Child & Youth Care Forum

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 287–314 | Cite as

The Pullout Program Day a Week School for Gifted Children: Effects on Social–Emotional and Academic Functioning

  • Rachel T. van der Meulen
  • Corine O. van der Bruggen
  • Jantine L. Spilt
  • Jaap Verouden
  • Maria Berkhout
  • Susan M. Bögels
Original Paper



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.


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.


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.


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.


Day a Week School appears to be a promising pullout program for gifted children, particularly for children at-risk for psychopathology.


Gifted children Special education Pullout program Social–emotional functioning Academic functioning 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel T. van der Meulen
    • 1
  • Corine O. van der Bruggen
    • 2
    • 4
  • Jantine L. Spilt
    • 2
    • 5
  • Jaap Verouden
    • 3
  • Maria Berkhout
    • 3
  • Susan M. Bögels
    • 2
  1. 1.UvA Minds Academic Treatment Centre for Parent and ChildAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Research Institute Child Development and EducationUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.ABC Educational AdvisorsAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Triversum Centre for Child and Youth PsychiatryAlkmaarThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Department of Developmental PsychologyVU UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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