Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Twice-Exceptional, Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Creativity, Anxiety, Mood, ADHD, Logistic Regression, Openness, School Psychology

Major Advisor

Melissa A Bray

Co-Major Advisor

E Jean Gubbins

Associate Advisor

James Kaufman

Associate Advisor

Alan Kaufman

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Given the increased numbers of students being served by disability services offices at the postsecondary level, a better understanding of how intelligence functions as a protective or risk factor is essential to inform services for adolescents in secondary education. Therefore, this study examined whether intelligence functions as a protective factor against the negative effects of adverse childhood experiences and their role in the onset of Emotional Behavioral Disorders (EBDs). Consequently, school service provision was also examined, as it has the potential to serve as a protective factor against long-term disorder prevalence. Finally, the personality characteristic openness was evaluated to determine how the combination of ability and EBDs influence openness. As such, two groups of adolescents from the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), ages 13 to 17, were studied (N = 5,023): (a) high-ability students (IQ ≥ 120) with EBDs; and (b) average ability students (85 ≤ IQ ≤115) with Emotional Behavioral Disorders. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to compare the odds of disorder and school services in adolescents who have had a history of adverse childhood experiences. Additionally, within the high-ability group, odds ratios were computed between males and females for disorder prevalence and school services. Finally, an exploratory factor analysis of the NCS-A personality interviews was conducted and mean group differences for openness were computed for students across EBDs. Results supported the current literature, demonstrating that high-ability students (IQ ≥ 120) do not have statistically higher rates of EBDs when exposed to childhood trauma. However, across groups, males received disproportionate levels of school services. Group differences in openness, though statistically significant, were functionally negligible, with all students scoring in the somewhat range. In conclusion, this research demonstrated that intelligence is not a risk factor for the onset of EBDs; however, the results did not substantiate the hypothesis that intelligence was a protective factor.