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The Transition from Middle School to High School: The Mediating Role of Perceived Peer Support in the Relationship between Family Functioning and School Satisfaction

Abstract

The study focused on the transition from middle school to high school and aimed to verify the mediating role that perceived peer support may play in the relationship between family functioning in middle school and school satisfaction in high school. In middle school (Wave 1), participants were 208 adolescents (106 boys and 102 girls) aged 12–13 years (M = 12.56; SD = .61), attending the last classes of two middle public schools located in Italy. One year later (Wave 2), 155 adolescents (76 boys and 79 girls) participated again in the study when they attended the first classes of high school (M = 13.91; SD = .75). Participants completed the Italian Version of Family Assessment Device and the Social Support Questionnaire (short from) in Wave 1 and the Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale in Wave 2. Results showed that among family functioning dimensions, only affective involvement positively predicted perceived peer support and school satisfaction. The mediation models showed that perceived peer support in middle school mediated the relationship between affective involvement in middle school and school satisfaction in high school. Our results confirm the role of subjective perception of peer support in contributing to the prediction of school satisfaction beyond good parental affective involvement.

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Author Contributions

M.M.: collaborated with the design and writing of the study; G.D.U.: collaborated with the design and writing of the study and analyzed the data and wrote part of the results; A.P.: collaborated with the design and writing of the study; U.P. e C.Z.: designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ugo Pace.

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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.

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Muscarà, M., Pace, U., Passanisi, A. et al. The Transition from Middle School to High School: The Mediating Role of Perceived Peer Support in the Relationship between Family Functioning and School Satisfaction. J Child Fam Stud 27, 2690–2698 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-018-1098-0

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Keywords

  • Transition to high school
  • Perceived peer support
  • Family functioning
  • School satisfaction