CHARACTERISTICS Resource: The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children Neihart concluded that the characteristics that are unique to gifted students may also be risk factors for the development of depression. Characteristics 1. High Cognitive Functioning 2. Unrealistic Expectations 3. Associating With Adults
Quantitative Conclusion Empirical studies have shown little to no quantitative differences in the occurances of depression in gifted and non- gifted students. Qualitative Conclusion However, in a study conducted by Peterson, there was a difference in how gifted students experienced depression. They were more likely to experience a premature existential depression than their average peers. Existential Depression- Struggling with questions about the meaning of life.( Berndt, Kaiser &Van Aalst, 1982; ; Jackson,1998; Webb, Meckstroth &Tobin, 1993).
Warning Signs of Depression What should teachers look for? Prolonged sadness Loss of interest in all activities Change in appetite or weight Sleeping too much Decreased energy Overwhelmed by small tasks feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and low self-esteem Difficulty thinking, concentrating or remembering Difficulty making decisions Negative thoughts about oneself in the world or the future Tired or listless Repeated thoughts of suicide, including planning or attempting.
Ways to Affect Change Integrate Service Projects into the classroom Resource:www.teachpeacenow.orgwww.teachpeacenow.org
ANXIETY FACT OR MYTH: Gifted children experience most of their anxiety for the same reasons as non-gifted children, and the same coping strategies should be used with both.
Gifted children typically experience anxiety for much different reasons than non-gifted children, and there are specific ways to help gifted children cope with their particular kinds of anxiety.
Research from Tracy Cross’s studies proves that anxiety isn’t more prevalent in gifted children, and that being gifted does not make a child prone to personality disorders/differences such as anxiety. Many anxious gifted children are misdiagnosed as being OCD because symptoms can be very similar.
Typical Reasons that the Gifted Child Experiences Anxiety Situational Self-Imposed Existential Refer to poster board for additional information
Tips to Help Gifted Kids with Anxiety/Stress Interpersonal Intrapersonal Contemplative Practices Refer to PowerPoint on Ipad for additional information
SUICIDE "Although it is a popular notion that gifted children are at risk for higher rates of depression and suicide than their average, no empirical data supports this belief, except for students who are creatively gifted in the visual arts and writing (see Neihart & Olenchak, this volume). Nor, however, is there good evidence that rates of depression and suicide are significantly lower among populations of gifted children." Gifted Children and Depression by Maureen Neihart, in The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know? by Maureen Neihart, Sally M. Reis, Nancy M. Robinson, Sidney M. MoonThe Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know? by Maureen Neihart, Sally M. Reis, Nancy M. Robinson, Sidney M. Moon
SIGNS OF SUICIDE Changes in sleep and/or appetite patterns, Decline in school performance, Increased social withdrawal, Loll in interest and pleasure in previously enjoyable activities, Changes in appearance, for instance no longer caring for one's clothes, Preoccupation with themes of ones death or the theme of death itself, Increased irritability and behavioral problems, Giving away important possessions, Use of drugs and alcohol, History of a previous suicide attempt, History of abuse and neglect, History of learning disabilities and a sense of failure, Frequent somatic complaints, al expressions of self death statements such as "I wish I were dead," No longer concerned about making plans for the future, Depressed mood.
COUNSELING FACT OR MYTH: According to Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development, a gifted child’s emotional growth is overdeveloped.
According to Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development, a gifted child’s emotional growth is underdeveloped. Source: http://www.sengifted.org/archives/articles/directors- corner-the-psychosocial-development-of-gifted-children http://www.sengifted.org/archives/articles/directors- corner-the-psychosocial-development-of-gifted-children
Why can talented individuals benefit from counseling? Failure to live up to high expectations may lead to anxiety and depression Gifted students may self-medicate distress with illegal substances and even drop out of school. Gifted youth with extreme talent may not be socially and emotionally prepared to handle the power and attention that such levels of ability often generate.
Elementary Education Teachers Develop a feeling vocabulary with students http://www.sengifted.org/archives/articles/developing-a-feeling-vocabulary
Secondary Education Teachers 1.Nourish your students socially 2.Teach them to find emotional acceptance and growth 3.Provide philosophical nurturing (Ginnott, 1972)