AGU Researcher Calls for a School Environment to Enhance Psychological Empowerment, Self-differentiation Among Gifted Students

Within the requirements for obtaining a PhD of Philosophy in Gifted Education from the College of Graduate Studies (CGS) at the Arabian Gulf University (AGU), researcher Ms Muna Jassim Mohamed Rashid Al Estad discussed the findings of her dissertation on the relative contribution of self-differentiation and life skills in predicting psychological empowerment among gifted students.

The study aimed to determine the differences between students in psychological empowerment, self-differentiation, and life skills, among gifted and ordinary students in the State of Kuwait, according to student ranking, gender, and academic grade.

The researcher used the descriptive correlational method by measuring psychological empowerment, self-differentiation and life skills after verifying their psychometric properties. This she applied to a sample of 467 ordinary and gifted students during the first semester of the academic year 2022-2023.

The results of the meta-analysis using cluster averages indicated differentiation among the research sample in the degree of self-differentiation and life skills according to psychological empowerment levels, which varied between low, medium, and high. Three-way analysis of variance showed statistically significant differences in psychological empowerment based on the variable of student ranking, and in self-differentiation based on the variable of gender.

The results of the stepwise regression analysis showed that critical thinking and creative thinking skills are the most predictive variables of psychological empowerment at a rate of 36.5% for gifted students, and that communication, interaction and relationship-building skills are the most predictive variables of psychological empowerment at a rate of 40% for ordinary students.

The researcher recommended the provision of programmes to enhance self-differentiation to develop life skills among gifted students. She called for the adoption of guidance programmes for gifted students, the qualification and training of teachers to deal with and understand the levels of differentiation among gifted students, and the designing of curricula which contribute to developing their psychological empowerment.

She also called for the organisation of seminars and workshops for teachers and administrators working in gifted centres as well as parents of gifted students, in addition to providing a school environment that enhances the psychological empowerment and self-differentiation of gifted students.

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