Psychosocial adjustment among intellectually gifted adolescents: The role of cognitive-developmental and experiential factors

Suniya Luthar, E. Zigler, D. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Levels of psychological adjustment were examined among 51 high achieving, intellectually gifted adolescents with a mean age of 14.1 years. These students were compared with older adolescents matched with them on cognitive maturity (n=30), and with two groups matched with them on chronological age (CA). One of the CA-matched groups contained children not identified as gifted (n=47), while the other consisted of athletically talented youngsters (n=39). All participants belonged to upper middle class families. On multiple indices of adjustment, intellectually gifted adolescents were comparable to older adolescents with similar cognitive skills, but differed from both groups of age mates. Differences between the gifted and non-gifted CA-matched groups were stronger than were those between the gifted group and the athletes of the same age. The findings were interpreted in terms of cognitive-developmental and experiential influences on psychological adjustment. The study also revealed gender effects which appeared to be linked with conflicts faced by gifted females between issues of achievement and those of social acceptance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-373
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume33
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

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Gifted Child
Social Adjustment
Research Design
Age Groups
Social Distance
Athletes
Students
Emotional Adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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abstract = "Levels of psychological adjustment were examined among 51 high achieving, intellectually gifted adolescents with a mean age of 14.1 years. These students were compared with older adolescents matched with them on cognitive maturity (n=30), and with two groups matched with them on chronological age (CA). One of the CA-matched groups contained children not identified as gifted (n=47), while the other consisted of athletically talented youngsters (n=39). All participants belonged to upper middle class families. On multiple indices of adjustment, intellectually gifted adolescents were comparable to older adolescents with similar cognitive skills, but differed from both groups of age mates. Differences between the gifted and non-gifted CA-matched groups were stronger than were those between the gifted group and the athletes of the same age. The findings were interpreted in terms of cognitive-developmental and experiential influences on psychological adjustment. The study also revealed gender effects which appeared to be linked with conflicts faced by gifted females between issues of achievement and those of social acceptance.",
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