The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the experience of gifted girls transitioning from elementary school to sixth and seventh grade. The current counseling literature in this area found that gifted girls often struggle emotionally when transitioning to sixth and seventh grade. The bulk of this literature was based on quantitative research methods, and often on girls who were older. For the field of counseling it is important to add literature to the field that expresses the views of girls who are in sixth and seventh grade, and that their views are expressed qualitatively. Qualitative research methods were utilized for this study, specifically the use of grounded theory. Seven research participants were selected and interviewed over a four-month period. Three of these participants were in sixth grade at the conclusion of the study, and one was in seventh grade. Three seniors in high school were also interviewed to provide confirming data throughout the study. The interview data was coded and analyzed using grounded theory techniques. The major findings of this study were that for these gifted girls transitioning from elementary school to sixth and seventh was not as difficult as the literature had stated. With a strong sense of identity, these gifted girls were able to balance their desire to work hard academically and their interest in extra-curricular activities. In being able to balance their academic lives, they were able to make friends and build connections. The connections they made in turn contributed to their sense of self and their experiences of sixth and seventh grade. The implications of these findings are that gifted girls who have a strong sense of who they are, and a connection to others can move through this transition smoothly. For counselors working with this population it provides another understanding of the issues that face gifted girls in sixth and seventh grade.
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