• Articles with Further Information on Social and Emotional Issues Facing Gifted Children



    ADHD in Gifted Children

    Webb, J., & Latimer, D. (1993). ADHD and children who are gifted. ERIC EC Digest, 522. Retrieved from http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10182.aspx


                Although almost twenty years old, this article is a readable introduction to twice-exceptionality in gifted children who have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and compares the two, telling signs to look for that a child may not just be gifted but may have attention issues as well. It gives a good overview of criteria used in making a medical diagnosis of ADHD according to the DSM-III and offers guidelines on what to look for if you suspect that your gifted child may have attention deficit or ADHD.




    Garn, A.C., Matthews, M. S., & Jolly, J. L. (2010) Parental influences on the academic motivation of gifted students: A self-determination theory perspective. Gifted Child Quarterly, 54 (4), 262-273.Retrieved from http://gcq.sagepub.com/content/54/4/263.full.pdf 


                  Although this article is rather scholarly, it contains fascinating information on different forms of motivation used by parents, and summarizes a study done by a University of North Carolina-Charlotte professor, Dr. Matthews, and his colleagues. They summarize three different forms of motivation: intrinsic, extrinsic, and amotivation.  Intrinsic motivation is an internal motivation when a student spends time voluntarily studying because they want to learn all about a particular area of interest. Extrinsic, or external motivation, takes several forms. There is self-determined motivation, when a student is motivated to learn something because it will benefit him in some way (“If I learn this, it will help me get better grades” or choosing to participate in a class outside of school because doing so will enable him to get a scholarship, for instance). External motivation that is not self-determined may occur when a student learns something “because if I don’t get a good grade, my parents will KILL me!”, or to earn a reward for learning it (“If I get all A’s, my parents will buy me aWii.”) Studies have shown that students who learn something to earn a reward from the parent aren’t really motivated to learn; they are only doing what they have to in order to receive the reward. Amotivation is a total absence of motivation; we see this occasionally with a child who will not do homework no matter what the consequences, because he sees no benefit.

                The professors who conducted the study found that children must have some control over their learning, or they will not be motivated to learn. Parents need to create a home environment in which the child has some control over learning, a feeling that he can succeed, and a sense of ownership and belonging. They also looked at forms of support provided by parents and found several categories of parents. The parents who provided scaffolding, or support, by breaking the assignment into manageable chunks or who helped their children manage their time had the children who were the most motivated and were most successful.




    Overexcitabilities—Temperamental Traits

     Propst, B. (2007).  When your child’s second exceptionality is emotional: Looking beyond psychiatric diagnosis. 2E Newsletter. Retrieved from http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10438.aspx 


                This article describes Dabrowski’s“Overexcitabilities”, or heightened sensitivity of gifted children to certain stimuli, and how it can affect their temperaments. Some children are overly sensitive; others are shy, or have trouble making friends. Still others are rigid perfectionists who lack adaptability, fear taking risks, or become very self-critical. Propst offers suggestions to deal with each of these heightened sensitivities.




    Adelson, J.(2007). A perfect case study: Perfectionism in academically talented fourth graders.                                       

                GiftedChild Today, 30 (4), 14-20. Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com.proxy067.nclive.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=6&hid=102&sid=332a9570-ce35-4197-b713-d4095f1b2470%40sessionmgr110 


    (Note:You may need a valid Forsyth County Library card number to access this article,as it is available through NCLive  under the Online Resources. After you click the hyperlink, click on “Forsyth CountyPublic Library” and then enter your library card number, then paste the above address into the browser to access the article.)


                This very readable article discusses perfectionism in a group of gifted fourth graders and the forms that perfectionism may take. Adelson distinguishes between adaptive perfectionism, which leads students to work hard and achieve their goals, and maladaptive perfectionism, which is an unhealthy form of perfectionism that sets students up for failure. Among the types of unhealthy perfectionism she saw in the class she studied were “Academic Achievers” who had to get a perfect score on everything they did, “Risk Evaders” who wouldn’t attempt something unless they could do it perfectly, “Controlling Image Managers” who want everything to be perfect and must “spin” any failures and blame others if they don’t win, and “Procrastinating Perfectionists” who can’t start a project until everything is perfect, and consequently never do it at all.  Although the solutions for each are primarily aimed at classroom teachers, Adelson’s suggestions could also be adapted for use at home.


    Pyryt, M.(2004). Helping gifted students cope with perfectionism. Parenting for High Potential.

                Retrieved from http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10459.aspx 


                This article offers parents adviceon how to help their children deal with perfectionistic tendencies. It lists concepts that the perfectionist student needs to learn and makes suggestions on how to teach children to be less obsessive.






    Amend, E.(2010). Tips for parents: Worry and the gifted: How much is too much?  Davidson Institute for Talent Development. Retrieved from http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10265.aspx  


    This article offers information presented in a seminar by Edward Amend. He explains that while a little worry can be good, parents need to be alert for excessive worry that causes problems for the child. He offers advice for parents on how to help their children overcome excessive worry. Older children can be taught cognitive ways to deal with worry, but younger ones may need to be allowed to express their “feelings” about being worried.




    Hoover-Schultz,B. (2005). Gifted underachievement: Oxymoron or educational enigma? Gifted Child Today, 28 (2), 46-49. Retrieved from http://gct.sagepub.com/content/28/2/46.extract 


                This short article discusses underachievement in gifted children whose test scores indicate the potential for high achievement. Underachievement may come from a school environment where the classroom setting does not match student needs; for example, when graduation requirements force a gifted student to take classes he is not interested in, or require a gifted student to be in a heterogeneously-grouped class with many students whose ability is lower than his. Underachievement may also come from a peer group that undervalues academic success; an example is a school which focuses on athletic success and undervalues academic achievement (for example, the activity bus is reserved for the middle school basketball team, so the National Academic League team  has trouble getting to their matches). It may also come from personal factors such as a mismatch in learning styles, or from family dynamics, as when inconsistent standards undermine student motivation.