Department of Educational Psychology


Date of this Version



Published in Journal for the Education of the Gifted 32:3 (2009), pp. 340–367. Copyright © 2009 Prufrock Press Inc.; published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


Gifted adolescents are poised to make important decisions that will determine the trajectory of their futures. A positive self-concept may lead to higher educational and career aspirations, whereas a poorer self-concept may negatively influence choices and outcomes. Research points to self-concept differences among gifted students of different ages (Chan, 2001) and genders (Hoge & McShreffrey, 1991; Li, 1988), with declining self-concept among females over time. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which self-concept differed among gifted students across grade and gender. Two hundred and sixty older adolescents (grades 8 to 11, n = 159 girls) completed the Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents (Harter, 1988) and 300 younger adolescents (grades 5 to 7, n = 171 girls) completed the Self-Perception Profile for Children (Harter, 1985). Results indicate that gifted students’ scores in several self- concept domains were lower for older adolescents and girls, but remained relatively high across grade and gender for scholastic self-concept.