Exploring academic and character strengths in students with sex chromosome aneuploidies

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Talia Thompson
Shanlee Davis
Stephanie Takamatsu
Susan Howell
Nicole Tartaglia


Sex chromosome aneuploidy; positive psychology; character strengths; mixed methods; Klinefelter syndrome; school psychology


Children with sex chromosome aneuploidies (SCAs) are often characterized in the literature by limitations and pathologies related to the genetic diagnosis. This study aimed to broaden the SCA phenotype by describing parent reported character and academic strengths. Parents of children with SCAs ages 3-21 (N=377) responded to an electronic survey asking them to describe their child’s strengths in academic settings. Responses were coded for strengths-based content and analyzed using a mixed-methods content analysis approach. We identified overarching qualitative themes of Social Strengths and Assets for Learning. Quantitative results showed a pattern of overlapping strengths among the trisomy SCAs (perseverance and love of learning), with some significant differences between children with supernumerary X chromosomes (strengths in kindness) and those with an additional Y chromosome (strengths in curiosity, humor, and teamwork). Suggestions for future strengths-based research and educational practices to address academic, developmental, and psychosocial risks are explored.


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