Psychological well-being and its relationships with active and passive procrastination

Emily Anne Habelrih, Richard E. Hicks

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Procrastination affects many people and impacts overall effectiveness of individuals and organisations. While
some studies have examined the correlates of procrastination in terms of impacts on well-being (including
depression and anxiety) and on performance, few studies have examined procrastination as a dichotomous
construct, with most seeing procrastination as unifactorial. One such study defining procrastination as
dichotomous was that of Chu and Choi (2005). The current study examines how psychological well-being is
related to the concepts of active procrastination and passive (traditional) procrastination. Active and passive
procrastination are related insignificantly to each other (we are not dealing with one dimension); but what would
be the relationships among psychological well-being, active procrastination and passive procrastination? The
different forms of procrastination may have different relationships to well-being and research is scarce; and
further, treatment processes for avoiding the negative effects of procrastination should be tailored to the different
forms of procrastination. It was hypothesised that psychological well-being would be related positively to active
procrastination and negatively to passive procrastination. To answer this question, 152 university students aged
between 18 and 54, mean age of 23.3 (SD = 18) completed the Active Procrastination Scale, the Passive
Procrastination Scale, and Ryff’s Scales of Psychological Well-Being. Standard multiple regression was used,
linking psychological well-being, age, gender, active and passive procrastination. The findings show active and
passive procrastination are in fact separate constructs and need to be treated differently. Being an active
procrastinator can be a sign of healthy well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Psychological Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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