Bright Star — Black Sky: A Phenomenological Study of Depression as a Window Into the Psyche of the Gifted Adolescent
This qualitative study investigated the lived experience of the depressive state of ten gifted adolescents. In-depth unstructured interviews were conducted, transcribed and analyzed to reveal the essence, structure and meaning of the depressive state for each of the subjects. The analysis revealed a complex stratum of influences fueling the depressive experience. At the core of the experience is the gifted teen’s absolute need for knowledge forcommunion and for expression. The analysis revealed that the gifted adolescent is at risk for varying degrees of depression when any or all of these needs are stymied. In particular, meeting communion needs – for meaningful spiritual and emotional exchange – proved problematic for the gifted teen who is often isolated because of extraordinary innate cognitive and emotional complexity. The results from this study have strong implications for specific developmental support and for appropriate therapeutic intervention.
This article examines how developmental bibliotherapy featuring young adult literature serves as an effective strategy to address emotional issues in the lives of gifted teenagers. Following a discussion of bibliotherapy and a rationale for its use with gifted students, a description of a young adult novel entitled The Mosquito Test is presented. The authors then describe how a group of intelligent teenagers in a high school English class-room responded to the novel in a bibliotherapeutic fashion. Also provided is an annotated bibliography of current young adult literature, appropriate for use with bibliotherapy in secondary classrooms.
High achieving young men in secondary schools and universities face important social and emotional issues throughout their adolescence and passage into adulthood. This article focuses on four issues confronting bright young men: underachievement, self-inflicted pressure in athletics, cultural alienation, and father-son relationships. The author proposes the use of biography as a counseling strategy through which bright young men may gain helpful insights to deal with the problems they face. The article then suggests biographical works available as well as various ways professionals might use this approach to counseling.