Handbook of Giftedness in Children
Most leaders in American society recognize that gifted children are among our most precious natural resources. Following the Soviet Union’s launch of the Sputnik in the 1960s, our country focused resources on identifying and nurturing America’s intellectually gifted. Less than a decade later, however, America’s gifted and talented have become an almost neglected special-needs population – for a variety of socio-cultural, political, and economic reasons. Even American psychology has given little attention to the unmet and under-met needs of America’s most promising youth.
The gifted population comprise roughly 5% to 20% of the general population of school-age children – depending on which definition of gifted and talented or which set of diagnostic criteria are applied. The gifted are a significant population, based on their numbers and on their potential to make a real difference in our nation’s future.
A recent survey of international experts in the gifted field published in Professional Psychology: Research & Practice (Pfeiffer, 2001) identified key areas in which professional psychology can play a critically important role in serving the gifted. The article identified specific practice implications for professional psychology, including:
- Assuming a leadership role in the screening and identification of gifted children.
- Serving as consultants in promoting talent development in the schools and in work with families of the gifted.
- Providing counseling services to the gifted, as well as their parents, who are in need of psychotherapeutic intervention.
The purpose of the proposed volume is to provide psychologists, graduate students, and other allied professionals who serve children with a definitive resource on how best to accomplish these three practice implications. The handbook is intended as a scholarly resource for practitioners and trainers in psychology and closely related human service fields who work with children, adolescents, and families. The handbook is also intended for graduate students specializing in the fields of school psychology, clinical child psychology, social work, mental health counseling, child psychiatry, and marriage and family therapy. Chapters will include a brief discussion of relevant theory and a cogent discussion of research, with emphasis on the application of empirical research to guide best practices. Each chapter will be written by an individual or individuals who are imminently qualified to discuss the particular topic area being addressed. Moreover, each chapter author(s) will be asked to take an empirical approach toward his or her scholarly discussion and avoid presenting only one theoretically-biased point of view. The goal is to provide the reader with a definitive and timely resource on the literature relevant to meeting the psychoeducational and psychological needs of the gifted and their families.
Focuses on an underserved and misunderstood high-needs populationProvides much-needed information on and to the gifted population, which has – up until this time – been relatively neglected by professional psychologistsEmphasizes the great need for providing services to the gifted and their families and provides such informationIs an authoritative handbook, written specifically for psychologists to help them guide their efforts and ensure best practicesAddresses the information gap created by the No Child Left Behind legislation and leverages the positive psychology movement, reinforcing the timeliness of such a handbook