Guiding the Psychosocial Development of Gifted Students Attending Specialized Residential STEM Schools

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Roeper Review


Volume 32


Issue 1

First Page


Last Page



Each year, academically gifted students leave home to live in a special school, one of 11 state-supported residential high schools for students gifted or talented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) academic domains. These schools attempt to take full advantage of the 24-hour day by engaging students in a rigorous learning process that continues into the evenings and on weekends. The residential schooling environment, with all its scholastic challenges, serves as the backdrop against which the psychosocial development of gifted students progresses. This article outlines and addresses salient issues and factors pertinent to guiding the gifted students' psychosocial development while living in a residential high school, including identity formation, the importance of Bronfenbrenner's ecological model for conceptualizing the school's impact on adolescent development, and the significance of social learning and the coping strategies it encourages. The role and nature of friendships the students develop with each other and with adult faculty and staff will also be described.

This document is currently not available here.