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The structural relationships of parental attachment, peer attachment, teacher support, self-control and grit of gifted students

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The present study aims to investigate the structural relationships of parental attachment, peer attachment, teacher support, self-control and grit of gifted students. This study was conducted with 247 gifted elementary students. The findings obtained in this study showed that parental attachment influenced self-control directly, and self-control was the full mediator for grit of the gifted students. However, peer attachment and teacher support affected the grit of gifted students directly, and self-control was not a mediator among peer attachment, teacher support and the grit of gifted students. Future studies can be conducted to investigate whether individual characteristics (personalities) and school environment of the gifted students effect self-control and grit in detail.
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Vol. XII (LXXIV)
No. 1/2022
138 - 153
The structural relationships of parental attachment,
peer attachment, teacher support,
self-control and grit of gifted students
1
Fatma Yıldırıma*, Lee Shin Dongb
a Ataturk University, Kazım Karabekir Faculty of Education, 25240 Erzurum, Turkey
bSoonchunhyang University, Shinchang-myun, Asan, Chungnam, 31538 Republic of Korea
Abstract
The present study aims to investigate the structural relationships of parental attachment, peer attachment, teacher
support, self-control and grit of gifted students. This study was conducted with 247 gifted elementary students. The
findings obtained in this study showed that parental attachment influenced self-control directly, and self-control
was the full mediator for grit of the gifted students. However, peer attachment and teacher support affected the grit
of gifted students directly, and self-control was not a mediator among peer attachment, teacher support and the grit
of gifted students. Future studies can be conducted to investigate whether individual characteristics (personalities)
and school environment of the gifted students effect self-control and grit in detail.
Keywords: giftedness; self-control; grit
1. Introduction
Grit is one of the main components that can have a high correlation with academic
achievement and long-term goals. Grit affects four fields which are long-term goal,
motivation, making decisions and success (Duckworth & Kern., 2011; Duckworth,
Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly, 2007). Giftedness is a high potential to turn a piece of
knowledge and idea in intellectual outcomes (Sternberg, 2000). The gifted child is
who makes her own way of learning is called gifted students. The grit in gifted
education is the source of goals, motivation, decision and achievement for gifted
children. Perseverance of the effort is related to task commitment in Renzulli's (2005)
three rings model explaining characteristics of gifted children. Grit has a connection
with creative tendency and creative thinking seen characteristics of gifted students
since the persistence of interest and effort despite challenges in achieving goals has a
high connection with creativity (Sternberg & Lubart, 1991; Lucas, Claxton, &
Spencer, 2013; Young, 2017). Thus, grit carries on a significant task for gifted
children. Especially, approximately 50 percent of gifted students may show low
academic achievement, motivation and having goal setting problems (Reis, 1998; Dai,
Moon, & Feldhusen, 1998; Ross, 1993; Richert, 1991). Moreover, some of the gifted
students feel achievement outside of their control and all gifted students do not have
enough passion for their goals (Shin & Ahn, 2015; Perkins-Ggough, 2017), so
improving grit in the gifted students provides high performance and achievement for
their future career. Thus, research is needed into reasons that lead to high or low grit
in gifted students as external and internal initiators. While the internal initiators work
with "self" and making changes hard, the external initiators are more flexible and can
1
This article was generated using the data-set in the first author’s PhD dissertation, which was completed under
the guidance of the second author at Soonchunhyang University.
.* Corresponding author. Tel.:+90 442 231 0119; fax: +90 442 231 4288
E-mail address: fatma.y@atauni.edu.tr
DOI: 10.51865/JESP.2022.1.14
Fatma Yıldırım & Lee Shin Dong /Journal of Educational Sciences & Psychology 139
be arranged more. Thus, determining external factors regarding previous research
findings and literature contribute to the development of grit of the gifted students.
