Predicting dropout and underachievement among gifted students
Landis, Rebecca Nordin
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The issue of high school dropout has long concerned policy makers, educational professionals, and the general public. In the gifted literature, this concern is no less pressing. Student engagement is becoming an increasingly discussed construct for conceptualizing the dropout phenomenon and designing appropriate interventions to prevent this phenomenon. The purpose of this dissertation is two-fold. First, a review of the literature is provided to examine prior findings in the gifted underachievement and dropout literature within the framework of student engagement. Specifically, academic, behavioral, affective, and cognitive indicators of student engagement are examined. Findings of the review and implications for research and practice are presented. Second, an empirical study was conducted to analyze the impact of student engagement on achievement and academic decisions among gifted students. Findings and implications are discussed. Student engagement may prove to be an essential construct in understanding, predicting, and preventing dropout behavior among gifted students.