Is research on gender-specific underachievement in gifted girls an obsolete topic? New findings on an often discussed issue

Barbara Schober, Ralph Reimann, Petra Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A decline of gender-specific underachievement among gifted girls can be observed. So, is this topic becoming gradually obsolete or do certain kinds of underachievement still exist? We investigated achievement and related factors among 10th-grade gifted girls in comparison to gifted boys in two separate settings: in a regular German secondary upper-level school, the Gymnasium (study 1, n=31); and in a curriculum-compressing acceleration program within the Gymnasium system (study 2, n=116). In both school settings gender differences were found to exist: in the regular setting these differences are equally distributed; in the gifted program, on the other hand, they rather favor the girls. Nevertheless, for both settings lower self-confidence in the math self-concept can be observed among the girls. All in all, the findings reported here make obvious that things actually have changed and a general convergence of boys and girls can be observed. However, it also became clear that some decisive differences - especially on behavioral levels - still exist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-62
Number of pages20
JournalHigh Ability Studies
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004

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