, or kids who have to deal with agemates that seem alien to them.  Read the Davidson Institute review...
 
Guiding the Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Youth: A Practical Guide for Educators and Counselors by James R. Delisle
Social and emotional issues of the gifted child discussed
 
Guidelines for Handling the Dark Side of Emotional Sensitivity in Gifted Children by Sal Mendaglio
Guidelines that parents should consider when confronting a child's expression of sensitivity. It is worth reiterating that this trait is both positive and negative in nature...
 
Helping Adolescents Adjust to Giftedness (ERIC Digest #489) by Thomas M. Buescher and Sharon Higham
Caring adults can assist these young people to "own" and develop their talents by understanding and responding to adjustment challenges and coping strategies
 
Helping Gifted Students with Stress (ERIC Digest #488) by Leslie S. Kaplan
Many gifted youngsters have a heightened sensitivity to their surroundings, to events, to ideas, and to expectations...
 
Higher IQs Protect Kids From Traumatic Events by Robert Preidt, in HealthDay News
Smarter children are less vulnerable to trauma and its aftermath, study suggests.  Youngsters who had an IQ greater than 115 at age 6 were less likely to have experienced any kind of trauma and, if they did, were less likely to develop PTSD by age 17.  Boys were more likely to be exposed to trauma, while girls were more likely to develop PTSD after exposure to trauma...
 
How Not to Talk to Your Kids: The Inverse Power of Praise by Po Bronson, The New Yorker
Telling a child she's smart is not good for the child.  Those who equated their success with their innate ability, when faced by a challenge, surmise they’ve been dumb all along. It turns out that the ability to repeatedly respond to failure by exerting more effort—instead of simply giving up—is a trait well studied in psychology. People with this trait, persistence, rebound well and can sustain their motivation through long periods of delayed gratification...
 
The "I" of the Beholder: A Guided Journey to the Essence of a Child by Annemarie Roeper
"...takes us on a universal journey of self-discovery, and you crave more of her wisdom and insights... If every gifted educator and parent read this book, the lives of gifted children would be happier, healthier, and more whole." -- Jim Delisle  Development of the self begins at birth, and continues throughout life.  Stages described include birth of the self, growth, relationships, expanded reality, legitimacy, self-actualization, and aging.  Also includes chapters on qualitative assessment, assessment of IQ with "IQ tests, " and a brief biography of Annemarie herself...
 
The Impact of an Undergraduate Honors Program on Gifted University Students by Thomas P. Hébert and Matthew T. McBee
At the university, gifted students discovered within the honors program an intellectual and social network with other gifted individuals like them. Through several components of the honors program they developed significant psychosocial growth...
 
The impact of giftedness on psychological well-being by Maureen Niehart, in Roeper Review
There is evidence to support two contrasting views about the psychological well-being of gifted children; that giftedness enhances resiliency in individuals and that giftedness increases vulnerability. It is clear that giftedness influences the psychological well-being of individuals. Whether the psychological outcomes for gifted children, adolescents, and adults are positive or negative seems to depend on at least three factors: the type of giftedness, the educational fit, and one's personal characteristics...
 
An Integral approach to the Social and Emotional Development of the Profoundly Gifted by P. Susan Jackson, The Daimon Institute for the Highly Gifted
Physiological development is necessary but not sufficient for cognitive development, which is necessary but not sufficient for interpersonal development, which is necessary but not sufficient for moral development, which is necessary but not sufficient for ideas of the good.  To develop social and emotional capacities our PG children have a critical need for role models, encouragement and modeling, information and meaningful appropriate learning opportunities... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
An Interview with Dr. Edward R. Amend: About the Emotional Needs of Gifted Kids
Meeting the educational needs of the gifted and talented child will also help their social and emotional adjustment. The research has been fairly clear in suggesting that the degree to which a gifted child's educational needs are being met is an important factor in their overall adjustment...
 
Introversion: The Often Forgotten Factor Impacting the Gifted by Jill D. Burruss and Lisa Kaenzig
Introverts are different from extraverts and this difference is very difficult for the extravert to understand because they do not operate in that fashion. And because they do not understand it, many continually try to help the introvert become more social, more gregarious, more outgoing, and have more fun from the extravert perspective. Such is the situation of the introvert, a minority in the regular population but a majority in the gifted population...
 
