This study examined the relations between cognitive ability, socioemotional competency (SEC), and achievement in gifted children. Data were collected on children between the ages of 8 and 15 years (n = 124). Children were assessed via teacher reports of SEC, standardized cognitive assessment, and standardized achievement assessment. Composite achievement significantly correlated with all areas of SEC on the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA). Cognitive ability significantly correlated with all areas of SEC as well. Composite cognitive ability significantly correlated with all composite achievement, as well as with achievement in all subject areas assessed. Achievement scores tended to be higher in older age groups in comparison to younger age groups. When gender differences were found (in some areas of SEC and in language achievement), they tended to be higher in females. Gender moderated the relation between SEC and composite achievement. The areas of SEC that best predicted achievement, over-and-above other SEC scales, were Optimistic Thinking, Self-Awareness, and Relationship Skills. While cognitive scores did not significantly predict achievement when controlling for SEC, SEC did significantly predict achievement over-and-above cognitive ability scores. Overall findings suggest that SEC may be important in children's school achievement; thus it is important for schools and families to promote the development of SEC in gifted children, especially in the areas of optimism and self-awareness.
- Socioemotional competencies, cognitive ability, and achievement in gifted students
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by Tiffany Kong