Academic journal article Journal of Secondary Gifted Education

Self-Perceived Creativity, Family Hardiness, and Emotional Intelligence of Chinese Gifted Students in Hong Kong

Academic journal article Journal of Secondary Gifted Education

Self-Perceived Creativity, Family Hardiness, and Emotional Intelligence of Chinese Gifted Students in Hong Kong

Article excerpt

This study assessed the self-perceptions of 212 gifted students regarding their creativity, family hardiness, and emotional intelligence. There were in general no gender and age group differences on these self-perceptions, with the exception that younger students perceived their families as more hardy than did older students. The results of regression analysis indicated that family hardiness and emotional intelligence had separate and direct effects on self-perceived creativity, and their effects were additive, rather than multiplicative, as their interaction terms did not yield significant increment in variance accounted for in the criterion of prediction. Similar results were obtained when different components of emotional intelligence were considered, with some suggestive evidence that family hardiness could interact with specific components of emotional intelligence in the prediction. Implications of the findings are discussed, and caution need to be exercised in the interpretation of these results, as data were cross-sectional and collected only on student perceptions.

**********

Findings in studies of parenting, education, and training have generally indicated that the family plays an important and positive role in the development of talents and potentials of gifted children (e.g., Bloom, 1985; Csikszentmihalyi, Rathunde, & Whalen, 1993; Klein & Tannenbaum, 1992; Olszewski, Kulieke, & Buescher, 1987; Piirto, 1999; Smutny, 1998). Specifically, in nurturing creativity of gifted children, the family could provide the environmental context that stimulates or sparks creativity, rewards creative ideas and behaviors, and evaluates creative products (e.g., Sternberg & Lubart, 1993). Yet, gifted children identified by conventional intellectual measures do not typically grow up to become eminent creative producers (see Olszewski-Kubilius, 2000; Subotnik & Steiner, 1994; Terman, 1925).

In this connection, Albert (1978, 1994) has provided a plausible explanation. He distinguished scholastic achievers, who typically come from cohesive and child-centered families, from creative achievers, who typically come from families with tense relationships, unconventional parenting, and parental dysfunction or loss. Accordingly, the less harmonious family conditions can motivate gifted children to obtain power, which results in creativity. Indeed, other reasearchers have further suggested that disharmony and a stressful home environment can be highly motivating, and despite the disturbance, it would not be devastating if there were strong supportive elements in the family (see Olszewski-Kubilius, Kulieke, & Buescher, 1987). In the same vein, Russell (1979) suggested that families that managed situational and developmental crises successfully would be higher in nurturing creativity than families that were less successful in handling crises. Csikszentmihalyi et al. (1993) also suggested that it was not stress alone, but more likely a balance of stress and support within the family that provided the conditions conducive to high levels of talent development. More specifically, a stressful family environment could drive the gifted child to seek refuge in the safety of intellectual activities and use creative activities as emotional outlets (Ochse, 1993; Piirto, 1998) or to become psychologically mature at an early age (Albert, 1978, 1980). On the other hand, stressful childhood experiences could also prepare the gifted child to cope later in life with the intellectual tensions and marginal existence characteristic of many highly creative people (Feldman, 1994; Gardner, 1994).

Viewed in this manner, disruptive family environment and stressful childhood experiences might elicit and develop within gifted children responses and personality characteristics that are conducive to creative achievement. Such responses and characteristics could include a preference for time alone, an ability to cope with stress and tension, freedom from conventionality, and the use of intellectual or creative activities to fulfill emotional needs (Olszewski-Kubilius, 2000). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.