The construct of gifted motivation was examined in a contemporary, long-term, longitudinal investigation. Adolescents with extremely high academic intrinsic motivation (i.e., gifted motivation) were compared to their cohort peer comparison on a variety of educationally relevant measures from elementary school through the early adulthood years. Assessment of academic intrinsic motivation was based on the Children’s Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory. Cross-time, pervasive differences resulted favoring the gifted motivation compared to the cohort comparison group on motivation, achievement, classroom functioning, intellectual performance, self-concept, and postsecondary educational progress. Meaningful effect sizes were obtained and corroborated by teachers’ observations. Gifted motivation proved to be distinct from gifted intelligence. This research serves to expand the definition of giftedness to include the construct of gifted motivation in its own right. These findings have implication for identifying students with gifted motivation for entry into programs for the gifted.
PUTTING THE RESEARCH TO USE:
The present findings have important implications. First, they provide further validation of gifted motivation as a distinct construct from gifted intellect. Second, the findings lay the groundwork for identifying students with gifted motivation. Third, this construct provides the opportunity for schools to develop programs that are more inclusive of and responsive to students who evidence gifted motivation. Fourth, this construct may be useful in developing and assessing motivationally oriented programs.
This research shows that the Children’s Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (CMIMI) is useful for identifying motivationally gifted students. Highly elevated CAIMI scores were used to distinguish between the motivationally gifted group and their cohort comparison; and, on the basis of an empirically derived cutoff score, pervasive and educationally meaningful cross-time group differences were obtained. Hence, the CAIMI is a valid instrument for identifying motivationally gifted students. Furthermore, the CAIMI is easily administered. Hence, there is a method to implement the identification process. Further, the CAIMI may be used to assess the motivational quality of educational programs.