The pullout program day a week school for gifted children: Effects on social–emotional and academic functioning

R.T. van der Meulen, C.O. van der Bruggen, J.L. Spilt, J Verouden, M Berkhout, S.M. Bögels

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Gifted children learn differently compared to their peers in several ways. However, their educational needs are often not met in regular schools, which may result in underachievement and social-emotional and behavioral problems. A pullout program, the "Day a Week School" (DWS), was offered to gifted children in 25 elementary schools from neighborhoods of higher and lower SES in Amsterdam. Objective: To investigate whether DWS decreases children's social-emotional and behavior problems and parents' stress, and improves children's self-concept, enjoyment at school, and academic achievement. Methods: Gifted children (grades 3-5) were selected through a standardized identification procedure assessing "out-of-the box", logical, and creative thinking and motivation (n = 89). Children, as well as both their parents and teachers, completed questionnaires before the start of DWS and after 2,5 months. Results were analyzed for all children and for at-risk children with higher levels of psychopathology before starting DWS. Results: Analyses on the total group showed small positive effects on children's self-reported self-concept dimensions, scholastic competence and behavioral conduct, as well as on fathers' reported child prosocial behavior. In the at-risk group, children reported medium positive effects on scholastic competence and behavioral conduct, and on sleep problems and worry, and small improvements on enjoyment at school. Parents of at-risk children reported decreased child's somatic complaints and decreased social-emotional and behavioral problems. Finally, teachers reported higher academic achievement and medium positive effects on inattention-hyperactivity in the at-risk group. Conclusions: Day a Week School appears to be a promising pullout program for gifted children, particularly for children at-risk for psychopathology. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-314
JournalChild & Youth Care Forum
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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