Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Anxiety, Gifted, Children, Adolescents, CBT, EFT, Interventions

Major Advisor

Dr. Orv Karan

Associate Advisor

Dr. E. Jean Gubbins

Associate Advisor

Dr. Melissa Bray

Associate Advisor

Dr. James O'Neil

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Interventions to Reduce Anxiety for Gifted Children and Adolescents

Amy H. Gaesser, PhD

University of Connecticut, 2014

This study examined the anxiety levels of gifted students, as well as the effectiveness of two interventions: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Using the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale-2 (RCMAS-2), Phase I of this study examined anxiety levels in gifted youth (n = 153) participating in private and public gifted education programs, grades 6-12, in two Northeastern states. ANOVA analyses indicated that gender (F [1, 149] = 13.52, p< .001, h2= .08) and school setting (F [2, 149] = 21.41, p< .001, h2= .23) were significant factors in the anxiety levels of the gifted students. In Phase II, a randomized controlled research design was used to investigate the effectiveness of CBT and EFT interventions. Participants (n = 63) identified with moderate to high levels of anxiety on the pre treatment RCMAS-2 were assigned to one of three treatment groups: a) CBT, b) EFT, or c) a wait-listed control group. Treatment outcomes were measured using the RCMAS-2 post treatment scores and analyzed using ANCOVA with pre treatment RCMAS-2 scores serving as the covariate. EFT participants (n= 20, M = 52.163, SE = 1.42) showed significant reduction in anxiety levels when compared to the control group (n= 21, M = 57.93, SE = 1.39, p = .005). CBT participants (n= 21, M = 54.82, SE = 1.38) did not differ significantly from either the EFT or control groups (p = .12 and p = .18, respectively).