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Affrontare i primi esami: motivazione, supporto all’autonomia e percezione di controllo predicono il rendimento degli studenti universitari del primo anno

Laura Girelli, Fabio Alivernini, Sergio Salvatore, Mauro Cozzolino, Maurizio Sibilio, Fabio Lucidi


Dropout rates in Italy are very high, particularly in freshmen students (Anvur, 2016). University students’ academic achievement has been found to prevent dropout. The present study tested a predicting model of academic achievement in first-year university students based on self-determination theory, through a longitudinal design with two points in time. Freshmen students in a bachelor program of an Italian university (N = 313; M age = 21.34 years; SD = 4.74; 72.2% female) completed measures of perceived autonomy support from parents and teachers, autonomous motivation, perceived academic control, and intention to drop out from university at the start of their academic year. At the end of the first-semester, information about students’ academic achievement have been collected from the department office. Results from structural equation modeling analyses supported the hypothesized model. Specifically, perceived autonomy support from parents and teachers predicted perceived academic control via autonomous motives; perceived academic control predicted intention to dropout, which, in turn, predicts academic achievement. A major contribution was demonstrating the important role of perceived autonomy support and perceived academic control in freshman students’ academic achievement. These findings could provide a contribution in implementing adequate intervention supporting freshman students in order to promote academic achievement and, consequently, to prevent dropout from university.


Academic achievement; Autonomy support; Freshman students; Motivation; Perceived academic control; Self-determination theory

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2018-018-gire

Copyright (©) 2018 Laura Girelli, Fabio Alivernini, Sergio Salvatore, Mauro Cozzolino, Maurizio Sibilio, Fabio Lucidi – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie


Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (19/05/2010 n. 278)
Online ISSN 2037-7924 - Print ISSN 2037-7932

Research Laboratory on Didactics and Evaluation - Department of Education - "Roma Tre" University

Executive Editor: Gaetano Domenici - Associate Executive Editor & Managing  Editor: Valeria Biasci
Editorial Board: Eleftheria Argyropoulou - Massimo Baldacci - Joao Barroso - Richard Bates - Christofer Bezzina - Paolo Bonaiuto - Lucia Boncori - Pietro Boscolo - Sara Bubb  - Carlo Felice Casula - Jean-Émile Charlier - Lucia Chiappetta Cajola - Carmela Covato - Jean-Louis Derouet - Peter Early - Franco Frabboni - Constance Katz - James Levin - Pietro Lucisano  - Roberto Maragliano - Romuald Normand - Michael Osborne - Donatella Palomba - Michele Pellerey - Clotilde Pontecorvo - Vitaly V. Rubtzov - Jaap Scheerens - Noah W. Sobe - Francesco Susi - Giuseppe Spadafora - Pat Thomson
Editorial Staff: Fabio Alivernini - Guido Benvenuto - Anna Maria Ciraci - Massimiliano Fiorucci - Luca Mallia - Massimo Margottini - Giovanni Moretti - Carla Roverselli 
Editorial Secretary:
Nazarena Patrizi 

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