Issue awareness in young highly gifted children: do the claims hold up? by Catya von Karolyi (by subscription)
If, conceptually, we consider issue understanding of greater relevance to issue awareness than evaluation of issue importance, we can conclude that the evidence provides support for the hypothesis that highly gifted children show earlier issue awareness than do typical children. This awareness appears to have emerged without highly gifted children having greater access to information about issues in the home....
 
Is This Your Child?: Discovering and Treating Unrecognized Allergies by Doris J. Rapp
Details the physical and environmental factors that can contribute to our kids' behavior, including food, chemical sensitivities and 'sick building' syndrome
 
It's All About Identity by Andrew S. Mahoney
We [must] focus on the gifted person's identity formation and development of self. Without this focus, the needs of this population may not be appropriately addressed.  The work begins with parents, educators and counselors, not with the children, others or outside forces...
 
Jarvis Clutch - Social Spy by Dr. Mel Levine and Jarvis Clutch
Jarvis Clutch—Social Spy is mainly about something very important called social thinking, which most likely is a term you’ve never heard before, even though it’s something you use all day long. Even most grownups don’t know exactly what it means. Let me explain... (See All Kinds of Minds for a complete review)
 
Joy and Loss: The Emotional Lives of Gifted Children by Joshua Freedman and Anabel Jensen
For most gifted children, childhood is more pleasurable and more fulfilling because they derive joy from challenge and reward from work. At the same time, it is a childhood that is more painful, more isolated, and more stressful because they do not fit in with their peers and they set high expectations.
 
Living With Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults by Michael Piechowski and Susan Daniels
A great new volume by Piechowski and Daniels, giving us insight into the intensity that so many of our gifted kids experience every day of their lives...
 
Looking Outside and Inside: Self-Concept Development of Gifted Adolescents by Jonathan A. Plucker and Vicki B. Stocking
The internal/external frame of reference model  was proposed to explain the development of academic self-concepts for general ability samples. Recent research calls into question the model’s applicability for gifted adolescents’ academic self-concept development. This model was examined for 131 adolescents participating in a summer program for
academically talented students...
 
Low intelligence test scores in 18 year old men and risk of suicide: cohort study by D. Gunnell, P.K.E. Magnusson, and F. Rasmussen
The risk of suicide was two to three times higher in those with lowest compared with the highest test scores. Associations were only slightly attenuated when we controlled for parents' socioeconomic position. Greatest risks were seen among poorly performing offspring of well educated parents... (abstract free)
 
Meeting the Social Needs of Students Who Are Twice Exceptional by Mary Ruth Coleman, Christine Harradine, and Emily Williams King
Recognizing and supporting the social and emotional needs of twice-exceptional students are just as important as addressing their academic needs.  We must appropriately identify and serve students who are gifted/LD in order to maximize their potential both inside and outside the classroom... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
"Mellow out" They Say. If I Only Could: Intensities and Sensitivities of the Young and Bright by Michael M. Piechowski (also visit Piechowski's site "Mellow out" They Say...)
“The purpose of this book is to give voice to the emotional life of bright young people, to show how their intensities and sensitivities make them more alive, more creative, and more in love with the world and its wonders” (Chapter 1)

Nurturing Social-Emotional Development of Gifted Students (ERIC Digest #527) by James T. Webb
To a large degree, the needs of gifted children are the same as those of other children. Some needs and problems, however, appear more often among gifted children...
 
On Education
a poem written by a high school senior in Alton, Illinois, two weeks before he committed suicide
 
The Origins and Ends of Giftedness by Ellen Winner
Five issues about giftedness are discussed with reference to gifted children (including child prodigies) and autistic/retarded savants. First, the origins and causes of giftedness are explored. The view that giftedness is entirely a product of training is critiqued, and it is argued that there is indirect evidence for atypical brain organization and innate talent in gifted children: many gifted children and savants have enhanced right-hemisphere development, concomitant language-related difficulties, and auto-immune disorders. Intense intrinsic motivation, particular social and emotional difficulties, evidence for the often uneven cognitive profiles of such children, and the tenuous relationship between childhood giftedness and "big-C," or "domain" creativity in adulthood is discussed... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Overexcitability and the gifted by Sharon Lind
...intensity, sensitivity and overexcitability are primary characteristics of the highly gifted. These observations are supported by parents and teachers who notice distinct behavioral and constitutional differences between highly gifted children and their peers...
 