Self-control is a crucial key for achievement, happiness, psychological adjustment
and long-term goals among students, such as the effects of self-control on the
student’s high GPA score (Blair, 2002; Karim & Ghavam, 2011; Honken, Ralston, &
Tretter, 2016). Moreover, as known from the result of the marshmallow test, higher
self-control correlated to high achievement is related to grit in the long-term period
Mischel, 2014). Self-control is a critical key for gifted students because there are
many reasons why self-control is a significant router for gifted students. First, some
gifted students do not show high academic scores and have some problems like
showing uncontrolled behaviors in the classroom (Richert, 1991; Peterson &
Colangelo, 1996). For supporting the achievement and adjustment of the gifted
students in the classroom, self-control is one of the major skills for gifted students
because self-control supports both success and adjustment. Second, self-control is a
promoter to decrease lack of attention in some of the gifted students because those
gifted students have impulsive behaviour and lack of behavior control (Baum,
Olenchak, & Owen, 1998; Leroux & Levitt-Perlman, 2000; Gomez, Stavropoulos,
Vance, & Griffiths, 2019). Third, the gifted students have a fragile social-emotional
structure and mental health (stress, anxiety, and depression) owing to high pressure
from the family and social environment (Cross, 1997; Chan, 2003; Jeong, 2012;
Mirnics, Kovi, & Bagdy, 2015; Wright-Scott, 2018). Self-control is an essential
power for gifted students because high self-control is a powerful solution to promote
social-emotional problems and mental health (Duckworth, 2011; Boals, Vandellen, &
Banks, 2011; Paschke et al., 2016). Lastly, exercising self-control increases creativity
and has links with high intelligence (Chiu, 2014; Petkovsek & Boutwell, 2014).
Consequently, the self-control and component of self-control are to have a significant
place in gifted education. Knowing the factors affecting self-control is essential in
developing a proper program for gifted students.
The psychological family environment and the characteristics of peers dominate the
children's self-control and grit. The relationship with parents is an efficient router for
self-control and grit from childhood to adulthood (Nam, 1999; Nam & Sun, 2001;
Kim & Cheon, 2015; Moghadam, Malekian & Karamshahi, 2016; Li, Willems, Stok,
Deković, Bartels & Finkenauer, 2019). When parents encourage the children to
succeed, the children's motivation, perseverance and interests increase to make real
their long-term goal, but few studies show this (Levy & Steele, 2011; Lin & Chang,
2017). Children spend more time mostly in school preparing for future life. Classroom
management rules, teacher, peer and learner's expectations have a significant link with
both self-control and grit in children (Buechel, Mechtenberg & Petersen, 2014;
Coronado, 2016; Arnesen, Elstad & Christophersen, 2017; Yoon, Kim, & Kang,
2018; Lan & Zhang, 2019). The social-emotional climate of the classroom and child-
teacher relationships are indicators of social competence between children and their
peers. Especially, then classroom emotional climate preserves the children and teacher
against assaultiveness and poor communication (Rucinski, Brown & Downer, 2018;
Seong & Kim, 2015; Howes, 2000). The present study aims to research the effects of
family and school variables in gifted student's self-control and grit. Thus, the present
study aims to investigate the structural relationship of parental attachment, peer
attachment, teacher support, self-control and grit of gifted students. The contribution
of this research to the field is that this study contributes to the program for the
guidance of gifted students' parents and teachers as well as supports improving the
program of gifted education.
2. Methodology
2.1. Objective
The present study aims to research the effects of family and school variables in
gifted student's self-control and grit. Thus, the present study aims to investigate the
structural relationship of parental attachment, peer attachment, teacher support, self-
Fatma Yıldırım & Lee Shin Dong /Journal of Educational Sciences & Psychology 140
control and grit of gifted students. The contribution of this research to the field is that
this study contributes to the program for the guidance of gifted students' parents and
teachers as well as supports improving the program of gifted education.
