Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

School Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Greg Machek

Commitee Members

Daniel Denis, Darrell Stolle


gifted, mediation, stigma


University of Montana


A review of the literature has provided mixed results in determining whether gifted children are stigmatized. Studies by Coleman and Cross (1988) and Cross, Coleman, and Terhaar-Yonkers (1991) identified that gifted students do feel stigmatized by their peers, while Luftig and Nichol (1990) found that only gifted girls were stigmatized. Conversely, a study by Guskin, Okolo, Zimmerman and Peng, (1986) found that gifted student’s peers viewed them as being popular. The current study attempted to remedy the methodological problems of such research in an attempt to study non-gifted children’s reactions to common characteristics used to describe four types of gifted children. An attribution framework was used (e.g., Weiner, 1980) to test for the mediating effect (Baron & Kenny, 1986) of the affective variables of admiration (Hareli,& Weiner, 2002) and envy (Hareli, & Weiner, 2000) between perceptions of controllability and the behavioral response of affiliation. Multiple factorial ANOVA’s were used to compare the mean levels of controllability, admiration, envy, and affiliation to detect differences as a function of the type of gifted student. Both the causal steps approach (Baron, & Kenny, 1986) and the bootstrapping method (Preacher, Rucker, & Hayes, 2007) were used to analyze the mediation models and Hayes’s MODMED macro was used to determine if either gender or type of gifted student served as moderators. Results from this study suggested that admiration fully mediates the relationship between controllability and affiliation and envy does not. Additionally, gender moderates these relationships. Overall, the findings suggest that gifted students are not stigmatized.

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