Parenting Emotionally Intense Gifted Children by Lesley Sword
Giftedness has an emotional as well as intellectual component. Intellectual complexity goes hand in hand with emotional depth. So gifted children not only think differently from other children they also feel differently...
 
A place to be Celebrated and Understood: The Impact of Early University Entrance From Parents’ Points of View by Kathleen D. Noble, Sarah Childers, and Robert C. Vaughan
One is the issue of parents following their children’s lead when it comes to early university entrance. Parents of EEPers (81%) were significantly more likely to choose early entrance because their children were unhappy socially in middle school, whereas 46% of Academy parents said that this was not an important factor in their decision to enroll their students in the Academy. This suggests that different levels of acceleration may better fit different kinds of students... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Profiles of the Gifted and Talented by George Betts and Maureen Neihart
After several years of observations, interviews, and reviews of literature, the authors have developed six profiles of gifted and talented children and youth. These profiles help educators and parents to look closely at the feelings, behaviors, and needs of the gifted and talented...
 
Psychological Factors in the Development of Adulthood Giftedness from Childhood Talent by Paula Olszewski-Kubilius
In early childhood, some children come to the attention of parents and teachers because of very advanced abilities or exceptional interest in an area...  But, only a very few will become eminent in adulthood and produce groundbreaking work in their field, the kind of work that earns them a place in history and significantly alters the domain that they work in. A major issue for the field of gifted education is why so few highly gifted children grow up to be renowned and creative producers...
 
Psychologist Blames Stress for Gifted Students' Misbehavior by Susan Walton, in EdWeek
Some high-school dropouts, chronic truants, and classroom daydreamers may be very bright children who use inappropriate behavior as a way to ease the distinctive stresses they and others like them often experience in schools...
 
Putting the well-being of all students (including gifted students) first by Tracy L. Cross, in Gifted Child Today (available on-line from Prufrock Press)
How long does it take gifted students to realize that they are going to be taught long before any effort will be made to find out what they already know and are able to do? We turn a collective blind eye to the messages that we send gifted students. Add to these in-school perceptions the mixed messages that gifted students often perceive, such as "all kids are gifted," "no kids are gifted," "gifted kids have unfair advantages," and "gifted kids can get it on their own," and you have an idea of a gifted child's perceptions. Child is the operative word here. Children learn these lessons even when they are unintended...
 
Reversal of Fortune: How Parents Unintentionally Undermine A Gifted Child's Self-Worth by Jim Delisle
Sometimes I feel that I say and do the exact opposite of what I should be doing with my gifted child. I don't want to undermine my child's sense of self-worth, but it seems to happen. What kind of advice can you give...?
 
Samantha by Rachel
A story by a gifted girl, giving a glimpse into the social / emotional world of the gifted child...
 
Schools with Spirit: Nurturing the Inner Lives of Children and Teachers edited by Linda Lantieri 
Twelve scholarly essays advocate that teachers should nurture a sense of spiritual meaning in students, but also carefully emphasizes that spirituality is not synonymous with religion...
 
Self-Concept, Self-Esteem, and Peer Relations Among Gifted Children Who Feel "Different" by Paul M. Janos, Hellen C. Fung and Nancy M. Robinson
High IQ children and their parents completed an extensive battery of questions on social and emotional development.  88 children (37%) conceptualized themselves as differing from their peers...
 
SENG Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted
SENG is dedicated to fostering environments in which gifted adults and children, in all their diversity, understand and accept themselves and are understood, valued, nurtured, and supported by their families, schools, workplaces and communities...
 
The Serious Need for Play by Melinda Wenner, in Scientific American
Free, imaginative play is crucial for normal social, emotional and cognitive development. It makes us better adjusted, smarter and less stressed...
 
Social Development or Socialization? by Linda Kreger Silverman
A major concern of parents and educators is the social adjustment of their gifted children. All provisions for gifted students are held suspect on the grounds that they will "prevent the children’s social adjustment." Indeed, the remarkable emphasis on the school as an agent of socialization makes one wonder if anyone really cares about the development of these children’s abilities or if all that is important is whether they fit in!
 
