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Arch Pediatr. 1994 Nov;1(11):1034-9.

[Gifted children and dysharmonious development].

[Article in French]

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Service de pédopsychiatrie, hôpital Sainte-Marguerite, Marseille, France.


Gifted children are exposed to psychological disturbances. How much this psychological fragility is of a constitutional origin or is acquired, resulted from their intellectual precocity, is unclear. Nevertheless it justifies an early recognition of these children, knowing that psychological disturbances may be present early in life and mask the intellectual precocity. This is illustrated by the case of a three-year-old girl. Psychometric tests should be performed on an individual basis in order to avoid the negative effects of affective and emotional factors; an IQ above 140 characterizes gifted children. However, creativity tests are equally important allowing to identify their high capacity of originality and creativity. Uneven development of intelligence, affectivity and psychomotricity is frequent, which may induce anxiety disorders, obsessional behaviour and personality disorders. It appears that the higher the IQ is, the greater the psychological fragility, this fragility usually being important for an IQ above 170. The education of gifted children should be concentrated on the development of creativity and reflection, avoiding the tediousness of learning mainly based on memorizing and the acquisition of mechanisms. Early intervention is recommended in the case of psychological and behavioural disturbances, as an attempt to prevent the risk of pathological psychological organization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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