Julie Devaud

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Kuzmic, Jeffrey

Second Advisor

Gardner, Joseph

Third Advisor

Proweller, Amira


The life of a gifted adolescent girl both in and out of the schoolhouse is dynamic and complicated. This qualitative study, using the methodology of narrative inquiry and multiple interviews, examines how these young women make sense of their lives as they move quickly towards the socialization of womanhood. This study specifically examines which factors lead to their academic success in the schoolhouse and personal success as happy individuals. Using grounded theory and a critical feminist perspective as my framework for analysis, I found the support of family, teachers, and peers was critical. I also discerned four distinct themes among the research subjects. First, they felt a need to break free as individuals within the confines of their persona and school lives; second, they possessed immense psychological resilience; third, the health of their physical bodies was central; and, finally, anger, both internal and external, was the quintessential emotion of gifted adolescent girls. I conclude with a discussion of four recommendations directly parallel to the aforementioned themes of how the American education system can better meet the unique social, psychological, emotional, and physical needs of the gifted adolescent girl to improve her academic and personal life. This, in turn, supports her role as an outstanding contributor as an intelligent member of American civil society.