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Reciprocal Relationship Between Learning Interest and Learning Persistence: Roles of Strategies for Self-Regulated Learning Behaviors and Academic Performance

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Learning interest (internal driving motivation) and learning persistence (explicit behaviors) are important factors affecting students’ academic development, yet whether they operate reciprocally and how to bolster them are still issues requiring attention. This study aimed to examine the reciprocal relationship between learning interest and persistence as well as the potential mechanisms behind the relationship from the perspectives of internal self-regulation and external feedback (i.e., academic performance). 510 students (Mage = 13.71, SD = 1.77, 44.1% girls) were tracked for one year using questionnaires. Results showed that higher learning interest was linked to greater subsequent learning persistence and vice versa; and both predicted each other over time indirectly through academic performance and the multiple mediating paths from strategies for self-regulated learning behaviors to academic performance. Ancillary analysis verifies the robustness of these results. The findings not only provide evidence of a dynamic relationship between learning motivation and behaviors, highlighting the important role of positive performance feedback in leading to a benign cycle, but also contribute to understanding the potential avenue (i.e., teaching strategies for self-regulation) for optimizing student learning.

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Data Availability

The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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This study was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (72104031).

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Authors and Affiliations



XW participated in the design and coordination of the study, performed the statistical analysis, drafted the manuscript, and revised the manuscript; HL participated in the design of the study, drafted the manuscript, and revised the manuscript; LX participated in the design and interpretation of the data and helped to draft the manuscript; MY conceived of the study, participated in the design and coordination of the study, and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Hongrui Liu or Meilin Yao.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Beijing Normal University and complied with its ethical standards.

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

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Wu, X., Liu, H., Xiao, L. et al. Reciprocal Relationship Between Learning Interest and Learning Persistence: Roles of Strategies for Self-Regulated Learning Behaviors and Academic Performance. J. Youth Adolescence (2024).

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