The Center for Gifted Education conducts research to contribute to the knowledge base regarding gifted education and gifted learners, in addition to research on the effectiveness of our products and programs. Each of the Center's Directors has expertise in research related to talent, professional, or curriculum development or in the psychology of gifted students. At any time, numerous research-related activities are ongoing.
Camp Launch Research
In addition to the data collected from our outstanding campers each year, we are regularly in the process of seeking out our alumni to learn about their current activities. We are thankful to our Camp Launch family members for sharing information that will have a lasting impact on education. One study we do every year asks campers to write about the value that is most important to them. This values affirmation activity has been shown to have positive effects on students’ openness and may even help improve their performance in school (see Cohen, Garcia, Purdie-Vaughns, Apfel, & Brzustoski, 2009; Crocker, Niiya, & Mischkowski, 2008; Sherman & Cohen, 2006). Affirming students’ personal values is a powerful way to start Camp Launch each year.
School Counselor Academic Pressure and Suicide Study
Although the Centers for Disease Control collects data about suicide across the nation, there are still many unanswered questions about adolescents who attempt or die by suicide. At this time, it is not possible to say whether gifted students are more or less at risk. In a study of school counselors, we are seeking to learn about the relationship between academic pressure in a community, school, or at the individual level and suicidal behavior. The Institute for Research on the Suicide of Gifted Students, an arm of the Center for Gifted Education, is conducting this study. For more information, see the Institute’s Research page.
Social Experience of Gifted Students Scale Validation
The social experience of students with high ability has important implications for the academic engagement and well-being. The Social Experience of Gifted Students Scale includes items identified through research as potentially common or impactful. Each item includes the experience (e.g., “My teachers treated me differently from the other students.”) and a rating of the frequency (Never – Regularly) and affective response (“Made me feel very bad” to “Made me feel very good”). The purpose of the SEGSS is to identify the frequency of various social experiences and their emotional associations. Future research will explore the relationship of experiences with students’ well-being and other psychological variables.
Handbook for Counselors Serving Students With Gifts and Talents: Development, Relationships, School Issues, and Counseling Needs/Interventions
Dr. Tracy L. Cross and Dr. Jennifer Riedl Cross are editors of this book describing various aspects of the lives of gifted students. Counselors and those interested in learning about students with gifts and talents will find a wealth of information in the handbook, which includes chapters on Theoretical Foundations and Conceptions of Giftedness, Special Populations, Developmental Issues, Relationships, School-Related Issues, and Counseling Needs and Interventions. This book is a superb resource for a broad audience of counselors, educators, researchers, and parents. The handbook received the 2012 Legacy Book Award, Scholar category, from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. The second edition will be published in Spring, 2021 by Prufrock Press.
The Center actively engages with research in partnership with the Centre for Talented Youth-Ireland. We have produced multiple reports and publications on gifted education in Ireland (see Completed Research). Currently, we are examining the psychology of Irish gifted students and its relationship to their social experience. Similar research is being pursued among Indian students at the Jagadis Bose National Science Talent Search, India.