Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Nicpon, Megan Foley

First Committee Member

Ansley, Timothy

Second Committee Member

Wojciak, Armeda

Third Committee Member

Assouline, Susan

Fourth Committee Member

Ali, Saba R


Current gaps in knowledge about twice-exceptional youth relative to those with only one exceptionality (e.g., high ability or ADHD) include how twice-exceptional students perceive their friendships (Foley Nicpon et al., 2010). Some researchers have found friendship qualities to be less positive for youth with ADHD (Humphrey et al., 2007), yet others have found friendships to be rated more positively by gifted youth (Field et al., 1998). The current investigation sought to determine how friendships are perceived by twice-exceptional youth compared to peers with ADHD or high ability or achievement, and those with average ability or achievement and no diagnosis.

Participants included 65 youth (35 boys, 33 girls) in middle school. Participants completed the Friendship Qualities Scale (Bukowski et al., 1994), in addition to a demographic questionnaire completed by parents. A repeated-measures ANOVA design was utilized to compare friendship quality ratings based on ability or achievement and ADHD diagnosis, as well as gender. Participants with ADHD, regardless of ability or achievement, reported significantly less companionship, help, and security with a best friend than those without a diagnosis. Boys were observed to report significantly less closeness with a best friend than girls.

Implications of the current findings for counseling psychologists in the areas of practice and theory include considerations of how youth are socialized based on societal beliefs about gender and disability. Additionally, recommendations for treatment considerations, particularly for twice-exceptional youth, may include strengths-based interventions to support areas of strength to help accommodate difficulties.


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Friendship Quality, High Ability, Twice-Exceptional


ix, 103 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 86-101).


Copyright © 2018 Staci Fosenburg