Sibling Relationships among Eilat Families with at Least One Gifted Child

Hanna David, Mali Gil, Idit Raviv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A most common belief is that giftedness is the cause of problems in sibling relationships when the family is •mixed•, has at least one gifted child, and at least one non-gifted one. This belief has been accepted not only by parents and educators of the gifted, but also by researchers in the area of gifted education in general and counseling the gifted family in particular. However, quantitative studies have shown that in most case gifted families maintain healthy connections, a high level of psychological adjustment and positive coping strategies (Mathews et al., 1986; Silverman, 1993a). Relationships among gifted and non-gifted siblings have not been widely studied. Thus, until the Chamrad et al. (1995) study the common belief was that having a gifted child has a negative influence on the sibling relationships. Our work is the first Israeli one that examines a whole population, all gifted children invited to participate at the enrichment program for the gifted in Eilat, the most southern Israeli city, with a population of approximately 50, 000, in the year 2007/2008. We studied the 6 following parameters of sibling relationships: friendship, empathy, learning, rivalry, conflict and avoidance. We found that the labeling of one sibling as •gifted• in Eilat did not have a negative influence on the sibling relationship. This result is of crucial importance, as many parents prefer not to send their gifted children to the enrichment program for the gifted I order not to harm the relationships between the gifted and the no-gifted sibling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-88
Number of pages18
JournalGifted and Talented International
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009

Keywords

  • Gifted sibling relations
  • avoidance
  • conflict
  • empathy
  • family support
  • friendship
  • learning
  • psychological adjustment
  • rivalry

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