Communicating love or fear: the role of attachment styles in pathways to giftedness

Mimi Wellisch

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Although both giftedness and secure attachment are associated with advanced language and good socioemotional adjustment, not all gifted children are well adjusted. This article explores the consequences of attachment style on gifted development and examines whether early trauma can be rectified. The dearth of research on giftedness and attachment has necessitated the review of less direct evidence, including brain research and maternal depression. A partly empirical, partly conceptual picture is drawn to demonstrate that attachment styles can support, reduce, and even prevent giftedness. This is further illustrated by an experiment involving IQ scores that mimics the expected effects of early trauma and insecure attachment on test performance. The article concludes by suggesting that attachment style may contribute to a gifted spectrum.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)116-126
    Number of pages11
    JournalRoeper Review
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Brain research
    • Gifted
    • Gifted spectrum
    • Insecure attachment
    • IQ tests
    • Maternal depression
    • Neuropsychology
    • Secure attachment
    • Socioemotional adjustment


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