An investigation of the factors related to maintaining high achievement levels in gifted african american females
Hammond, Daniel Richard
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that are associated with maintaining high levels of academic and extracurricular achievement among gifted African American females. Members of this group, as a result of their double-minority status, may be at increased risk for impaired performance due to a phenomenon known as “stereotype threat.” This phenomenon has been shown to interfere with an individual’s ability to perform in a situation when a related negative stigma about a group to which that person belongs is made salient. For this study, five high achieving, gifted African American females were recruited after participating in a residential summer program for gifted high school juniors and seniors. Participants were interviewed about their prior academic and educational experiences. Findings indicate that family support, independence from peers, teacher expectations, opportunity to display abilities, and positive racial identity are all factors associated with maintaining high achievement despite the potentially negative effects of stereotype threat.