We explore the influence of family on adolescent students' mathematical habitus by investigating the association between students' perceptions of parental influence and their dispositions towards mathematics. A construct measuring 'perceived parental influence' was validated using Rasch methodology on data from 563 Cypriot students on 'core' and 'advanced' mathematics pre-university courses, and was then used to predict students' dispositions towards future study of mathematically-demanding courses at university. In most of the regression models, perceived parental influence was not associated significantly with students' dispositions towards mathematics, when other variables were included in the models. However, further statistical analysis showed that perceived parental influence is mediated by (i) the mathematics course students are studying and (ii) their mathematical inclination. We suggest that family influences on students' dispositions are significantly accounted for by students' prior choice of mathematics course and the family's inculcation of their mathematical inclination; these are important factors influencing university choices. © 2013 Copyright British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics.
- choices of advanced mathematics
- mathematical dispositions
- parental influence