Self-perceptions of twice-exceptional students: The influence of labels and educational placement on the self-concept of post-secondary G/LD students


  • Megan Lummiss University of Ottawa



Research highlights the importance of positive self-concept for children and the influence of self-concept on long-term success (Elbaum, 2002; Fong & Yuen, 2009; Rudasill, Capper, Foust, Callahan, Albaugh, 2009), yet studies have rarely focused on the self-perceptions of self-concept of students identified as gifted and with a learning disability (G/LD). Adopting a qualitative case study approach, this study explored how eight post-secondary G/LD students perceived the development of self-concept over time, and how labelling and educational placement influenced those self-perceptions. Data collection included a demographic questionnaire, a Body Biography, and a semi-structured interview that focused on the Body Biography and participants’ self-perceptions of educational placement, labels, social identity, group membership, and self-concept. Guided by the Marsh/Shavelson model of self-concept (1985) and the Social Identity Theory (1986), findings revealed that participants often perceived the gifted and LD components of the G/LD identification as separate entities; that a gifted in-group membership was more often perceived when discussing individual strengths, while an LD in-group membership was perceived when reflecting upon their weaknesses. The findings from this study support the notion that each G/LD student is unique and that identification methods and placement options continue to be a concern with respect to the development of self-concept for G/LD students.

Author Biography

Megan Lummiss, University of Ottawa

Megan Lummiss is a 1st year PhD student studying at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Dr. Bernard Andrews. While the submission for this journal is based on her MA thesis where she explored the self-concept of G/LD students, her current research focuses on the development of self-identity through music-making experiences.