Perceptions of the influence of personal strengths on the academic performance of twice-exceptional students in Singapore secondary school

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Studies have shown that twice exceptional (TE) adolescents are at high risk of underachieving in academic performance despite their intellectual giftedness. Although social and emotional competencies are observed to be the factors most strongly associated with their academic achievement over time, the emotional and behavioral factors influencing TE students’ academic performance are inconclusive, particularly for Singaporean TE adolescents. This study investigated the self-perceived emotional and behavioral strengths influencing the academic performance of the Singaporean TE students.<br><br>A total of six TE secondary school students were recruited to participate in the study from a Singaporean secondary school. Using a qualitative approach, this study employed an Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) design focusing on the investigation of the perceptions of emotional and behavioral strengths influencing academic performance of the TE students. An in-depth, semi-structured interview was conducted with each subject. Interviews were transcribed and coded for meaningful units, which were analyzed for major themes and sub-themes.<br><br>Results from this study indicated that coping strategies, effort, and relationships were the strongest enablers of TE students’ academic achievements. While coping strategies and effort had strong and direct impacts on TE students’ academic performance, relationships affected TE adolescents’ scholastic achievement through mediating of their motivation and behaviors. This study also found that TE students perceived high academic self-concept and academic self-efficacy to be the factors influencing their academic performance. This finding was inconsistent with previous findings that TE students tended to have low academic self-concept and self-efficacy. This study provided a basis and possible implications for future intervention practices to Singaporean TE adolescents.