Parenting gifted and talented children: what are the key child behaviour and parenting issues?

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2008 Sep;42(9):819-27. doi: 10.1080/00048670802277271.


Objective: The literature on gifted and talented children is limited. Little is known about the types and nature of difficulties experienced by gifted and talented children, and even less known about parenting issues related to parenting a gifted and talented child. The aim of the present study was to describe children's behavioural and emotional adjustment, and the factors that contribute to children's difficulties, as well as to examine the styles of discipline used by parents of gifted and talented children and their level of confidence in managing specific parenting tasks.

Method: A survey of parents of gifted and talented children was conducted, with 211 parents meeting criteria for the study.

Results: For a community sample, in general gifted and talented children exhibit no more behavioural difficulties than do other children. But children in this sample seemed to show higher levels of emotional symptoms and peer problems. Children's behavioural and emotional difficulties were best predicted by parenting factors, particularly parental confidence. Parents reported that they were less likely to be permissive with their child, but they tended to use a more authoritarian style of parenting characterized by lecturing and a strong reaction to any problems.

Conclusions: There are a number of implications for future research, clinical practice, and the development of parenting interventions for this group of parents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Affective Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Affective Symptoms / epidemiology
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology
  • Australia
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / epidemiology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child, Gifted / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Peer Group
  • Personality Assessment
  • Social Adjustment