2.2. Participants
In the present study, the participants were 4th, 5th and 6th-grade gifted students
attending The Science and Art Centers (BILSEM) and Turkey Gifted Children Yuksel
Education and Development Foundation (Mozaik Educational Institutions) in Elazig,
Istanbul and Bingol, which are provinces in Turkey. The Science and Art Center
(BILSEM) is a school where gifted and talented children attending according to their
skill and level of intelligence in Turkey. Gifted children attending this school are
selected by experts in National Education Ministry using the WISC-R test and another
test as in individual and group evaluation (MEB, 2015). Turkey Gifted Children
Yuksel Education and Development Foundation (Mozaik Educational Institutions) has
the education Institutions where gifted children are attending in Istanbul. Gifted
students are selected by experts in National Education Ministry using the WISC-R test
and another test. Application documents are delivered to the authorities in three cities
in Turkey. The questionnaires were administered by the researcher in Elazig and
Bingöl, while in Istanbul; some of them were administered by the responsible teachers
who obtained surveys using an e-mail from the researcher. In the present study, the
surveys were conducted with gifted students who were 247 volunteers in Table 1.
Table 1. Participants
Variable
Distribution
Gender
Female
n (%)
Total
n (%)
104 (42.1)
247 (100)
Grade
4th grade
n (%)
6th grade
n (%)
Total
n (%)
72 (29.1)
112 (45.3)
247 (100)
As seen in Table.1, 57.9% (n = 143) of the sample group were male and 42.1% (n =
104) were male gifted students. The gifted students forming the sample were 45.3%
(n = 112) at 6th grade, 29.1% (n = 72) at 4th grade, 25.5% (n =63) at 5th grade.
2.3. Instrument
2.3.1. The Parental Attachment Scale
In this study, the parental attachment scale was used, which was developed by
Armsden and Greenberg (1987). Gunaydin et al. (2005) translated the Turkish
Version of The Brief Parental Attachment Scale. The scale involved three sub-
dimensions: Trust (1, 2, 3, 11), Alienation (4, 5, 9, 10) and Communication (6, 7, 8,
12). There were 12 items. The scale was rated on a five-point Likert Type (1=
strongly disagree to 5= strongly agree). The reliability coefficients were α=.824 for
the whole scale in addition to its sub-dimensions: α=.724 for trust, and α=.675 for
alienation, α=.874 for communication in this study.
2.3.2. The Peer Attachment Scale
In this study, the peer attachment scale developed by Armsden and Greenberg
(1987) was used. Gunaydin et al. (2005) translated the Turkish version of this scale.
The scale has three sub-dimensions: Trust (3, 6, 9, 12), Alienation (2, 5, 8, 11) and
Communication (1, 4, 7, 10) and there are 12 items. The scale is rated on a five-point
Likert Type (1= strongly disagree to 5= strongly agree). The reliability coefficients
Fatma Yıldırım & Lee Shin Dong /Journal of Educational Sciences & Psychology 141
were α=.886 for the whole scale in addition to its sub-dimensions: α=.853 for Trust,
α=.720 for Alienation, and α=.788 for Communication in this study.
2.3.3. The Teacher Support Scale
The scale used in this study is a tool for measuring teacher support perceived by
elementary school students. The scale was developed by Guvenc (2014). The scale
included three factors: Personal relationship support (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), Autonomy
support (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) and Competence (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22,
23, 24). The total items on the scale were 24. All items in the scale were assessed on a
five-point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree to 4 = strongly agree). The reliability
coefficients were α=.921 for the whole scale in addition to its sub-dimensions: α=.852
for personal relationship support, α=.814 for autonomy support and α=.808 for
Competence in this study.
2.3.4. The Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS)
The present study used The Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS) developed with 13
items by Tangney, Baumeister and Boone (2004). The scale was translated into the
Turkish language by Nebioglu, Konuk, Akbaba and Eroglu (2012). The scale is
structured two factors: Self-Discipline (2,3,4,6,8,7,11) and Impulsivity
(1,5,9,10,12,13). The scale is rated on a five-point Likert Type (1= strongly disagree
to 5= strongly agree). The reliability coefficient was α=.850 for the whole scale in
addition to its sub-dimensions: α=.814 for self-discipline, α=.810 for impulsivity in
this study.