Social Emotional Consequences of Accelerating Gifted Students by Lianne Hoogevan
Comprehensive overview of all past research and new data, this report offers new insight into the "consequences" of acceleration... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Social-Emotional Development and Adjustment of Gifted Children by Nancy M. Robinson and Kathleen D. Noble
Academically gifted children tend to show greater than average maturity in psychosocial development and friendship patterns... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Social and emotional issues faced by gifted girls in elementary and secondary school by Sally M. Reis
Research with talented girls and women has revealed a number of personality factors, personal priorities, and social emotional issues that have consistently emerged as contributing reasons that many either cannot or do not realize their potential...
 
The Social-Emotional Health of Children: An Interview with Psychologist Maureen Neihart
What are the major beliefs out there about the social-emotional or psychological health of gifted children?
 
Social/Emotional Needs: The Rage of Gifted Students by Tracy L. Cross, in Gifted Child Today ($)
While very few gifted students act-out in violent ways, many do seem to acknowledge internalized feeling of rage. This column will attempt to articulate what I believe is a deep-seated rage that many gifted students feel...
 
Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Children: Selected Readings For Parents and Educators an ERIC Minibib
 
Social skills of gifted children by Louise Porter
Gifted children are often accused of being social misfits. However, most of their social problems arise when they do not fit with the surrounding children: gifted children lack true peers rather than lacking peer relationship skills...
 
Stages of social-emotional development in children and teenagers
An overview of the developmental tasks involved in the social and emotional development of children and teenagers which continues into adulthood. Based on the Eight Stages of Development developed by psychiatrist, Erik Erikson in 1956...
 
A Synthesis of Research on Psychological Types of Gifted Adolescents by Ugur Sak
Results of studies about personality types of gifted adolescents. Gifted adolescents were higher on the Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Perceiving dimensions of the personality scales of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) when compared to general high school students. Also, gifted adolescents differed within the group by gender and by ability. Based on the findings, Sak discusses teaching practices for gifted students according to their personality preferences...
 
TAGFAM MonTAGe E-Journal: Know Thy Child, Vol. 1, No. 3 editor, Valorie J. King
Includes articles "Coping With Unbearable People, Places, and Situations" and Book Review: "The 6 Vital Ingredients Of Self-Esteem"
 
TAGFAM MonTAGe E-Journal: Back to School Issues, Vol. 1, No. 8 editor, Valorie J. King
Includes articles "The Socialization Roadblock" and "Problem Solving 101: Teaching Social Skills"
 
Talent Development: Accommodating the social and emotional needs of secondary gifted/learning disabled students by F. Richard Olenchak
Secondary school students who are concomitantly gifted and learning disabled is especially at risk for poor academic performance. Often, their sense of self has been damaged by schools' overemphasis on their disabilities at the expense of efforts aimed at enhancing their strengths.  This exploration advocates the development of individual student talent as a philosophical theme for schools to accommodate the social and emotional needs among gifted/learning disabled youth. Descriptions of several educational innovations and reform components, likely to enhance talent development, are included...
 
Technology and the unseen world of gifted students by Tracy Cross
The social and emotional development of gifted students can be influenced by many factors.  Under the heading of experiences is students' use of computers.  This column will highlight some of the most common and some of the least well-known uses of computers by gifted students...
 
Through His Eyes and Through His Mother's Eyes by Joseph Hughes and Holly Hughes
They always said he was one of the brightest kids in the class. Right before they sent him to the principal’s office. “I didn’t grow up gifted, at least not by name. I grew up being asked what was wrong with me.”
 
The trials and tribulations of being too smart Yale Daily News
I appreciate the world-class education I receive here, both in and out of the classroom. I marvel at the amazing things I have learned from all the talented people around me. But I cannot help but yearn for times when people just didn't take things -- and sometimes themselves -- so seriously...
 
Underachievement in Exceptionally Gifted Adolescents and Young Adults: A Psychiatrist’s View  by Jerald Grobman, in The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education
A group of exceptionally gifted adolescents between the ages of 14 and 25 were each treated in individual psychotherapy over the course of a number of years. They were referred for symptoms of anxiety, depression, self-destructive behavior, and underachievement. Each phase of their gifted development was accompanied by particular anxieties and conflicts. In adolescence they developed a powerful personal vision, a sense of destiny, and a charismatic personality. Their inability to resolve conflicts about these particular gifted traits led to their most dramatic forms of underachievement and self-destructive behavior...
 
