Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Educational Psychology


Joan Lucariello

Committee Members

Colette Daiute

Bruce Homer

Wei Wang

Kristin Berman

Subject Categories

Accessibility | Education | Educational Psychology | Gifted Education | Other Education | Other Psychology | School Psychology | Special Education and Teaching


twice exceptional, 2e, high abilities, disabilities, self concept, taxonomic analysis


In 2014, the first operational definition of twice exceptional (2e) learners was published in Gifted Child Quarterly to provide a clear and identifiable profile of the population (Reis, Baum, & Burke, 2014). The article defines 2e learners as, “students who demonstrate the potential for high achievement or creative productivity in one or more domains such as math, science, technology, the social arts, the visual, spatial, or performing arts or other areas of human productivity AND who manifest one or more disabilities as defined by federal or state eligibility criteria” (Reis et al., 2014, p. 222-223). Publishing an operational definition of 2e learners was an essential first step toward furthering research involving this complex and diverse population. The following dissertation study leverages 2e students’ self-concepts to elaborate on the existing definition of 2e learners. The study follows a pilot study (Landau & Lucariello, 2022) in which an original taxonomic coding scheme was developed to map the descriptive categories present within Reis et al.’s (2014) operational definition onto the personal accounts of twice exceptional adolescent age students (n=3). Four descriptive categories of the Reis et al. (2014) definition were studied: (1) High Abilities, (2) Disabilities, (3) Ability Masking I, and (4) Ability Masking II. In addition, two new self-defining categories were proposed and studied within 2e students’ personal ac- counts of self. These were Meta-Definitions and Appraisals. The pilot confirmed the Reis et al. (2014) operational definition of 2e students to also characterize 2e students’ own accounts of self. Moreover, Appraisals were the most frequently occurring dimension of self-concept in the students’ accounts. The following study extended the pilot findings by expanding the coding scheme to include valence and activation within the Appraisal coding category and by analyzing a larger sample of personal accounts from a larger number of twice exceptional adolescent-age students (n=10). Additionally, patterns of co-occurring self-concept coding categories found within the students’ personal accounts were explored. Findings revealed that the descriptive categories (i.e., High Abilities, Disabilities, and two forms of Ability Masking) used to define 2e learners by Reis et al. (2014) manifest within 2e students’ accounts in the larger sample but at disproportional rates. All of the accounts contain codes for High Abilities, more than half of the accounts contain codes for Disabilities, and less than half of the accounts contain codes for Ability Masking I and Ability Masking II. Moreover, 2e students express their self-concept beyond these categories by including both Meta-Definitions and Appraisals in their accounts. Findings indicate that Appraisals are the most frequently occurring and co-occurring type of dialogue. Additionally, Positive Affect co-occurred with High Abilities while Negative Affect co-occurred with Disabilities. Finally, the distribution of self-concept categories found in the student accounts is not significantly different from the same descriptive types found in the mission statement. Implications of these findings are discussed. This research has illuminated and broadened the self-concept of 2e students as manifested in their own personal accounts and hence contributes greatly to the literature on these students.