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Educación Médica Superior

Print version ISSN 0864-2141On-line version ISSN 1561-2902


NAVEA MARTIN, Ana  and  VARELA MONTERO, Isabel. Cognitive and Motivational Predictive Variables Associated with Performance in University Students of Health Sciences. Educ Med Super [online]. 2019, vol.33, n.1, e1397.  Epub Mar 01, 2019. ISSN 0864-2141.


Motivation, learning and practice have a reciprocal relationship, according to latest research in self-regulated learning. Motivation influences learning, students organize and elaborate materials better, make greater effort, ask for help more frequently, and ultimately are more committed to the academic task. On the other hand, the execution and what students learn and do in practice, can in turn increase or decrease motivation, through variables such as self-efficacy.


To establish what motivational and cognitive variables predict academic performance and how they do it.


A descriptive and inferential study was carried out with a sample of 508 students of health sciences belonging to two Spanish private universities, which are evaluated, through an adapted Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire, their usage of cognitive and metacognitive strategies, and others for resource management and associated with motivation. Later, we elaborated a regression model, taking these strategies as independent variables and the performance measured through the student's grades as a dependent variable.


Self-efficacy for performance was the variable that best predicted academic performance in the university students that made up the sample. Other variables that were also related to performance were the management of time and place, the search for help, and the goal of self-praise.


The academic results depend on the evaluation methods, the use of cognitive, metacognitive, and motivational strategies appropriate to the instructional context, and on better management of learning resources. These findings guide teachers to propose educational interventions aimed at increasing the use of motivational and learning strategies in university students.

Keywords : academic performance; self-regulated learning; motivational strategies; higher education; health sciences.

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