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Title: Underachieving Gifted Children: Intergenerational Issues
Contributor(s): Harding, Kerry (author); Merrotsy, Peter (supervisor); Smith, Susen (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2009
Copyright Date: 2008
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: This study investigates the influence of family dynamics on gifted individuals for the purpose of comparing the family characteristics of outstandingly talented individuals to those of underachieving talented individuals. The areas of self-concept, self-efficacy, achievement, motivation, values and attitudes are influenced by the family environment and parental attitudes. Gagné (2003) highlights that through a variety of environmental factors such as identification, imitation, stimulating home environments, family types and socio-economic backgrounds parents can either hinder or advance the development potential of their gifted child. The successful realisation of a gifted child's potential will depend on the interaction of all these factors, as well as other non-environmental factors such as personality and birth order. Much research has been done on family influences but very little from the perspective of the women and their own childhood influences, nor on the repercussions of these influences on the child-rearing methods these women use for their gifted children. This study comprises four case studies resulting from narrative inquiries into the life experiences of four women. Through these case studies the effects of intergenerational family dynamics on underachievement is explored. While a review of the literature reveals much knowledge about the effects of positive family environments and family dynamics on gifted children there is much less knowledge about the effects of negative family environments and family dynamics on Australian underachieving gifted children. This study explores the cyclical effect of intergenerational dynamics on underachievement. It interweaves the influences that living in a low socio-economic area has on the family environment. The findings and discussion result from an interpretative analysis of the four case studies. The findings and discussion offer support for past research on the deleterious effects of negative family environments, disruptive family types and female stereotyping on intergenerational synergy. A compendium of family strategies to enhance the learning environment of gifted children arose from the research for this study.
Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Field of Research (FoR): 130312 Special Education and Disability
Rights Statement: Copyright 2008 - Kerry Harding
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
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