Lifting the cloak of invisibility: A collective case study of girls with characteristics of giftedness and ADHD

Charles Matthew Fugate, Purdue University


The manifestation of ADHD characteristics in girls can result in emotional and behavioral issues, placing stress on peer and family relationships. As they enter their middle-school years, these characteristics can place additional strains on both academic and personal performance. Girls who are gifted and who have ADHD display characteristics of both, with the characteristics of one often hiding the characteristics of the other, a phenomenon known as masking. Because of this, school days are spent with few, if any, educators recognizing either their talents or their challenges (Baum & Olenchak, 2002; McCoach, Kehle, Bray, & Siegle, 2001). It is important that educators develop an understanding of the experiences, perceptions, and needs of this population. The purpose of this collective case study research was to examine the lived experiences of girls with characteristics of both giftedness and ADHD in order to gain understanding of the array of coping mechanisms used by this population as they navigate the academic and social pressures of their secondary school years. Through analysis of multiple data sources including Experience Sampling, document analysis, surveys, and interviews, themes emerged in areas related to school, relationships with peers and family, and strategies used to center and refocus during times of stress. It is my hope that this research will serve as a base line for future study of these ADHG (Attention Divergent Hyperactive Gifted) girls.




Gentry, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Gifted Education|Womens studies

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