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La transizione alla scuola superiore: modello teorico, costruzione e validazione della Scala di Difficoltà di Transizione (SDIT)

Vega Scalera, Fabio Alivernini


High School Transition: Theoretical Underpinnings, Development and Validation of the Transition Difficulty Scale – SDIT

The transition into senior high school is a critical juncture in the Italian education system and requires a challenging adaptation for students entering a new learning environment. It could be positive, by providing opportunities for personal growth, or negative when the new school setting is not sensitive to students’ needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness. In the transition year, the so-called «transition selection process» has very alarming features. In Italy there are only a few studies in this field compared to other countries, mainly the United States. However, despite its relevant accomplishments, international research on school transitions only seldom address students’ transition experience directly by using theoretically based tools with sound psychometric properties. The purpose of this study is to present the conceptual model and the development and validation processes of the Transition Difficulty Scale (SDIT). The study was conducted on a national representative sample of 7.732 students attending the first year of 150 senior high schools. Results of a confirmatory factor analysis attested the mono-dimensional structure of the SDIT and showed factorial invariance across gender and types of schools. The SDIT had satisfactory levels of internal consistency and the correlations among the SDIT scores and the criterion meas ures were consistent with the theoretical framework. In sum, the present findings provide adequate support for construct validity and reliability and for using the SDIT in research and practice, particularly as a screening tool.


Confirmatory factor analysis; Construct validity; Motivational theory of stress; School failure; School transitions; Analisi fattoriale confermativa; Dispersione scolastica; Teoria motivazionale dello stress; Transizioni scolastiche; Validità di costrutto


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 - Managing  Editor: Valeria Biasci
Editorial Board: Giuditta Alessandrini - 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