We are, almost all of us, 'underachievers.' In this time of underachievement... we call upon another group to perform at the peak of its ability: our children."" Those who cannot keep up are subject to a degenerative process, most often beginning early in life and having cumulative effects. Underachievement is mainly the result of psychological disadvantages--overinvolved, perfectionist parents for instance, but may also be the result of poor teaching methods, boredom in a bright child, the social disadvantages of a child for whom ""motivation can become a mockery."" Dr. Fine outlines causes, describes effects, and tells what is being done about underachievement--by Washington, by private and public school efforts (crash programs, special schools, multi-media). A syllabus for the underinformed.