2.3.5. The Grit Scale
This study used the original Grit Scale (Grit-O) developed by Duckworth, Peterson,
Matthews and Kelly (2007) to measure the grit. This scale was translated by Saricam,
Celik and Oguz (2016). The first factor is Consistency of Interest covered four items
(1, 3, 5, 6). The second factor is Perseverance of Effort, which involved four items (2,
4, 7, 8). The scale is rated on a five-point Likert Type (1= strongly disagree to 5=
strongly agree). The reliability coefficient was α=.831 for the whole scale in addition
to its sub-dimensions: α=.821 for Consistency of Interest, α=.710 for the Perseverance
of Effort in this study
2.4. Data analysis
In this study, data analysis was performed using SPSS 21.0 (for Descriptive,
Inferential and Correlational analyses) and AMOS 24.0 (for Path Analysis Structural
Equation Modelling (SEM). Questionnaires for validity analysis were explored by
Skewness & Kurtosis technique and item-total correlations in the used scales. For
each item, the normal distribution was calculated. The calculated normal distribution
was interpreted for items using Skewness & Kurtosis values between -2 and +2 were
headed as a criterion of assessing (Can, 2014). For accepting factor analysis, item-
total correlations should be at least r=.20 (Cokluk et al., 2014). For assessing the
reliability of the scales, sub-factors were calculated using Cronbach’s alpha value
(Hair et al., 2010). For assessing to model fit indexes with the acceptance intervals,
Chi-Square (χ2), Chi-Square/Degree of Freedom (χ2/df), RMR (root mean square
residual), Goodness of Fit Index (GFI), TLI (Tucker-Lewis Index), Comparative Fit
Index (CFI) and Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) were used. A
bootstrapping analysis was conducted to decompose the total, direct, indirect and
mediating effects that were used in the research model.
Fatma Yıldırım & Lee Shin Dong /Journal of Educational Sciences & Psychology 142
3. Results
3.1. Descriptive Analysis of the Measurement Variables
The Descriptive Analysis of the Measurement Variables about Parental
Attachment, Peer Attachment, Teacher Support, Self-Control and Grit in Table.2
Table 2. The Descriptive Analysis of the Measurement Variables
Variable
N
Min.
Max.
x
S.D.
Skewness
Kurtosis
1. Parental Attachment
247
1.42
4.83
3.90
.65
-1.073
1.161
1.1. Trust
247
1.25
5.00
4.13
.87
-1.127
.701
1.2. Alienation
247
1.00
5.00
3.85
.90
-.675
-.147
1.3. Communication
247
1.50
5.00
3.70
.72
-.706
.634
2. Peer Attachment
247
1.42
4.83
3.38
.66
-.247
-.167
2.1. Trust
247
1.00
5.00
3.58
.90
-.498
-.179
2.2. Alienation
247
1.00
5.00
3.08
.73
-.060
-.140
2.3. Communication
247
1.00
5.00
3.47
.86
-.319
-.323
3. Teacher Support
247
1.13
3.88
2.98
.54
-.864
.934
3.1.Personal R. support
247
1.17
4.00
3.08
.64
-.699
.196
3.2. Autonomy support
247
1.00
4.00
3.01
.73
-.650
-.060
3.3. Competence
247
1.00
4.00
2.92
.56
-.809
.964
4. Self-Control
247
2.00
4.67
3.48
.57
-.342
-.425
4.1. Self-discipline
247
1.75
5.00
3.59
.75
-.199
-.532
4.2. Impulsivity
247
1.40
4.60
3.40
.66
-.591
-.006
5. Grit
247
1.50
4.88
3.67
.66
-.287
-.342
5.1. Interest
247
1.75
5.00
3.58
.77
-.152
-.696
5.2. Effort
247
1.00
5.00
3.76
.87
-.393
-.538
According to the results in Table. 2, Parental Attachment was x
=3.90; s.d.=.65, as
well as its sub-dimensions were Trust: x
=4.13; s.d.=.87, Alienation: x
=3.85; s.d.=.90,
Communication: x
=3.70; s.d.=.72. Peer Attachment was x
=3.38; s.d.=.66 and its sub-
dimensions were Alienation dimension x
=3.08; s.d.=.73, Trust: x
=3.58; s.d.=.90,
Communication: x
=3.47; s.d.=.86. Further, the gifted studentsperception of Teacher
Support was x
=2.98; s.d.=.54 in addition to its sub-dimensions were Personal r.
