Social-emotional characteristics of gifted accelerated and non-accelerated students in the Netherlands

Lianne Hoogeveen, Adriana Van Hell, Ludo Verhoeven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. In the studies of acceleration conducted so far a multidimensional perspective has largely been neglected. No attempt has been made to relate social-emotional characteristics of accelerated versus non-accelerated students in perspective of environmental factors. Aims. In this study, social-emotional characteristics of accelerated gifted students in the Netherlands were examined in relation to personal and environmental factors. Samples. Self-concept and social contacts of accelerated (n = 148) and non-accelerated (n = 55) gifted students, aged 4 to 27 (M = 11.22, SD = 4.27) were measured. Method. Self-concept and social contacts of accelerated and non-accelerated gifted students were measured using a questionnaire and a diary, and parents of these students evaluated their behavioural characteristics. Gender and birth order were studied as personal factors and grade, classroom, teachers' gender, teaching experience, and the quality of parent-school contact as environmental factors. Results. The results showed minimal differences in the social-emotional characteristics of accelerated and non-accelerated gifted students. The few differences we found favoured the accelerated students. We also found that multiple grade skipping does not have negative effects on social-emotional characteristics, and that long-term effects of acceleration tend to be positive. As regards the possible modulation of personal and environmental factors, we merely found an impact of such factors in the non-accelerated group. Conclusions. The results of this study strongly suggest that social-emotional characteristics of accelerated gifted students and non-accelerated gifted students are largely similar. These results thus do not support worries expressed by teachers about the acceleration of gifted students. Our findings parallel the outcomes of earlier studies in the United States and Germany in that we observed that acceleration does not harm gifted students, not even in the case of multiple grade skipping. On the contrary, there is a suggestion in the data that accelerated students are more socially competent than non-accelerated students. The findings in this study can reassure those parents and teachers who worry about the social-emotional consequences of acceleration in school: If a student is gifted, acceleration seems to be a sound and, in many cases, appropriate measure in gifted education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-605
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
Volume82
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

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Netherlands
Students
student
environmental factors
parents
social relations
self-concept
Sociological Factors
Self Concept
teacher
Parents
birth order
Birth Order
gender
social studies
school
Germany
Teaching
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
contact

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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title = "Social-emotional characteristics of gifted accelerated and non-accelerated students in the Netherlands",
abstract = "Background. In the studies of acceleration conducted so far a multidimensional perspective has largely been neglected. No attempt has been made to relate social-emotional characteristics of accelerated versus non-accelerated students in perspective of environmental factors. Aims. In this study, social-emotional characteristics of accelerated gifted students in the Netherlands were examined in relation to personal and environmental factors. Samples. Self-concept and social contacts of accelerated (n = 148) and non-accelerated (n = 55) gifted students, aged 4 to 27 (M = 11.22, SD = 4.27) were measured. Method. Self-concept and social contacts of accelerated and non-accelerated gifted students were measured using a questionnaire and a diary, and parents of these students evaluated their behavioural characteristics. Gender and birth order were studied as personal factors and grade, classroom, teachers' gender, teaching experience, and the quality of parent-school contact as environmental factors. Results. The results showed minimal differences in the social-emotional characteristics of accelerated and non-accelerated gifted students. The few differences we found favoured the accelerated students. We also found that multiple grade skipping does not have negative effects on social-emotional characteristics, and that long-term effects of acceleration tend to be positive. As regards the possible modulation of personal and environmental factors, we merely found an impact of such factors in the non-accelerated group. Conclusions. The results of this study strongly suggest that social-emotional characteristics of accelerated gifted students and non-accelerated gifted students are largely similar. These results thus do not support worries expressed by teachers about the acceleration of gifted students. Our findings parallel the outcomes of earlier studies in the United States and Germany in that we observed that acceleration does not harm gifted students, not even in the case of multiple grade skipping. On the contrary, there is a suggestion in the data that accelerated students are more socially competent than non-accelerated students. The findings in this study can reassure those parents and teachers who worry about the social-emotional consequences of acceleration in school: If a student is gifted, acceleration seems to be a sound and, in many cases, appropriate measure in gifted education.",
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Social-emotional characteristics of gifted accelerated and non-accelerated students in the Netherlands. / Hoogeveen, Lianne; Van Hell, Adriana; Verhoeven, Ludo.

In: British Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 82, No. 4, 01.12.2012, p. 585-605.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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