Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, Ph.D, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

George McCloskey, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Terri Erbacher, PhD

Third Advisor

Lori Lennon, PsyD


A review of the literature pertaining to giftedness reveals a myriad of differing conceptualizations, as well as varied recommendations for procedures within the referral and identification processes. With such diverse frameworks for understanding components of giftedness, as well as competing views about how giftedness is most accurately identified, a universally agreed upon process for defining and identifying giftedness has yet to be achieved. The purpose of this proposed study will be to examine the referral, identification, and outcomes process of one Pennsylvania public school district’s gifted evaluation process. Specifically, this action-oriented research study sets out to determine (1) the demographic characteristics of students referred for assessment to determine eligibility for gifted program services; (2) what assessment procedures were used to determine eligibility; (3) how the children performed on the assessments; (4) what criteria were used to determine eligibility; (5) what relationships were found among the various assessment components, and (6) what assessment components and/or demographic variables had the greatest influence on eligibility decisions. A thorough analysis of the descriptive data including variables such as those school psychologists performing the evaluation, school building, referral source, gender, ethnicity, other exceptionality, age and grade level of the children could prove to be advantageous to the school district, allowing for recommendations to be offered that will improve the current system.