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Multipotentiality in gifted youth : a nine-year follow-up study

While the concept of multipotentiality is often referred to in the giftedness literature, implicit and explicit definitions of the concept change from author to author. Additionally, few empirical studies have been done to provide support for the many anecdotal claims made about multipotentiality. The present nine-year follow-up study (N = 180) of gifted youth (mean age = 20.2 years) provides evidence that many gifted individuals may indeed be multipotentialed. The definition of multipotentiality ("the ability and desire to pursue different activities and goals") used to operationalize the concept was validated by six experts in the field. Degree of multipotentiality was found to be significantly related to SES, verbal IQ, variety of interests and abilities, participation in leisure activities, answer-seeking, attitude towards school, and several scores derived from the 1993/94 administration of the Strong Interest Inventory. Multipotentiality was not, however, found to be related to Holland's (1985) concepts of differentiation, consistency, or vocational identity. It thus appears that experience with activities and perhaps motivation to learn contribute to the phenomenon of multipotentiality. Little evidence was found to support the contention reported in the giftedness literature that multipotentiality leads to career indecision. Additionally, few career-related experiences were found to differentiate between more or less "successful" multipotentialed subjects, although those who scored highest on the Vocational Identity Scale were more active in their career deciding (prioritizing and focusing interests) and less likely to view career planning as a frustrating and on-going process. Direction of causality for all of the mentioned results is unknown, and many avenues for future research including nongifted subjects have been illuminated.
Date January 1994
CreatorsRysiew, Kathy J.
ContributorsShore, B. M. (advisor)
PublisherMcGill University
Source SetsLibrary and Archives Canada ETDs Repository / Centre d'archives des thèses électroniques de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation
CoverageMaster of Arts (Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology.)
RightsAll items in eScholarship@McGill are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
Relationalephsysno: 001430987, proquestno: MM99930, Theses scanned by UMI/ProQuest.

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