About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3098-3105
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1654

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain


M.L. Mascia1, G. Dettori1, M. Agus1, V. Spiga1, M.A. Zanetti2, M.P. Penna1

1University of Cagliari (ITALY)
2University of Pavia (ITALY)
The analysis of the features of the Italian University system cannot be addressed without examining factors that can foster both students’ integration and their chance of academic success. Alarming university dropout rates indicate a deep interaction between personal and situational circumstances.

This research shows the relationship between some variables and potential difficulties of Italian students at their first year of University. Three hundred and thirty-nine Italian first year undergraduates answered the questions of a standardized instrument of assessment.
In particular, this research was guided by a set of hypotheses which assume that there is a correlation between potential or real difficulties faced by the student (indecision in choosing their undergraduate degree and difficulties upon entry at university) with some social, demographic and psychological variables such as motivation, self-concept academic self-concept, self-regulation, time perspective and problem-solving skills. In addition, it is assumed that these psychological variables and potential difficulties are predictors of academic self-concept.

Data largely confirm the principal hypothesis. As regards the first hypothesis, a first significant data, is represented by the socio demographic variables. Similarly, a positive correlation merged between time elapsed between graduation and college enrollment and the same difficulties, seems to be related to these factors. Another important data was the negative correlation between verbal self-concept and academic self-concept in relation to the high number of difficulties encountered. The results emerged concerning verbal self-concept appear even more interesting. The emerged negative correlation is certainly consistent with the type of sample studies examined, where a high level is verbal self-concept, therefore leading to a reduction of difficulties. Another relevant data has been found to be the negative correlation between problem solving and difficulties.

The extrinsic motivation was negatively correlated with the difficulties both in the identified adjustment, and in the introjected regulation types. The amotivation has proved to be positively correlated with the difficulties. Specifically, data show a negative correlation of the two identified regulation and introjected regulation types. The future perspective has a negative correlation with the difficulties taken into consideration. One last interesting fact is represented by the ability of processing related to the style of self-regulation, which was negatively correlated with the difficulties. In order to evaluate the effect of the variables under examination taken on the student’s academic self, a hierarchical linear regression was applied with the Stepwise Backward method. It turns out that the Diploma mark, problem solving, verbal self motivation, introjected extrinsic motivation and identified extrinsic motivation can be considered predictors of academic self. The temporal Perspective has an inverse relationship with the criterion variable of academic self. In summary, the Italian university system appears to be a system that works for those people who are already "functional" students from the outset, who know how to fit into the school context and know how to stay there. This has given us once again the opportunity to reflect on the importance of an approach that is open to everybody, but especially to those who have a greater need for support.
author = {Mascia, M.L. and Dettori, G. and Agus, M. and Spiga, V. and Zanetti, M.A. and Penna, M.P.},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1654},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1654},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {3098-3105}}
AU - M.L. Mascia AU - G. Dettori AU - M. Agus AU - V. Spiga AU - M.A. Zanetti AU - M.P. Penna
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1654
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 3098
EP - 3105
ER -
M.L. Mascia, G. Dettori, M. Agus, V. Spiga, M.A. Zanetti, M.P. Penna (2017) ACADEMIC ITALIAN STUDENTS DIFFICULTIES, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 3098-3105.