Jolana Laznibatová, Dušan Fábik, Ivan Belica and Mária Balážová
Introduction: The aim of the present research was to find out the frequency of use of particular coping strategies by intellectually gifted and common adolescents and to evaluate this frequency in the context of the personality structure.
Methods: The sample consisted of 253 pupils attending grammar schools in Bratislava from 14 to 18 years of age. According to own criteria, 85 of them were identified as exceptionally intellectually gifted. They included those who scored 120 and more at least in 2 from 3 subtests IST-R-2000 (Words, Numerical Scale, Cubes), or who had an average score at least 120 in the given subtests. The intellectually gifted children were compared with children with common intellect in the frequency of use of particular coping strategies (CSI copying questionnaire). Moreover, we investigated a relationship between these strategies and personality traits (NEO-FFI) separately in the group of gifted children and separately in the group of pupils with a common intellect.
Results: Gifted pupils use social isolation strategy significantly more often and, on the contrary, they use considerably less the social support strategy than pupils with normal intellect. A significant moderately strong correlation (>0.35) of neuroticism with problem solving (negative), escape into fantasy and self-criticism, furthermore, extraversion with social support and social isolation (negative), and finally, conscientiousness and problem solving was indicated in gifted children. As far as common pupils, such correlations have been demonstrated between neuroticism and escape into fantasy and self-criticism, and between conscientiousness and escape into fantasy (negative).
Limits: The selected criterion for intellectual talent can be set to a higher level in the future. The intellectual talent was evaluated only by 3 subtests of IST-R-2000.
Conclusion: Gifted pupils in stressful situations more often tend to withdraw in comparison to common pupils. The personality dimensions – neuroticism, extraversion and conscientiousness are in relationship with management strategies. On the basis of the results, it can be assumed that the personality structure of gifted pupils is more strongly associated with the frequency of use of coping strategies than in common pupils.
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