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Motivational intermediaries of self-regulation among university students

Douglas Russell (Department of Education, Middlesex University – Dubai Campus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Racquel Warner (TESOL Arabia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 3 July 2017




The concept of self-regulated learning (SRL) has become increasingly important in higher educational institutes seeking to provide students with a holistic education. It is important for students entering, and faculty within higher education, to understand whether future time perspective (FTP) or self-efficacy is more predictive of self-regulation. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


Through the use convenience sampling, data were collected via an online survey from 130 undergraduate students attending universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Data were analysed using regression analysis and inferential measures identifying themes in participants study habits in order to examine whether it is FTP or self-efficacy that more strongly predicts SRL behaviours.


Results suggest that self-efficacy is a much stronger predictor of SRL in undergraduate students than goal setting, as measured by FTP. Student’s most deficient SRL behaviours related to reading and comprehension of texts prescribed across modules.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the fact that only an adjusted 33 per cent of self-regulation was predicted by the two variables under consideration, researchers are encouraged to identify further variables that may predict students SRL.

Practical implications

This paper seeks to support both students and faculty in how to draw on SRL in order to optimize students’ success in higher education.


The current research supports the identification of learning behaviours specific to branch campuses in a Middle-Eastern context.



Russell, D. and Warner, R. (2017), "Motivational intermediaries of self-regulation among university students", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 448-464.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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