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Twice exceptionality, or 2e, is the recently-coined term for the intersection of learning disabilities (LDs) and giftedness in an individual. Typically, these learning disabilities encompass ADHD, ASD, and/or specific learning disorders such as dyslexia. Because giftedness may obscure or compensate for a student’s academic struggles, and because institutional fixation on disability may overshadow intelligence, twice exceptionality is often missed by teachers and other authority figures in a child’s life. Given the ongoing difficulties of screening for twice exceptionality, it is likely that many 2e students have gone unidentified throughout most of their academic careers, without receiving the accommodations that would most benefit their studies. Furthermore, 2e adults whose schooling predated widespread awareness of twice exceptionality are more likely to have been diagnosed later in life.

The twin prongs of identification and intervention for 2e youth make up the bulk of studies in the field. Today’s 2e youth are better-identified, better-studied, and better-supported than any previous generation, but 2e adults remain an understudied population. In addition to the difficulties and contradictions inherent in twice exceptionality, late identification and lack of support are likely to have negatively impacted twice exceptional adults, both in and out of the classroom.

The present study will examine the ability of 2e adults to effectively cope with stressors in their lives, as well as their current level of life satisfaction. Approximately fifty or more 2e adults will be recruited through email and social media, and via the disability department of a small liberal arts university. Participants will be asked about their diagnostic histories and their experiences with higher education, and will then complete the Satisfaction With Life Scale (Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S., 1985) and Coping Self-Efficacy Scale (Chesney, M.A., Neilands, T.B., Chambers, D.B., Taylor, J.M., & Folkman, S., 2006). Data will be collected and analyzed in March and April 2017.

We hypothesize that there will be a relationship between the age of identification as twice exceptional and adult quality of life, operationalized by Satisfaction with Life and Coping Self-Efficacy. Additionally, we will explore the relationships between specific diagnoses and these variables, as well as factors of race and gender. This study will provide information on an underserved and understudied group, and we hope it will provide a deeper understanding of the needs and strengths of this population.



Faculty Advisor

Maggie Benedict-Montgomery, Ph.D.

Publication Date

Spring 2017


San Rafael, CA


Double Exceptional, ADHD, Learning Disabilities


Child Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Other Psychology | School Psychology

Relative to Einstein: Quality of Life in Twice Exceptional Adults