The social coping of academically high-achieving females before the onset of disordered eating

Jennifer Krafchek, Leonie Kronborg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This qualitative study examined the social coping behaviors and strategies used by fourteen academically high-achieving females before the onset of disordered eating in high school. Ineffective social coping strategies could contribute to a feeling of helplessness, which is a risk factor for eating disorders. All participants were interviewed using a semi-structured protocol. The results of a content analysis showed that the participants who did not report any social problems preferred not to be in the popular group at school and they used prosocial behaviors, such as helping others with homework. The participants who experienced social problems and bullying used many ineffective social coping strategies before the onset of symptoms of disordered eating. The findings of this study are relevant for high-achieving students and school counselors. Education about the range of social coping strategies used by gifted and high-achieving students may reduce feelings of helplessness in coping with social problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-99
Number of pages14
JournalGifted and Talented International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Academic achievement
  • bullying
  • eating disorders
  • females
  • gifted
  • high achievers
  • social coping
  • stigma of giftedness

Cite this