Career Counseling forIntellectually Talented Youth
Intellectually Talented Youth• Need special attention if they are to develop their gifts and avoid becoming bored or underachieving• Intellectually gifted youth may have a greater sense of opportunity. • More career options • Higher self-efﬁcacy• Early detection of intellectual giftedness is the ﬁrst step in facilitating truly exceptional talent development• Goal of Counseling: • Early assessment of personal characteristics relevant to educational and career environments, followed by access, support, and encouragement to pursue developmentally appropriate opportunities.
P-E Fit Approach for Gifted Youth • P-E ﬁt theory, as the overarching framework for understanding and studying talent development over the life span • Critical Areas: • ABILITIES • verbal- linguistic, mathematical-numerical, and spatial-mechanical • PREFERENCES • Holland’s 6 General Interest Themes (RIASEC)
Above-Level Abilities Assessments• Use of tests developed for older students for identifying and nurturing intellectual precocity among gifted adolescents• Help distinguish the good from the great • Above-Level Abilities Assessments distinguish ability differences among highly intelligent youth, as well as identify areas in which the individuals are strongest.• Over time, differential areas of strength forecast the selection of contrasting educational and career paths.• Ability patterns emerging in early adolescence among the intellectually talented relate to the types of activities to which these individuals devoted time and effort.
Above-level Assessment of Preferences• Crystallization may occur earlier than normal age for the intellectually gifted. • Strong Interest Inventory• A vocational test that establishes a Holland code and a general idea of the sorts of occupations that are appropriate, such as the Self-Directed Search (Holland, 1985) or the Vocational Preference Inventory (Holland, 1988), should be the ﬁrst instrument.• A personality test that provides enough differentiation of speciﬁc personality characteristics and that is developed on a normal population should be next.
Instruments• Strong Interest Inventory• Self-Directed Search (Holland, 1985)• Vocational Preference Inventory (Holland, 1988)• Edwards Personal Preference Survey• Personality Research Form
Multipotentiality• Multipotentiality is deﬁned as the ability to select and develop any of a number of diverse career options.• Most intellectually talented individuals can thrive in almost any vocation or career because of their multitude of high-level abilities and interests. Gift or Curse?• Self-Report of abilities is not so informative • Above-level assessment is necessary to show gifted individuals still are better at somethings than others• Despite outward appearances, we cannot assume that the gifted have undifferentiated, or ﬂat, abilities and interests—in fact, most do not.
Gender Considerations GIRLS BOYS Gifted boys’ attitudes found it• Adolescent girls are often faced necessary to hide their giftedness. with the choice of developing intellectually or socially.• Girls tend to stray from original Boys on track for math/science track = career ambitions good; Boys on humanities track = Bad
Gender Considerations(Continued)• Career assessment of gifted boys needs to take into account the pressures boys experience fulﬁll the traditional masculine role.• Career assessment with adolescent gifted girls must take into account career aspirations, lifestyle plans, math/science self-efﬁcacy expectations, and self-esteem.• Encouragement both girls and boys to consider nontraditional occupations.
Counseling Intellectually Gifts Youth• Focus on optimal development • Acceleration and Rigor• Counselor’s Aim: • 1) Identify and capitalize on their salient abilities and interests (nurturing their potential and ﬁnding their passion) • (2) encourage youth to focus efforts on opportunities that align with their distinctive potential or passion.
References• Kerr, B., Sodano, S. (2003). Career Assessment With Intellectually Gifted Students. Journal of Career Assessment. Vol. 11:2. 168-186.• Brown, S.D., Lent, W.R. (2005). Career Development and Counseling: Putting Theory and Research to Work.