Year of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus


Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Greg Machek

Commitee Members

Anisa Goforth, Nicole McCray, Allen Szalda-Petree, Trent Atkins


University of Montana


Research in the area of giftedness and stigma has provided a mixed picture of the social outcomes of being gifted. From the perspective of the gifted child, being gifted may necessitate use of certain coping strategies to manage how others evaluate a gifted child’s academic successes. Due to these coping strategies, gifted children may be able to avoid negative social outcomes, such as peer rejection; however, a gifted child may have difficulty hiding the fact they are gifted if an overt indicator (e.g., a gifted label) has been assigned to the student. Less research has been conducted on how others view gifted students and if there is a public stigma of giftedness. The current study focused on how the gender of the participant, the gender of the gifted student and the gifted label affect how peers evaluate the successes of gifted students. Participants rated how much effort they thought gifted students expend toward academic success as well as how they much they admire the gifted students and if they would befriend that student. Multiple ANOVA’s and independent samples t-tests were used to compare the mean levels of effort, admiration, and affiliation scores. Results indicate that the gender of the participant and the “gifted” label did not adversely affect perceptions of gifted students. However, female participants favored the gifted students significantly more than male participants and in particular, female participants favored female gifted students over male gifted students. Overall, the findings suggest that peers do not stigmatize gifted students.

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© Copyright 2016 Ian Knowlton Pattison Stephens