Telling a Tale: How Underachievement Develops in Gifted Girls

telling a tale how underachievement develops in gifted girls

In this multiple-narrative inquiry, we examined the narratives of four underachieving gifted girls to identify aspects that appear to have contributed to the onset, development, and resolution of academic underachievement. We found that academic achievement was disrupted when the participants experienced a sudden increase in curricular demands when transitioning to middle or high school. Participants’ negative self-perceptions, lack of learning skills, and negative relationships with teachers commonly contributed to the maintenance of the underachievement. Finally, the underachievement began to resolve when the girls had a clear goal in mind, which for three of them was being accepted to college.