Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2009

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Cochran, Sam V , III

Second Advisor

Nicpon, Megan Foley

First Committee Member

Westefeld, John

Second Committee Member

Ansley, Timothy

Third Committee Member

Colangelo, Nicholas

Fourth Committee Member

Henfield, Malik S


The purpose of the present study was to examine the self-perceptions of gifted individuals who have a disability that impacts their ability to learn and/or express knowledge, a population known as "twice-exceptional." Twice-exceptional participants were compared to gifted participants without disabilities to determine whether they differed in their self-perceptions. The self-perceptions that were measured in this study were self-esteem, global self-concept, academic self-concept, and sense of inadequacy.

Scores from the Behavior Assessment Scale for Children--2nd Edition (BASC-2) and the Piers Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale--2nd Edition (Piers-Harris 2) from school-age youth (n = 97) between ages 7 and 17 were used in the present study. Participants included 40 gifted youth, 29 gifted youth with learning disabilities, and 28 gifted youth with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Correlations that were calculated among age, gender, and scales measuring self-esteem, global self-concept, and sense of inadequacy for each group of twice-exceptional participants (G/ADHD, G/LD) revealed that neither age nor gender was significantly correlated with the three measures of self-perception. Self-Esteem and Total Self-Concept were positively correlated for each category of twice-exceptional participants, and Sense of Inadequacy was negatively correlated with the former two measures.

Gifted participants with learning disabilities were significantly different from gifted participants without disabilities on Self-Esteem, Intellectual and School Status (a measure of academic self-concept), and Sense of Inadequacy. Gifted youth reported higher levels of self-esteem and academic self-concept, and lower levels of sense of inadequacy. Gifted youth with ADHD were not significantly different from either comparison group. All three groups reported scores in the average range, with the exception of Intellectual and School Status. On this measure, gifted participants without disabilities reported scores in the above average range.

Within the entire sample of participants, Interpersonal Relations and Sense of Inadequacy were found to predict 61% of the variability in Total Self-Concept Scores. Research and practice implications of the findings from these analyses were discussed.


Disability, Gifted, Identity Development, Self-Concept, Self-Esteem, Twice-Exceptional


viii, 103 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 98-103).


Copyright 2009 Jennifer Keely Kauder