Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Counseling and Human Services

First Advisor

Dawnette Cigrand

City

Winona, MN

Abstract

Gifted students are a special population that is often forgotten about (Wood & Peterson, 2018). They are a diverse group of students with very unique needs. School counselors and other educators must develop their knowledge and skills for working this group. Although it may seem like they are capable of handling the academic rigor and stress associated with being part of a gifted program, this may not be the case. Research has shown that they are just as likely to have mental health issues (e.g., anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc.) as their peers (Wood & Peterson, 2018; Moon, 2009). Gifted students may experience asynchronous development meaning that they are more advanced cognitively, however, their social/emotional development often does not occur at the same pace (Colangelo & Wood, 2015; Wood & Peterson, 2018). These developmental differences can lead to mental health issues as well as difficulty with peer relationships (Allen, 2017). In addition, gifted students are often held to incredibly high standards and may struggle with perfectionism (Chan, 2007; Bailey, 2007). The purpose of the current study is to determine how participating in a group counseling intervention involving mindfulness and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) techniques impacts gifted students’ preferred coping styles. This researcher hypothesized that this intervention would lead students to use more task-oriented coping strategies while using emotion-oriented coping less often. The results indicated that there was a significant change in task-oriented coping. Implications and recommendations for professional school counselors and counselor educators are discussed.

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