Experiences of Difference: A Phenomenological Study With Intellectually Gifted Pre-Adolescent/Early Adolescent Boys and Their Mothers

Julie King, Rosalyn Shute, Angus McLachlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Within a theoretical framework of cognitive dissonance, this phenomenological study explored Australian intellectually gifted pre-adolescent/early adolescents’ experiences of asynchrony. The study focuses on mothers and sons. Eleven boys aged 10 to 14 years, and nine of their mothers, participated in semi-structured interviews. Seven boys reported feelings of difference, but these were generally vague. One reported strongly upsetting feelings of difference, while several evaluated difference as positive. All mothers believed their sons had experienced strong feelings of difference, emphasizing friendship rather than academic matters, though children raised both. Despite most reporting only mild feelings of difference, boys, as well as mothers, articulated efforts to minimize these feelings. Although this sometimes caused a sense of inauthenticity, the data suggest that parents’ and boys’ own efforts to accommodate their needs had largely succeeded and left most boys well-adjusted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-198
Number of pages14
JournalRoeper Review
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • asynchrony
  • cognitive dissonance
  • difference
  • giftedness
  • parents
  • pre-adolescents

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