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Mediating Factors of Personal Wellbeing in Gifted College Students: Early-College Entrants and Honors College Students

posted Dec 31, 2012, 9:57 AM by Sergiu Baltatescu   [ updated Feb 20, 2016, 10:09 AM ]

Janette K. Boazman1, Michael F. Sayler & Donald Easton-Brooks

Journal of Social Research & Policy
Volume: 3, Issue: 2, pp. 111-131
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Date: December 2012
ISSN: 2067-2640 (print), 2068-9861 (electronic)

Abstract: Many educational, behavioral, dietary, safety, and other factors influence the wellbeing of adolescents around the world (Currie et al., 2008). Previous studies examined multiple adolescent subpopulations, but none looked at academically advanced students. In this study, the Personal Wellbeing Index (International Wellbeing Group, 2005) was used to assess the wellbeing of 213 gifted college students who entered university in either an early-college-entrance program or entered at normal ages and were accepted into an honors college. One hundred twenty-two participants were students from the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS). TAMS is an early-college entrance program allowing gifted students to enter college after their sophomore (second) year of high school, approximately 15 to 16 years old at the time of entrance to the University. Ninety-one participants were students who attended the UNT Honors College. Honors College students are gifted students who enter college at a traditional age in America, after high school graduation (18 to 19 years old). This study also examined the participants’ general self-efficacy, beliefs about of intelligence, hope, gratitude, religiosity, and resiliency; and assessed any mediating effects they had on personal wellbeing in the high-ability college students. Data analysis included latent transition, general linear model, repeated measures, and regression. Results of the study revealed that dispositional mood and hope-agency were significantly related to the development of personal wellbeing for high-ability students during their first year of college regardless of age. Knowledge of psychological constructs that are facilitative of the positive personal wellbeing helps parents, teachers, administrators, and counselors prepare gifted students for success in college and beyond.

Keywords: High-ability adolescents and young adults; Gifted; Social and Emotional; Subjective wellbeing; Hope; Latent transition analysis

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