Gifted Students’ Perceptions of an Accelerated Summer Program and Social Support

Seon Young Lee*, Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Matthew C. Makel, Martha Putallaz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Using survey responses from students who participated in the summer programs at two university-based gifted education institutions, this study examined changes in gifted students’ perceptions of their learning environments, accelerated summer programs and regular schools, and social support in lives after participation in the summer programs. Our sample of gifted students was generally favorable about their classroom experiences and interactions with their teachers both in the gifted programs and regular school classes. Some noticeable differences were greater acceptance and support for giftedness, a stronger connection to peers, and greater ease in peer relationships reported during the programs, and enhanced maturity and orientation toward future after the programs. While all students relied on family and peers as sources of social support before, during and after the summer programs, older students also endorsed being able to rely more on themselves. Perceptions of greater social support seemed to be related to more positive assessment of students’ summer and school classes, although causality can go in either direction. Overall, this study suggests that gifted students’ summer program experiences may be instrumental in receiving affirmation about their giftedness from peers, enhancing independence and maturity for academic life, and building stronger belief in themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-282
Number of pages18
JournalGifted Child Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 11 2015


  • multivariate analyses
  • secondary
  • social and/or emotional development and adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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