Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration and its use with gifted children

Authors

Anke Jennaway & Peter Merrotsy

 

Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration is a theory about personality development. It has been hailed by some, including Mendaglio (2008), as a ‘theory for the 21st century’. In the past thirty years, its use has gained popularity, particularly in the fields of education and counselling of gifted students. The fundamental basis of this theory, however, has rarely been questioned. This article analyses the nature of the research supporting the theory, and highlights some of the issues in the origins and validation of the theory, advising that, as a framework for identifying, understanding and counselling the gifted, it should be used with caution.

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Keywords: Dabrowski, positive disintegration, gifted

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