Category: Poster

81 - Under Pressure: Gifted Student Stress, Drug Use, and Self Harm at Specialized STEM Schools

Friday, Nov 10
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Specialized STEM Schools are often hotbeds of intellectual rigor, but at what cost? This paper shares findings from a qualitative research study conducted at five exclusive STEM schools. We share findings that explore how stress and anxiety about performance impact students within these schools in a wide range of ways, including significant sleep deprivation, stress, performance anxiety, and thoughts of self harm. We contrast the goals and beliefs of teachers and administrators with the ways students experience their education. Findings indicate that the ways in which administrators and teachers make decisions impact students in unforeseen ways that lead to high rates of student burnout and harm.

Scott L. Hunsaker

Distinguished Associate Professor of Honors Education
Utah State University
Logan, Utah

Dr. Scott L. Hunsaker is a Distinguished Associate Professor of Honors Education at Utah State University (USU) in Logan, UT. Over his nearly 20 years at USU, he has been recognized by his college with the Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor, and the Carol and Bill Strong Human Service Awards. An active member of both national and state gifted education associations, Dr. Hunsaker has served on the NAGC Board of Directors and as UAGC President. He has been honored with the Early Leader Award by NAGC and the Jewel Bindrup Award by UAGC. Dr. Hunsaker is the editor of Identification: The Theory and Practice of Identifying Students for Gifted and Talented Education Services and has published in the following journals: Teacher Librarian, Forum on Public Policy, Gifted Child Quarterly, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, Roeper Review, Exceptional Children, Journal for Creative Behavior, Gifted Child Today, Teaching for High Potential, and Parenting for High Potential.