Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Victoria A. Foster


The purpose of this study was to assess the level of correlation between the high school gpa's of high scorers on the SAT and three variables: degree of career focus, level of study skills knowledge and use, and quality of interpersonal relationships. It was hoped that correlations might suggest positive intervention strategies for gifted high school students who are underachieving in high school in order to improve their high school to college transitions.;The researcher worked with school personnel in 20 high schools in the southeastern region of Virginia. High SAT scorers were identified and they were provided with three survey instruments to be completed at home: a degree of career focus scale, the LASSI (Learning and Study Skills Inventory), and the AIR (Assessment of Interpersonal Relations) Scale. Best SAT I scores were collected as well as seventh semester gpa's and correlated against the three survey measures.;It was hypothesized that among these high SAT scorers, gpa would correlate positively with a higher degree of career focus, with a higher level of study skills, and with higher ratings of interpersonal relationships with parents, peers, and teachers.;Statistical analyses revealed significant correlations between SAT and gpa, gpa and the motivation subscale of the LASSI, and gpa and the global score on the AIR as well as the AIR subscales for relationships with father and female peers. Math and total SAT scores also correlated positively with the Test Taking Strategics subscale of the LASSI.;It was concluded that study skills motivation may be a factor in academic underachievement among bright high school students, but that degree of career focus alone was not a good predictor of motivation. It was also concluded that family and peer relationships had an influence on gpa for the research sample, and that SAT scores correlate positively with high school gpa even among a relatively high scoring group.;Further research is needed to discern additional factors which cause, or at least predict, underachievement among gifted students and to assess how these findings and previous research and theorizing may contribute to intervention strategies.



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