support: x
=3.08; s.d.=.64, Autonomy support: x
=3.01; s.d.=.73, Competence: x
=2.92;
s.d.=.56. Considering their Self-Control were x
=3.48; s.d.=.57 and its sub-dimensions
Self-discipline: x
=3.59; s.d.=.75, Impulsivity: x
=3.40; s.d.=.66. Similarly, the gifted
studentsperception of Grit was x
=3.67; s.d.=.66, as in its sub-dimensions: Interest
x
=3.58; s.d.=.77 and Effort x
=3.76; s.d.=.87.
As shown in Table.3, there were significant correlations between all major
variables and also most of their sub-dimensions. The significant correlations between
variables were r=.32 (p<.01) for gifted students’ Parental Attachment and their Self-
Control, r=.46 (p<.01) for gifted students’ Parental Attachment and their Grit, r=.28
(p<.01) for gifted students’ Peer Attachment and their Self-Control, r=.51 (p<.01) for
gifted students’ Peer Attachment and their Grit, r=.23 (p<.05) for gifted students’
Teacher Support and their Self-Control, r=.55 (p<.01) for gifted students on Teacher
Support and their Grit, and r=.41 (p<.01) for their Self-Control and Grit. All these
correlation coefficients were accepted as adequate (r=.20) to test the theoretical model
of the research (Çokluk et al., 2014).
Fatma Yıldırım & Lee Shin Dong /Journal of Educational Sciences & Psychology 143
Table 3. Correlations among Parental Attachment, Peer Attachment, Teacher Support, Self-Control,
and Grit
3.2. Structural Relationship Analysis
The conformity of this research model was verified, and the results are
demonstrated in Table.4. Without any modification, Fit Indexes for The research
model as seemed; χ2 (58.567, p=.346), χ2/df (1.065), RMR (.024), GFI (.964),
RMSEA (.016), TLI (.994), CFI (.996). All of the Goodness-fit-of Indexes of
Measurement Model had appropriate conformity values. Without any modification,
Fit Indexes for this research model were indicators for a highly Goodness-fit.
Table 4. Goodness-fit-of Index of Research Model
Fitness Indices
χ2
df
χ2/df
RMR
GFI
RMSEA
TLI
CFI
Research
Model
58.567
55
1.065
.024
.964
.016
.994
.996
Accepted
Standard
p>.05
<5
<.05
>.90
<.10
>.90
>.90
Fatma Yıldırım & Lee Shin Dong /Journal of Educational Sciences & Psychology 144
The Parameter Estimates, Standard Error Values, C.R., for the Research Model
were demonstrated in Table.5
Table 5. Parameter Estimates, S.E., C.R., for the Research Model
Path
B
βᶲ
S.E.
C.R
Parental Attachment ↔ Peer Attachment
.108
.448
.026
4.098***
Parental Attachment ↔ Teacher Support
.087
.498
.019
4.557***
Peer Attachment ↔ Teacher Support
.175
.635
.028
6.194***
Parental Attachment → Self-Control
.458
.473
.151
3.027**
Peer Attachment → Self-Control
.149
.244
.093
1.608
Teacher Support → Self-Control
-.014
-.017
.128
-.111
Self-Control → Grit
.494
.490
.203
2.434*
Parental Attachment → Grit
.110
.112
.144
.761
Peer Attachment → Grit
.174
.282
.083
2.094*
Teacher Support → Grit
.390
.457
.110
3.549***
Parental Attachment → Trust
1.691
.760
.251
6.734***
Parental Attachment → Alienation
1.514
.656
.231
6.541***
Parental Attachment → Communication
1.000
.540
Peer Attachment → Trust
1.175
.812
.120
9.816***
Peer Attachment → Alienation
.600
.505
.087
6.900***
Peer Attachment → Communication
1.000
.721
Teacher Support → Personal R. support
1.108
.770
.097
11.419***
Teacher Support → Autonomy support
1.259
.774
.104
12.120***
Teacher Support → Competence
1.000
.800
Self-control → Self-discipline
1.031
.519
.224
4.610***
Self-control → Impulsivity
1.000
.571
Grit → Interest
1.000
.496
Grit → Effort
1.439
.632
.205
7.022***
Ensuring model fit, Standardized Regression Weight (β) was used to calculate
together direct and indirect relations between only the each two of variables as
follows: Parental Attachment to Peer Attachment β=.448 p<.001, Parental Attachment
to Teacher Support β=.498 p<.001, Peer Attachment to Teacher Support β=.635
p<.001, Parental Attachment to Self-Control β=.473 p<.05, Teacher Support to Self-
Control β=.128 p.05, Peer Attachment to Self-Control β=.244 p.05, Self-Control
to Grit β=.490 p<.05, Parental Attachment to Grit β=.490 p.05, Teacher Support to
Grit β=.457 p<.001, Peer Attachment to Grit β=.282 p<.05. The most effective
variable was Parental Attachment for Self-control; other variables did not have an
effect on Self-Control. The most effective variables were Teacher Support, Self-
Control and Peer Attachment for Grit.
