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Dealing with Dual Differences: Social Coping Strategies of Gifted and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Adolescents

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Author: Hutcheson, Virginia
Advisor: Tieso, Carol
Committee Members: Robbins, Janice
Issued Date: 2012-05
Subjects: Gifted education
Social coping
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/16594
Description: The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the social coping strategies of gifted and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students. Previous literature has explored hostile school environments for LGBTQ students and negative social perceptions of giftedness, but little research has addressed students who are both gifted and LGBTQ. Twelve gifted and LGBTQ college students were interviewed and asked to retrospectively describe their experiences, feelings, and behaviors in middle and high school. Their most common coping strategies included finding supportive groups of friends; hiding or downplaying their LGBTQ identity; participating in extracurricular activities; confiding in supportive teachers; developing their writing, musical, and leadership talents; and conducting research. Participants reported that their giftedness motivated them to seek and create safe spaces. The implications of this study can help educators guide students in the use of positive coping strategies that facilitate both talent and identity development.
Degree: Masters of Education in Sociology

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