As most research with gifted children has demonstrated that giftedness has a positive effect on popularity and social self-esteem, it was expected that gifted adolescents would demonstrate higher intimacy with their same-sex closest friends and would tend to evince a more secure attachment style than nongifted cohorts. A total of 56 gifted and nongifted 9th graders completed questionnaires regarding their intimacy with closest same-sex friend and attachment style. However, the hypotheses were not confirmed. Gifted adolescents of both sexes reported lower intimacy with their closest same-sex friends than nongifted adolescents, and they did not differ from the latter in the frequency of the attachment styles they exhibited. These results are discussed in light of the distinction between instrumentality and expressiveness in social relations; it is suggested that gifted adolescents have a stronger instrumental orientation than others. While this may prove conducive to close relationships at the preadolescent stage, it does not give them an advantage during adolescence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)