Fatma Yıldırım & Lee Shin Dong /Journal of Educational Sciences & Psychology 145
Solid lines = significant paths; red dotted line = non-significant paths
Fig.1 Paths for Gifted Students' Parental Attachment, Peer Attachment, Teacher Support, Self-Control
and Grit
Fatma Yıldırım & Lee Shin Dong /Journal of Educational Sciences & Psychology 146
Next, the direct and indirect and total effects were analyzed by the bootstrapping
method in Table. 6
As can be seen in Table. 6, according to the effect analysis, the total effect of
Parental Attachment on gifted students’ Grit was β=.232 [insignificant direct effect +
β=.232 (=.473x.490) indirect effect through Self-Control. This finding showed that
Self-Control was the full mediator between Parental Attachment and Grit. On the
other hand, Peer Attachment and Teacher Support did not have any significant
indirect effect, while they had both significant direct effects on Grit (β=.282 direct
effect from Peer Attachment to Grit; β=.457 direct effect from Teacher Support to
Grit). As a result, there was no mediator role for Self-Control between Peer
Attachment and Grit, as well as Teacher Support and Grit.
Table 6. Direct, Indirect, and Total Effect of Research Model
Path
Direct
Indirect
Total
B
β
B
β
B
β
Parental Attachment → Self-Control
.458
.473
.000
.000
.458
.473
Peer Attachment → Self-Control
.149
.244
.000
.000
.149
.244
Teachers Support → Self-Control
-.014
-.017
.000
.000
-.014
-.017
Self-Control → Grit
.494
.490
.000
.000
.494
.490
Parental Attachment → Grit
.110
.112
.227
.232
.336
.344
Peer Attachment → Grit
.174
.282
.074
.119
.248
.401
Teachers Support → Grit
.390
.457
-.007
-.008
.383
.449
Next, the mediating effects were analyzed by the bootstrapping method (through
the Two Tailed Significance by Bias-corrected percentile method) in Table.7.
Table 7. Mediating Effect of Research Model
Path
Mediating Quantity
p
Parental Attachment → Self-Control → Grit
.227
.003
Peer Attachment → Self-Control → Grit
.118
.091
Teachers Support → Self-Control → Grit
.010
.882
p values for mediator relations were found using Bootstrap Confidence technique (through the Two Tailed Significance by
Bias-corrected percentile method)
Looking at the mediating effects of the research model in Table.7, there was one
mediating effect path in the path of Parental Attachment Self-Control→ Grit
β=.227 (p<.05). Peer Attachment Self-Control Grit β=.118 (p>.05) and
Teachers Support → Self-Control → Grit β=.010 (p>.05) were not significant effects.
