The self-concept of the gifted across the life span

The self-concept refers to the conscious, self-relevant knowledge of one's own person, and is dynamic, multifaceted and context-dependent. Social experiences influence the content and the significance of self-concept facets. Self-concept development is a life-long process of both construction and reconstruction, allowing one to develop a sense of continuity and coherence, adapt to situational circumstances, and distinguish oneself from others. The development towards an adequate, coherent and clear self-concept is vital for one’s self-regulation and psychological well-being throughout the entire life span.

For the gifted (i.e., people with a high level of general intelligence or cognitive ability), the development towards a healthy self-concept can be more challenging, as they may be subject to social disapproval, stigmatisation and stereotype threat, arising from their minority status. Stigmatised (i.e., socially rejected) facets of the self are more difficult to integrate into the self-concept. The aim of my research is to gain insight into the self-concept of the gifted, by investigating the multifacetedness, structure and development of the self-concept of the gifted across the life span.

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