Understanding and Encouraging the Exceptionally Gifted by Bruce E. Kline and Elizabeth A. Meckstroth
In this article, five facets of critical development are highlighted: (a) interpersonal relationships; (b) acknowledgement of uniqueness; (c) school adjustment; (d) creative self-expressions; and (e) user-friendly environment. In each area, several interventive strategies are suggested...
 
Understanding Gifted Children’s Emotions: Heightened Multifaceted Sensitivity by Sal Mendaglio
Emotions shroud virtually everything in daily living. Responding effectively to children’s emotions is an essential ingredient in ameliorating challenging situations and will prevent problems. A primary goal of parenting of gifted children is assisting them to cope effectively with their emotionality... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Very Good at Everything: Social & Emotional Ramifications of Dyslexia and Other Atypical Learning Styles & Patterns by Joyce Steeves
Sometimes a single difficulty such as dysgraphia or a poor memory for math facts can impede a child's progress in school until he feels he is worthless. In demonstrating what they know, dysgraphic children seem to face the most frustration, especially if they possess a high level of intellectual potential...
 
What can happen to bored gifted students by Tara Malone
The rule of thumb tends to be the more gifted a child, the greater the disparity between a student's ability and age and the greater the risk for emotional and social problems.  Depression.  Delinquency.  Dropping out.  And even suicide.  Gifted children, who some say are smart enough to know better, are not immune to such dangers.  In fact, gifted children might be more at risk than ever...
 
What Gifted Adults Say About Their Childhoods by Deborah L. Ruf
Highly gifted adult subjects wrote about many of the changes they would make in their childhoods: more information and confirmation of their intellectual differences; to be loved for who they were and not what they could do; intelligent teachers who understood how to really teach and go at the student's pace... They reported that they did not receive most of these things...
 
What Price Genius? by Morley Safer, 60 Minutes
When Morley Safer first interviewed Adragon De Mello for 60 Minutes in 1987, the 10-year-old's father thought he was a genius. The boy, known as A.D., was in college because his father said there were no schools, public or private, that could challenge his son's intelligence.  But A.D.'s road to a higher education was a rocky one, and so was his life at home, where the pressure to succeed often became overwhelming...
 
Why Nerds are Unpopular by Paul Graham
I know a lot of people who were nerds in school, and they all tell the same story: there is a strong correlation between being smart and being a nerd, and an even stronger inverse correlation between being a nerd and being popular. Being smart seems to make you unpopular.  Why?
 
And the companion piece... Re: Why Nerds are Unpopular
Many people have written to me about Why Nerds are Unpopular, and many more seem to be posting about it on various Web sites. Here are answers to some of the points they've raised...
 
Why Smart Kids Worry: And What Parents Can Do to Help by Allison Edwards
Being the parent of a smart child is great—until your son or daughter starts asking whether global warming is real, if you are going to die, and what will happen if they don't get into college. Kids who are advanced intellectually often let their imaginations ruin wild and experience fears beyond their years. What can you do to help?  This book guides you through the mental and emotional process of where your child's fears come from and why they are so hard to move past, how to parent a child who is both smart and anxious...
 
Why The Smartest People Have The Toughest Time Dating by Alex Benzer
From the author of Tao of Dating, his observations that "the following dating challenges seem to be common to most smart people. In fact, the smarter you are, the more clueless you will be, and the more problems you're going to have in your dating life. Once upon a day I used to be pretty smart, and believe me, I had a lock on clueless..."
 
Young + Brilliant, Blessed + Cursed by Patti Hartigan, The Boston Globe
They are barely into their teens, yet they are declared the next Mozart or even a modern Messiah. But child prodigies are often both misunderstood and openly ostracized, and, as adults, they struggle under the burden of their astonishing intelligence...
 
Young Children's Social Development: A Checklist (ERIC Digest) by Diane E. McClellan and Lilian G. Katz
Early childhood educators have traditionally given high priority to enhancing young children's social development. A body of evidence has accumulated to indicate that unless children achieve minimal social competence by about the age of six years, they have a high probability of being at risk throughout life. Hartup suggests that peer relationships contribute a great deal to both social and cognitive development and to the effectiveness with which we function as adults...
 
'"You Protected Me from the Sadness" by Allison Salerno
How a mother helped her children understand the 9/11 tragedies...


Last updated April 23, 2014

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