4. Discussions
4.1. Discussion
The present study's findings show that Self-Control is the full mediator between
Parental Attachment and Grit. On the other hand, Peer Attachment and Teacher
Support do not have any significant indirect effect, while they have both significant
direct effects on Grit. As a result, there is no mediator role for Self-Control between
Fatma Yıldırım & Lee Shin Dong /Journal of Educational Sciences & Psychology 147
Peer Attachment and Grit, as well as Teacher Support and Grit. According to
Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) theory, low self-control is associated with
ineffectual attachment to parents and weak adaptation to school. Besides, self-control
does not fully mediate with unavailing parenting (Burt, Simons, & Simons, 2006;
Unnever, Cullen, & Agnew, 2006). Regarding grit, Waters, Loton and Jach (2019)
found out that strength-based parenting (involving parental attachment securely)
shows indirect effects on adolescent's grit, but a good psychological bond with
parents, both self-control and adjustment increase in gifted students (Van Ijzendoorn
& Van Vliet-Visser, 1988; Prior & Glaser, 2006; Li et al., 2019). The reasons can be
argued why parents cannot be effective much more on gifted students' grit. Gifted
students' parents have many myths about gifted children (Colangelo & Dettmann,
1983), so they may not sufficiently drive their children's grit and long-term goals.
Moreover, the parents of gifted students expressed that they have the hardship to
encourage their gifted children for success because encouraging gifted children to
success and academic motivation is an unavailing process. Furthermore the parents of
gifted children feel stress and tidal when they encourage gifted children because of
the family climate. Thus, they try to encourage gifted children to have self-motivation
(Ross, 1964; Van Deur, 2004; Garn, Jolly, & Matthews, 2010). From this point of
view, the parents are directly a crucial contributor for helping to improve gifted
children's self-control and through self-control promote grit. Even if the direct
influence of Peer Attachment on gifted students' self-control is not to be significant
degree, peer Attachment has direct effects on gifted student's grit. Self-control shows
changes according to peer's self-control. The gifted children elect their peer among
students with high self-control or they would prefer to be alone, so their peers may not
have an influence on their self-control in detail (Maksic, 1998; Schapiro et al., 2009;
Battaglini, Díaz, & Patacchini, 2017). Additionally, the gifted children in the learning
process improve mostly their skills with their own path (Van Deur, 2004). Grit has
moderated the relation between peer attachment and problem behaviors. Moreover,
the grit shows half mediated the relationship between procrastination and peer
attachment. As to the gifted students and intelligent children are hardworking to catch
highly intelligent peers. That is, the peers' behaviors canalize to others perseverance
(Gerhards & Gravert, 2016; Lan & Radin, 2019; Jin, Wang, & Lan, 2019; Han &
Park, 2019). Hence, the effects of peer show differences according to the type of
skills; so still, it is a need to investigate the impacts of peers and school environments
like classroom management strategies, classroom climate and peer's non-cognitive
skills and personality on self-control and grit of gifted students. Moreover, an
experimental study can be conducted about peer's effects and gifted student's self-
control and grit. The direct influence of teachers’ support on grit are highly bigger
without self-control. This finding indicates there is no mediating role of self-control
between Teacher support and grit. Yoon's (2012) and Nam's (2017) findings showed
that the teacher-child relationship was a mediator effect on children's self-control.
Kim (2014) reported that the influences of self-control on children's withdrawal
behavior in an early age are moderated by conflict teacher-child relationship. The
findings obtained in the present study do not show similar findings. The reason why
the teacher does contribute to the self-control of the gifted children is insufficient
knowledge about the needs and characteristics of the gifted children. Thus, the
teachers may not help improve self-control in gifted children (Archambault et al.,
1993). Additionally, gifted children having perfectionism restrain themselves from
risky behavior to be accepted by the teachers. In addition to this, gifted students have
high well-being, adjusted and self-regulated learning (McCallister, Nash, &
Fatma Yıldırım & Lee Shin Dong /Journal of Educational Sciences & Psychology 148
Meckstroth, 1996; Ash & Huebner, 1998; Albu, 2015; Betts & Neihart, 1998; Eker &
Ince, 2018; Stoeger & Zeidner, 2019). Thus, it can be said that gifted children can
improve self-control using a way that is unique to them, so teacher's support may not
promote gifted student's self-control. In addition to this, teacher's behavior and
attitude towards all students in the classroom may be other effectors for gifted
students' self-control. Thus, there is a need to conduct research into teacher's behavior
and attitude towards all students in the classroom because gifted students are
elaborative observers. Regarding the grit of gifted children, the teacher using effective
classroom strategy supports student's skills related to the construct of grit. Teachers
and peers exhort gifted students for being an expert in their field of interest
(Duckworth et al., 2007; Tough, 2012; Lee & Cho, 2015). Using feedback and
different strategies with support can help increase gifted student's self-control
(Clevenger, 2018, Yoon, Kim, & Kang, 2018). Moreover, further studies may focus
on the attributes of the teacher of gifted students concerning pedagogical qualities and
social-emotional skills for improving non-cognitive skills, such as self-control and
grit.
