Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 3499–3507 | Cite as

The Mediating Role of Students’ Perception of Parental Behaviours between Parental Attachment and School Choice Exploration

  • Diego Boerchi
  • Giulio D’UrsoEmail author
  • Ugo Pace
Original Paper



This study aimed to explore the relationships between students’ perception of parental behaviours towards their children’s choice, parental attachment and students’ exploration when choosing a school.


Participants included 1851 pre-adolescents attending some public middle schools’ third classes. They completed the adaptation to school choices of the Exploration of Vocational Issue Scale—the SIL Scale—to evaluate the students’ perceptions of their parents’ career-related behaviours and the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment to evaluate the parental relationships.


The results showed significant relationships between communication, parental trust and parental alienation in regard to the exploration of choosing a school. Furthermore, the three perceived parental behaviours (support, interference and lack of engagement) partially mediated the relationship between parental attachment and exploration.


The study suggests that a good attachment relationships encourages students to explore their own opportunity to choose the best schooling option only if they feel supported and not bypassed by their parents.


Parental attachment Parental career related behaviours School choice 


Author Contributions

This paper is the joint work of all the authors. However, the authors worked together at each part of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards and were approved by the Italian Psychology Association.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of PsychologyUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreMilanItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of Human and Social Science“Kore” University of EnnaEnnaItaly

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