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.
- cognitive dissonance