Differences in depression in relation to giftedness, school performance, age and sex of students
Željka Bumber Gordan Keresteš Melanija Slaviček
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Sažetak The aim of the study was to examine whether there are differences in depression between children who differ in giftedness-status, school performance, age and sex. The study was carried out on students in grades 7 and 8 of 5 elementary schools, who were subjected to a process of identification of gifted children when they were in 3rd grade. The sample consisted of 75 children who had been identified as gifted and 75 children randomly assigned to a comparison group. There was a similar number of girls (n=70) and boys (n=80), as well as of students from 7th (n=77) and 8th (n=73) grades. According to school performance, the children were divided into two groups: the group of highly successful students (n=71) and the group of less successful children (n=79). Identification of gifted children was based on the results on the Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices, the PROFNAD scale and the PRONAD-U scale (Koren, 1989). Depression was assessed with the self-rating scale. Results of the ANOVA in which giftedness, school performance, sex of the child and age were used as independent variables, while scores on the depression scale had the status of dependant variable showed that the older students were more depressive than the younger, with the difference especially pronounced among girls. Gifted and non-gifted children did not differ in their depression. However, the interaction between giftedness and school performance was significant, showing that the group of less successful gifted children was the most depressive one, while the group of very successful gifted children was the least depressive one. The results are discussed in terms of the importance of investigating factors related to depression in children and adolescents, as well as of recognizing subgroups of children who are at risk for developing depression.