I used to be gifted: case studies of lost potential among adolescent females
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This case study focuses on the influence of certain sociocultural factors on the ability of adolescent girls to fulfill their potentials. Specifically, the purpose of this research is to advance an alternative perspective on the relationship between the sociocultural influences of friendship, mother/daughter relationship, school experience, and body image and a loss of potential among adolescent girls from a historical, poststructural, postmodern-feminist perspective. The dissertation is presented in the form of narrative from both the authorÂs and girlsÂ and womenÂs perspectives in order to seek a rich and thick description. Throughout the study, the author integrates moments from her own journey during adolescence with the young girls and their mothers or grandmothers encountering the oftentimes overwhelming negative sociocultural challenges existing today. The data consist of interviews with four girls and four women; interviews with two school personnel; and observations covering 7 weeks of guided discussion groups. Personal stories are closely examined with current and in-depth research to produce valuable insight and recommendations linking sociocultural factors and potentiality among adolescent girls. In general, these data contribute to an existing body of knowledge as well as advance educational theory regarding adolescent girls and potentiality. Moreover, these findings bolster the argument that, although realistic approaches to create necessary change require a certain resignation to the forces that exist within our culture, educational psychologists will increase the disciplineÂs impact on students by conducting comprehensive research that creates and supports genuine efforts to teach girls effective strategies on ways to not relinquish control to relentless, disingenuous sociocultural pressures. The case study indicates that, although many positive gains have been made to support young girls, there remain many obstacles as well.
Gifted Girls and Potential
Feminist Theory and Adolescent Females
McDonnell, Virginia Maurer (2003). I used to be gifted: case studies of lost potential among adolescent females. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from