Strategies Used by Intellectually Gifted Students to Cope With Stress During Their Participation in a High School International Baccalaureate Program

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qualitative methodologies, social development, emotional development, high school, stress

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Individuals respond to threats to affiliation and achievement needs through drawing on a repertoire of coping strategies specific to a given situation. Gifted adolescents in college-preparatory high school programs may be faced with novel stressors, and may have unique coping strategies to manage these challenges. The current study considers responses to surveys of stress and coping as well as focus group interviews of gifted and high-achieving students enrolled in an academically intense curriculum, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. Findings of this secondary analysis of archival data sets indicate gifted students experience levels of stress similar to their IB classmates not identified as gifted. Additionally, gifted students were similar to IB peers not identified as gifted with respect to how they cope with school; likenesses included positive reframing, time and task management, avoiding tasks, and seeking social support. However, gifted IB students differed from IB classmates with respect to anger coping, humor, and problem-solving approaches.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Gifted Child Quarterly, v. 54, issue 2, p. 127-137