Testing a Conceptual Model of Three Key Strengths of Psychosocial Well-being in Saudi Gifted Adolescents

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Jan, Wafaa Omar (2017) Testing a Conceptual Model of Three Key Strengths of Psychosocial Well-being in Saudi Gifted Adolescents. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


The important role of psychosocial well-being in increasing the manifestation of intellectual giftedness in adolescents is evident in the literature. In this thesis three psychological perspectives have provided the theoretical background for the development of a conceptual model of the psychosocial well-being in adolescents: 1. Psychosocial theory relating psychosocial development in adolescence to the successful resolution of identity crisis in the form of the ego strength of fidelity. 2. The social cognitive identity style model which adds additional insight into the identity function of adolescents as processing self-relevant information about self and constructing self-identity. 3. The constructive-developmental theory that refers to complexity of mind as a means of understanding the mental health of adolescents. The major aim of this thesis was to examine the usefulness of the conceptual model as a construct of the three key strengths to explore the psychosocial well-being in Saudi gifted adolescents. The usefulness of the conceptual model of psychosocial well-being in Saudi intellectually gifted adolescents was examined using a two stages approach. The first stage investigated the conceptual relationship between identity style and psychosocial ego strengths with 226 Saudi gifted high school students. The sample comprised 134 males and 132 females, ranging in age from 15 to 17. Identity style and psychosocial ego strengths were assessed using two validated instruments. Markstrom’s Psychosocial Inventory of Ego Strengths (PIES) was developed to measure Erikson’s eight ego strengths (hope, will, purpose, competence, fidelity, love, care, and wisdom). Berzonsky’s Identity Style Inventory (ISI-3) was used to measure three styles of identity processing orientation: the informational, normative and diffuse-avoidant styles. Both instruments were translated in Arabic. Analysis was undertaken using statistical tests including ANOVA and stepwise regressions to test whether males and females differed in the use of three identity styles, and to test the relationships between identity style and the total PIES score and the PIES subscale fidelity as associated with the positive resolution of identity crisis in adolescence. Recruited from Stage 1, 18 structured interviews were undertaken in Stage 2. These interviews followed the Structure of Subject- Object Interview (SOI) procedure and analytic structure developed by Lahey, Souvaine, Kegan, Goodman and Felix in 1990. Gender differences were examined for the three identity styles of processing (ISI-3) and the eight ego strengths subscales. Both males and females used all three identity styles; however, the males scored significantly higher on the information and normative styles than the females whereas females scored higher on the diffuse/avoidant styles. For the PIES, females scored higher than males on the subscales of love and care. There were no significant differences for the other six subscales. Stepwise linear regression was used to assess the relative contribution of the three identity styles and gender to the PIES total score, and for the PIES subscale fidelity. Informational style accounted for 14% of the variation in the PIES total score. The diffuse– avoidant style was negatively associated with the PIES total score and gender was significant. 23 percent of the variance in the PIES total score was explained by these three variables. All ISI-3 styles and gender were significantly associated with the Fidelity sub-scale, with approximately 17% of the variance explained. The findings of the Subject–Object Interview (SOI) analysis, which focused on complexity of mind, were limited as all participants showed no evidence of higher order of mental capacity more than the socialized mind among all three identity styles. The conceptual model has confirmed the relationships between the social cognitive processing self-relevant information and the psychosocial ego development. The psychosocial health among intellectually gifted adolescents can be understood through the identity styles as functional aspects of psychosocial well-being. The complexity of mind explains the order of mental capacity among intellectually gifted adolescents.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/42160
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Current > Division/Research > College of Arts and Education
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords giftedness; adolescence; psychosocial; well-being; ego; constructivist; identity crisis; mental health; ANOVA; stepwise regressions; gender; Saudi Arabia
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