An article you may find interesting
It's part of a special issue on Gifted Girls, as far as I can tell. It is from 1991, so I'd be cautious in using it. JollyGG, you should be able to get the Roeper Review through your university. You just have to access it via the university. (It's not qualitative, it's quantitative.)
For the rest:
All of the students, both gifted and non-gifted, completed a peer nomination form designed to measure peer status, peer popularity, and possession of personality and school attributes. The instrument consisted of 17 separate questions in which students nominated up to three classmates per item. The nomination questions may be seen in Table I.
All children were tested in their regular class groups. They were seated in a semicircle so they could view each other while making nominations. In addition, children who were absent from school that day had their names placed on the blackboard so they also could be nominated.
Each question was read orally by the experimenter as the students silently followed. After each question was read, the children had up to two minutes to nominate up to three children for a given question. If a child did not know how to write or spell a peer's name, a proctor quietly assisted the child in making the rumination. All children made their nominations with little or no difficulty.
Student nominations were tallied for each item. From these nominations each student was given a composite popularity and unpopularity score as well as individual scores on each personality and trait question. The standard scores Liked Most and Liked Least items were used to generate Social Preference and Social Impact scores.
The Social Preference and Social Impact scores were then used to define four types of extreme social status types. Children designated as Popular were those who received a Social Preference standardized score greater than 1.0, a Liked Most standardized score greater than 0 and a Liked Least standardized score less than 0. An unpopular or Rejected group of children was identified as those children receiving a Social Preference score less than -1.0, a Liked Least standardized score greater than 0, and a Liked Most standardized score less than 0. A Neglected group was identified and defined as children who received a Social Impact score less than -1.0 and Liked Most and Liked Least standardized scores less than 0. These children differed from rejected children primarily in that rejected children received many more Liked Least nominations than did the neglected children. Finally, a group of Controversial children were identified. These children received a Social Impact score of greater than 0 and Liked Most and Liked Least standardized scores which were each greater than 0. Members of the controversial group were those who received a great number of both Liked Most and Liked Least nominations. However, less than 1% of the total subject pool were included in the Controversial category, and this group was dropped from further analysis.
This study investigated three dimensions of the relationship between gifted pupils and their non-gifted age peers: the relative social status of the gifted students, the perceptions that gifted students possessed certain personality traits, and the perceptions that gifted students possessed certain school, athletic, creative, and physical characteristics. The portion of the study dealing with the social status of the gifted students found strong gender differences in the social status attached to gifted pupils. While the gifted boys were the most popular of the four gender x gifted/non-gifted groups in terms of sociometric nominations, the gifted girls received the lowest percentage of nominations on the popularity questions. While the number of gifted students in each gender category was relatively small, this finding reinforces results of other studies which found that female gifted students comprise an at-risk population in terms of their continuing academic achievement (Denny, 1987; VanTassel-Baska, 1989a), emotional and mental health functioning (Reds, 1987; Silverman, 1986), and affective and social functioning (Connally, 1977; Serbin & O'Leary, 1975). The gifted girls in the present study simply were not able to establish popularity or good social relations with non-gifted age peers.
What might be the causes for the relative popular social status of gifted boys and the relative unpopular (rejected) status of the gifted girls? One attribute appears to be that of general outlook or temperament of each group. While the boys were seen as being funny and possessing a good sense of humor, the girls were generally viewed as being moody and melancholy. Possessing a good sense of humor, defined as both being funny and appreciating someone else's humor, has been shown to be an important social skill predictive of popularity (Sherman, 1985; Sherman & Burgess, 1985; Yalisove, 1978). The gifted girls in the present study were viewed as being generally melancholy, moody, and self-absorbed, and this may have contributed to their more negative social status. In studying gifted and non-gifted boys, it has become evident to the authors that the gifted boys in this sample at least partially mask their giftedness with non-gifted peers by being funny, vivacious, and upbeat (Luftig & Nichols, 1990). They are even willing to occasionally incur mild sanctions and reprimands from the teacher for clownish behavior in order to maintain status with peers. The gifted girls, on the other hand, tend to be more serious and somber. They often give the impression of being aloof and bossy. They strive for academic excellence and take their academic achievement seriously (Bauman, 1986; Connelly, 1977; Sadker & Sadker, 1985). This serious striving is often interpreted by others as being temperamental and moody (Luftig, 1987 a & b).
It would appear that the results of this and other studies place gifted females at some social risk among their age-related peers (Luftig & Nichols, 1990; VanTassel-Baska, 1989 a & b). Such girls may be resented for being smart and aggressive in a culture which emphasizes that females be docile, supporting, and passive (Garrison, Stronge, & Smith, 1986). While gifted boys help mask their giftedness by being funny, aggressive, and highly verbal, gifted girls engaging in the same behaviors may be perceived as pushy and aggressive. In such cases, gifted females may be forced to mask their giftedness (and help maintain their social status) by underachieving and thus appearing more in conformity with the expectations of non-gifted peers (Astir, 1974; Pendarvis, Howley & Howley, 1990; Whitmore, 1986). For these reasons, the relatively low popularity and negatively perceived personality and school attributes of gifted girls by their non-gifted peers may be a cause of concern and an area for future study and remediation in the field of gifted education.