Depression, Suicide, and Giftedness: Disentangling Risk Factors, Protective Factors, and Implications for Optimal Growth

  • Christian E. MuellerEmail author
  • Denise L. Winsor


Although exact incidences of depression and suicide among the gifted remain unknown, they are most likely in line with that of the larger student population. In the present chapter, we invoke two theoretical frameworks—person–environment fit theory and the Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent Development—to understand how intrapersonal, interpersonal, environmental, and developmental risk and protective factors manifest uniquely for gifted student populations. To better reflect the current status of gifted student development in the twenty-first century, we place special emphasis on two recent trends: social media use and cyberbullying, in addition to reviewing traditional literature as it relates to risk and protective factors. We place much emphasis on understanding possible unique contributors to the development of depression and suicide ideation among gifted students, but also on providing strategies for helping parents, teachers, and other caregivers. Implications of this chapter are for those who are interested in developing intervention strategies that consider developmental as well as epidemiological factors when exploring depression and suicide among the gifted.


Adolescents Gifted Depression Suicide Development Treatment 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Psychology & ResearchUniversity of MemphisMemphisUSA

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