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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 540153, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/540153
Research Article

Behavioral Profiles of Clinically Referred Children with Intellectual Giftedness

1CHU de Caen, Service de Psychiatrie de l’Enfant et de l’Adolescent, avenue Clemenceau, 14033 Caen Cedex 9, France
2Hospices Civils de Lyon, Service Hospitalo-Universitaire de Psychiatrie de l’Enfant et de l’Adolescent, Hôpital Femme-Mère-Enfant, 59 boulevard Pinel, 69500 Bron, France
3CHU de Caen, Unité de Biostatistiques et de Recherche Clinique, avenue Clemenceau, 14033 Caen Cedex 9, France
4Université de Normandie, Faculté de Médecine, avenue de la Côte de Nacre, 14032 Caen Cedex 5, France
5Université Claude Bernard Lyon-1, Faculté de Médecine Lyon Est, 8 avenue Rockefeller, 69373 Lyon Cedex 8, France

Received 21 April 2013; Revised 15 June 2013; Accepted 15 June 2013

Academic Editor: Harold K. Simon

Copyright © 2013 Fabian Guénolé et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

It is common that intellectually gifted children—that is, children with an IQ ≥ 130—are referred to paediatric or child neuropsychiatry clinics for socio-emotional problems and/or school underachievement or maladjustment. These clinically-referred children with intellectual giftedness are thought to typically display internalizing problems (i.e., self-focused problems reflecting overcontrol of emotion and behavior), and to be more behaviorally impaired when “highly” gifted (IQ ≥ 145) or displaying developmental asynchrony (i.e., a heterogeneous developmental pattern, reflected in a significant verbal-performance discrepancy on IQ tests). We tested all these assumptions in 143 clinically-referred gifted children aged 8 to 12, using Wechsler’s intelligence profile and the Child Behavior Checklist. Compared to a normative sample, gifted children displayed increased behavioral problems in the whole symptomatic range. Internalizing problems did not predominate over externalizing ones (i.e., acted-out problems, reflecting undercontrol of emotion and behavior), revealing a symptomatic nature of behavioral syndromes more severe than expected. “Highly gifted” children did not display more behavioral problems than the “low gifted.” Gifted children with a significant verbal-performance discrepancy displayed more externalizing problems and mixed behavioral syndromes than gifted children without such a discrepancy. These results suggest that developmental asynchrony matters when examining emotional and behavioral problems in gifted children.