Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 2002


Published in Gifted Child Quarterly 46:2 (Spring 2002), pp. 98–109; doi: 10.1177/001698620204600203


Published by Sage Publications on behalf of National Association for Gifted Children. Used by permission.


One of the most controversial issues in contemporary research on creativity-whether a person’s creativity is domain-specific or domain-general-was investigated with 109 second-grade children. The purposes of this study were to (1) provide empirical support for the domain-specific theory of creativity, (2) show relationships among children’s creative performances as measured by three product-based assessments in three domains (storytelling, collage making, and math word problems), and (3) explore the relationship between children’s creative performances and their general creative thinking skills, as measured by the Wallach-Kogan Creative Thinking Test and the Real- World Divergent Thinking Test. The findings of this study support the position of domain-specificity of creativity. Children exhibited a range of creative abilities across different domains, rather than a uniform creative ability in diverse domains, indicating there is considerable intra-individual variation in creative ability by domain. Divergent thinking measures in this study did not predict creative performance in at least two of three, if not all, domains assessed in the study. Implications of the study in connection with educational practices for gifted children are discussed.