Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Frances Moroney


The purpose of this study was to reveal the significance of relationship among the cognitive style of field dependence/independence, reading attitudes, and academic achievement for a sample of fifth and sixth grade gifted children and to compare these relationships with those found for a sample of students of average ability.

The study was conducted with 72 students in a suburban Western New York school district. Field dependence/independence was determined using the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT). Reading attitudes were determined using the Third Experimental Edition of the Survey of Reading Attitudes (SRA) by Wallbrown, Brown, and Engin. IQ was determined using the Lorge-Thorndike Intelligence Test, Academic achievement was determined using the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS).

Repeated one-way analyses of variance revealed significant differences between the gifted and average students in their performance on measures of field dependence/independence, reading attitudes, IQ, and academic achievement.

Additional one-way analyses of variance revealed that females read for enjoyment more than males do. There were no statistical differences between males and females in the scores obtained on the GEFT, SRA, IQ, and ITBS measures.

A correlational study revealed significant positive relationships between performance on a test of field dependence/independence and measures of IQ and academic achievement. A significant negative relationship was also revealed to exist between field dependence/independence and the Expressed Difficulty dimension of reading attitude.

Results of the analyses were discussed in terms of their application to the identification and education of the gifted.