Being labeled as gifted, self-appraisal, and psychological well-being: a life span developmental perspective

Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1999;48(3):161-73. doi: 10.2190/CLU1-DEUK-XAFB-7HYJ.


This study examined the relation of being labeled as intellectually gifted to a midlife appraisal of having lived up to one's abilities and to psychological well-being at age eighty. Participants in the study were 399 individuals in the Terman Study of the Gifted who were between the ages of seventy-five and eighty-four in 1992. A proxy index of Terman Study membership was derived from participants' self-report during their mid-twenties of the age at which they first learned that they were members of the Terman Study. Learning at a younger age of membership in a study of intellectual giftedness was related to less likelihood of believing that one had lived up to one's intellectual abilities at midlife and to less favorable psychological well-being at age eighty. Results are discussed in terms of the possible implications of being labeled as gifted for the formation of unrealistic expectations about achievement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Child, Gifted*
  • Female
  • Human Development
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Psychological Tests
  • Self-Assessment*