Heller, Kurt A. (1991): The Nature and Development of Giftedness. A Longitudinal Study. In: European journal for high ability, Vol. 2: S. 174-188




Following a short discussion of conceptual and theoretical problems of giftedness, the methodological foundations and selected results of a (presently) four year longitudinal study are presented. This study is based on a multidimensional concept of giftedness: intelligence, creativity, social competence, musical ability, psychomotor ability (or practical intelligence). Both academic achievements and leisure activities, as well as cognitive and motivational personality factors and school and family socialisation conditions relevant to giftedness, were studied. During the second project phase developmental aspects and achievement analyses of gifted and normal students aged 6 to 18 years were the central aspects of the study. Finally, methodological problems in the identification of gifted children and adolescents as well as consequences for the nurturing of giftedness are discussed.