Gifted Underachievers with Undiagnosed ADHD

Some gifted students are clearly bright but don’t do well in school. What keeps these children from performing in line with their apparent potential? 

Gifted underachievement can stem from many sources, but little research has examined the overlap between underachievement and undiagnosed twice-exceptionality. In a 2020 study in Gifted Child Quarterly, “Pay attention to inattention: Exploring ADHD symptoms in a sample of gifted underachieving students,” Betsy McCoach, Del Siegle, and Lisa DaVia Rubenstein sought to better understand the root cause of gifted students’ underachievement by examining whether some of these students exhibited clinically significant symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

As the authors note, it...


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About Danika Maddocks

Danika Maddocks earned her Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to her doctoral studies, Danika taught elementary and middle school and trained other educators. She researches giftedness, twice-exceptionality, intelligence, assessment, and the role of motivation and emotion in teaching and learning. Danika provides therapy and consultation services in private practice; learn more about her research and private practice at