Stress and Gifted Children - A Study

Stress and Gifted Children - A Study

A recent article in the Gifted and Talented International Journal, asked: What do we really know about teaching gifted children to cope with stress and anxiety? The report refers to a study conduct in 2014 by Gaesser which used Cognitive Behavioral and Emotional Freedom techniques with gifted students, which demonstrated promising results.

Read on for more details...

Article featured: Don't stress: What do we really know about teaching gifted children to cope with stress and anxiety? by Steve Haberlina (April 2016)


Gifted children may experience additional stressors due to their unique characteristics. While empirical evidence suggests otherwise, qualitative studies and clinical observations indicate that gifted individuals may suffer from higher levels of stress due to perfectionistic tendencies, heightened sensitivity, social challenges, and additional external pressures. Nevertheless, empirical research regarding counselling and stress-reducing intervention outcomes remains scant. The few interventions conducted, such as Gaesser’s (2014) work using Cognitive Behavioral and Emotional Freedom techniques with gifted students, have demonstrated promising results. Recommendations include offering incentives in the form of grants and funding to researchers interested in investigating intervention outcomes and investigating stress-reducing methods and approaches, such as mindfulness, which have shown positive impact.

Referred to Article

Interventions to Reduce Anxiety for Gifted Children and Adolescents Amy H. Gaesser, University of Connecticut - Storrs August 2014


This study examined the anxiety levels of gifted students, as well as the effectiveness of two interventions: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Using the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale-2 (RCMAS-2), Phase I of this study examined anxiety levels in gifted youth (n = 153) participating in private and public gifted education programs, grades 6-12, in two Northeastern states. ANOVA analyses indicated that gender (F [1, 149] = 13.52, p< .001, h2= .08) and school setting (F [2, 149] = 21.41, p< .001, h2= .23) were significant factors in the anxiety levels of the gifted students. In Phase II, a randomized controlled research design was used to investigate the effectiveness of CBT and EFT interventions. Participants (n = 63) identified with moderate to high levels of anxiety on the pre treatment RCMAS-2 were assigned to one of three treatment groups: a) CBT, b) EFT, or c) a wait-listed control group. Treatment outcomes were measured using the RCMAS-2 post treatment scores and analyzed using ANCOVA with pre treatment RCMAS-2 scores serving as the covariate. EFT participants (n= 20, M = 52.163, SE = 1.42) showed significant reduction in anxiety levels when compared to the control group (n= 21, M = 57.93, SE = 1.39, p = .005). CBT participants (n= 21, M = 54.82, SE = 1.38) did not differ significantly from either the EFT or control groups (p = .12 and p = .18, respectively).

Are You Suffering From Similar issues?

If you or someone you know is suffering from stress or anxiety, please contact a professional GoE EFT Practitioner to see if EFT can help:

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