4.2. Conclusion
Learning is the basis of life, and it is a necessity for all ages using direct or indirect
ways. Through learning, cognitive and non-cognitive skills can improve in an
individual. Those skills give shape to a person's cognitive, emotion and behavior in
society, work and school. For a successful and healthy life, those skills need to be
developed continuously. In non-cognitive skills, self-control is to accomplish one of
the most important tasks on behavior, emotion and thought. Grit is to sit tight on a
task and to achieve the desired goals. Above all, the main factors influencing the
development of self-control and grit are the person's learning, family environment,
school environment and social environment. Therefore, the learning aspect of
individual, family and school help develop gifted children's self-control and grit. The
present study examined the structural relation among gifted students' parental
attachment, peer attachment, teacher support, self-control and grit. The conclusions
based on the results of this study are as follows.
First, the family environment is an inducing catalyst negative and positive impact
on children's achievement and holistic development. The relationship and degree of
the bond in members of the family influence not only personality but also cognitive
and non-cognitive skills. Especially, trust, good communication and closeness with
the parents contribute directly to the gifted children's self-control and self-control to
grit, which means that psychological ties with the parents give a shape to self-control
and self-control effect to grit like a circle. For helping to improve non-cognitive skills
like self-control and grit in the gifted students, first, a special program can be
developed for the parents' awareness and skills that assist in the development of skills
of gifted students. Moreover, there is a need to investigate why the parent's effect is
weak on the gifted students' grit because of personal characteristics or other parental
factors. Through detailed research results, more appropriate programs may be
developed for improving the gifted students' cognitive and non-cognitive skills like
self-control and grit.
Second, according to the present study, although peer attachment does not affect
self-control directly, the peer attachment affects grit directly. Good communication
and interaction may contribute as unmediated key for the gifted children's self-control
and grit. Regarding precious studies, the gifted children's non-cognitive skills are
Fatma Yıldırım & Lee Shin Dong /Journal of Educational Sciences & Psychology 149
affected partially by peers and quality of friendship. Thus, enhancing social activities
and interaction between the gifted children and their peers can help improve gifted
students both self-control and grit. Especially, the classroom climate and collaborative
activities like group projects or collaborative tasks can lead to bolstering the gifted
students' self-control and grit. Besides, an experimental study can be conducted by
increasing the interaction between the peer and gifted children for seeing effects of
peers.
Third, the contributions of the teacher on the gifted children's self-control are not
significant, but it is significant highly on grit. In other words, the teacher support does
not affect the gifted children's self-control directly. Although it can be said that the
gifted children may have an independent character, with different learning styles and
high self-directed learning, these assumptions are not enough to prove why teachers
do not contribute to the gifted children's self-control. There are few studies conducted
with gifted children about teachers’ role on gifted children's non-cognitive skills. In
other words, the role of the teacher on gifted children's self-control should be studied
more because the teacher is the second significant effector on children's education.
The teacher can help improve the quality of the gifted students' learning activities to
maintain higher self-control and grit. As for grit, alternative strategies and
applications can help enhance grit in the classroom, such as the context of a flipped
classroom or using different classroom management strategies. Moreover, a guidance
program covering to improve non-cognitive skills like self-control and grit can be
developed for the teachers of gifted students.
5. Acknowledgement
This article was generated using the data-set in the first author’s PhD dissertation,
which was completed under the guidance of the second author at Soonchunhyang
Üniversity.
6. Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
7. Funding
The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or
publication of this article.
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