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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The early identification and relative incidence of academic underachievement : a follow-up study of average, bright and intellectually superior kindergarten children Wetstein-Kroft, Susan Beth


In this study, the investigator examined whether a pattern of underachievement could be identified as early as the first grade. Moreover, the researcher questioned whether underachievement occurs more frequently in males than females; and whether underachievement occurs more often among an Intellectually Superior (IQ 120+), Bright (IQ 110-119) or Average (IQ 80-109) group of first graders. In addition, the researcher questioned whether the non-verbal IQ score is higher among a group of underachievers relative to their normally achieving peers. One hundred and two grade one children from the Surrey School District, British Columbia were administered the Woodcock-Johnson Achievement Battery. A linear regression model was applied to the data in order to identify discrepancies between IQ and achievement. If a student's predicted achievement score differed from his observed score by -1.00 standard error of estimate in two or more subject areas, he/she was identified as an underachiever. In all, 20% of the sample were identified as underachievers. Moreover, underachievement occurred with equal frequency in males and females and was equally represented throughout the ability distribution. In addition, underachievers were not found to differ significantly from achievers in their non-verbal IQ scores.

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