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Kelsey Lucca, David Gire, Rachel Horton, and Jessica A. Sommerville

Persistence, the act of working steadfastly to overcome challenges and achieve goals, has long been an important area of inquiry for researchers across disciplines. Scholars from education have been interested in persistence because it is a powerful measure of classroom engagement and a robust

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Megan B. Shreffler, Adam R. Cocco, Regina G. Presley, and Chelsea C. Police

Student persistence is a critical issue in higher education. Banks and Dohy ( 2019 ) define persistence as an individual’s ability to remain enrolled (retention) or complete a degree at an institution of higher education. Low student persistence rates have the ability to impact higher education

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Column-editor : Leslee A. Fisher and Craig A. Wrisberg

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Molly Hayes Sauder, Michael Mudrick, and Jaime R. DeLuca

’s sport management academic experience, particularly in the context of perceived barriers and sources of support for persistence in the program. Review of the Literature Environment of the Sport Industry Although sport has been traditionally associated with men (e.g.,  Burton, 2015 ; Messner, 2004 ), the

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Thomas J. Martinek and Joseph B. Griffith III

The purpose of this study was to describe the effect of age on specific psychological and behavioral measures of learned-helpless and mastery-oriented students. The study consisted of two age groups, younger and older, of learned-helplessness and mastery-oriented students. Within each age group, learned-helpless and mastery-oriented students were compared in terms of attributional profiles and levels of task persistence during instruction. Students were asked to view videotapes of their performances, to describe how they thought they did on each task, and to give reasons for their performance. Responses were classified into four attributional categories: (a) ability, (b) effort, (c) task difficulty, and (d) environment or luck. Persistence was also determined by looking at the number of times students would attempt a task. Attributional profiles and task persistence associated with the leamed-helpless condition was more prevalent with the older group than with the younger group.

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Raffy Dotan

-decade-long string of publications, the first of which published in 1991 ( 4 ), the group has been raising awareness of the significance of allometric scaling with admirable evangelistic persistence. In their customarily well-written and referenced article, “Interpreting Aerobic Fitness in Youth: The

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Zan Gao, Leslie William Podlog, and Louis Harrison

The purpose of this study was to examine relationships among college students’ 2 × 2 goal orientations (mastery-approach [MAp], mastery-avoidance [MAv], performance-approach [PAp], performance-avoidance [PAv]), situational motivation (intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, external regulation and amotivation) and effort/persistence in physical activity classes. Participants (140 female, 109 male) completed a battery of questionnaires assessing the outcome variables at the last week of instruction. Regression analyses revealed that MAp and PAp emerged as positive predictors for intrinsic motivation whereas MAp was the only positive predictor for identified regulation. MAp was negatively related to amotivation (AM), while PAp and PAv were positively related to AM. In addition, MAp, PAp, intrinsic motivation, and identified regulation were significant positive predictors of effort/persistence.

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Jianmin Guan, Ping Xiang, Ron McBride, and April Bruene

This study examined the relationship between achievement goals and social goals and explored how students’ achievement goals and social goals might affect their reported persistence and effort expended toward physical education in high school settings. Participants were 544 students from two high schools in the southwest U.S. Multiple regression analysis revealed that social responsibility goals represented the greatest contributor to students’ expenditure of persistence and effort toward physical education. This was followed by mastery-approach goals, mastery-avoidance goals, and performance-approach goals. In addition, girls reported significantly higher values on both social-relationship goals and responsibility goals than did boys. Findings revealed that students had multiple goals for wanting to succeed in physical education; using both achievement goals and social goals when studying student motivation and achievement in high school physical education settings is recommend.

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Bulent Agbuga and Ping Xiang

Guided by the trichotomous achievement goal framework, the current study examined mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goals and their relations to self-reported persistence/effort among Turkish students in secondary physical education. Two hundred twenty-nine students in grades 8 and 11 completed questionnaires assessing their achievement goals and self-reported persistence/effort in secondary physical education. Results of this study revealed that 8th-graders scored significantly higher than 11th-graders on performance-approach goals and self-reported persistence/effort. Mastery goals and performance-approach goals emerged as significant positive predictors of students’ self-reported persistence/effort, but their predictive power varied by grade. Overall, results of this study provide empirical support for the trichotomous achievement goal framework in the context of secondary school physical education.

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Jeffrey Liew, Ping Xiang, Audrea Y. Johnson, and Oi-Man Kwok


Schools often include running in their physical education and health curriculum to increase physical activity and reduce childhood overweight. But having students run around may not be enough to sustain physical activity habits if motivational factors are not well understood. This study examined effortful persistence as a predictor of running.


Participants were 246 5th graders, and data on their demographic information, body mass index (BMI), effortful persistence, and time to complete a 1-mile run were collected across 4 years.


Between 5th to 8th grades, effortful persistence predicted time to complete a 1-mile run even when BMI was taken into account at every grade except for 7th grade. Rank-order stability was found in major variables across-time, but no across-time prediction was found for effortful persistence on a 1-mile run.


Lack of longitudinal predictions bodes well for interventions aimed at increasing physical activity, because children or youth with high BMIs or low effortful persistence are not destined for future underachievement on physically challenging activities. Given the stability of variables, interventions that target fostering self-regulatory efficacy or effortful persistence may be particularly important for getting children on trajectories toward healthy and sustained levels of physical activity.