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Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential

Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential

Marylou Kelly Streznewski

ISBN: 978-0-471-29580-8 March 1999 292 Pages


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What is it like to be smarter than 95% of the people you meet?Fifty-four-year-old Alison says, "They told me I was smart and Icried. I wanted to be sexy, or glamorous!" Jean, 38, laments, "Ilearned the whole job in six weeks, and now I'm bored."

Gifted Grownups, Marylou Kelly Streznewski's unprecedented, 10-yearstudy of 100 gifted adults, examines how being identified as a"smart kid" early on affects career choices, friendships, andromantic pairings later in life. Why do some talented and giftedpeople become Mozarts and Einsteins or corporate chieftains, whileothers drop out of school, struggle to hold down jobs, or turn toself-destructive behavior? What are the signs of giftedness, itspitfalls, and its promise? Marylou Streznewski provides answers tothese and other questions, and creates an intriguing picture ofwhat it is like to have an accelerated mind in a slow-movingworld.

Traditionally, the gifted were measured in terms of intelligenceonly, and anyone with an IQ score higher than 130 was automaticallygrouped in with that misunderstood minority. Recently "giftedness"has been redefined to include qualities like extraordinarycreative, leadership, or physical skills. Heightened perception,sensitivity, humor, and the ability to put complex ideas togetherquickly are also aspects of giftedness. These gifts affect the waytalented adults react to their friends, families, jobs, and lifechallenges. Doing for gifted grownups what the bestselling Drivento Distraction did for adults with attention deficit, GiftedGrownups traces many types of gifted adults, including thehigh-testing, power-achieving Striver; the popular scholar orathlete Superstar; and the creative intellectual, free-spiritIndependent. Here for the first time and in their own words, 100gifted grownups, from ages 18 to 90, and a variety of family andeducational backgrounds, occupations, social classes, and races,count the blessings and tally the costs of a high-powered mind."Highly informative and interesting."--Alice Miller, author of TheDrama of the Gifted Child

"This book was a delight. It affirmed my own experiences andobservations. The author makes her study come alive . . . throughthe voices of real people talking about their experiences. . . . Ihighly recommend this book.i--Joanne Rand Whitmore, PhD, Professorand Dean College and Graduate School of Education, Kent StateUniversity

"Many readers will recognize their own experiences.--Lita LinzerSchwartz, PhD, ABPP Distinguished Professor Emerita, PennsylvaniaState University.

"This thoughtful book . . . has taken us one step further in ourunderstanding of how and why some talented individuals realizetheir potential while others do not."--Dr. Sally M. Reis, Professorof Educational Psychology, The University of Connecticut.

"Gifted Grownups meets a long-awaited need. This book would be ofinterest, not only to gifted education professionals, but also toparents, teachers in general, and to gifted individuals of allages.--E. Paul Torrance, Georgia Studies of Creative Behavior,author of Gifted and Talented Children in the Regular Classroom.ISBN 0-471-29580-9

What Makes You Gifted?

Inside the Gifted Brain/Mind.

In Hiding.


The Gifted Family.

School: Hard Times, Easy As.

Young Adults: The Extra Mile.

Bored, Bored, Bored: The Quest for Challenge Work.


The Dark Side.

Finding the Others: Friends and Lovers.

Gifted Women.

Young in Mind: The Later Years.

The Value of the Gift.

Resources and Recommended Readings.




About the Author.
"I enjoyed reading this book. It is highly informative andinteresting."--Alice Miller, author of Drama of the GiftedChild

"Many readers will recognize their own experiences..."--Lita LinzerSchwartz, Ph.D., ABPP, Distinguished Professor Emerita,Pennsylvania State University

"This book was a delight. It affirmed my own experiences andobservations. The author makes her study come alive...through thevoices of real people talking about their experiences.... I highlyrecommend this book."--Joanne Rand Whitmore, Ph.D., Professor andDean, College and Graduate School of Education, Kent StateUniversity