The social competence of highly gifted math and science adolescents

Seon Young Lee*, Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Dana Thomson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Involving 740 highly gifted math and science students from two different countries, Korea and the United States, this study examined how these gifted adolescents perceived their interpersonal ability and peer relationships and whether there were differences between these two groups by demographic variables. Based on the survey data, results showed that our gifted students perceived their interpersonal ability and peer relationships at levels comparable to or higher than those of their non-gifted counterparts. They were satisfied and confident with their peer relationships and did not identify negative effects of being gifted when forming and maintaining friendships. Differences were found between Korean and American students by gender in their profiles of interpersonal ability and peer relationships. Positive self-portrayal of social competence found for our sample disputed previous studies suggesting that highly gifted students tend to struggle with social relationships. Given that each group of students had different educational, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds, the results should also be interpreted with caution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-197
Number of pages13
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Cultural differences
  • Gifted math and science adolescents
  • Social competence
  • Specialized gifted school and program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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