Self-Regulation and Dimensions of Parenting Styles Predict Psychological Procrastination of Undergraduate Students

Article excerpt

Objective: Previous research has linked self regulation and parenting styles separately to academic procrastination. This article investigates the impact of the dimensions of parenting styles, behavioral self regulation and short term self regulation on procrastination of students.

Method: A sample of 249 adolescents (174 females and 75 male) aged 19 - 21 years completed measures of Parent as Social Context Questionnaire- Adolescent Report, Self-regulation Questionnaire (SRQ), Adolescent Self- Regulatory Inventory (ASRI) and Procrastination Tendency scale. Correlation coefficient indicted that in contrast to harsh or unsupportive parenting (rejection, chaos, and coercion), authoritative parenting (warmth, structure, and autonomy support) was inversely related with procrastination.

Results: The results of hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed a clear negative relationship between a students' short term self regulation, dimensions of parenting styles (structure and warmth) and procrastination consistent with the literature.

Conclusions: Surprisingly, in contrast to behavioral self regulation of Miler& Brown, short term self regulation was found to be negatively related to procrastination.

Keywords: Education, Educational psychology, Parenting, Self concept, Students

Iran J Psychiatry 2009; 4:147-154

The issue of procrastination is nowadays a common phenomenon among students particularly at college and university levels. For example, estimates indicate that 80%-95% of college students engage in procrastination (1, 2). Approximately 75% of college students consider themselves procrastinators (3) and almost 50% procrastinate consistently and problematically (4- 6). The least amount of procrastination is considerable with students reporting that procrastination typically occupies over one third of their daily activities, often enacted through sleeping, playing, or TV watching(7). These percentages appear to be on the rise (8). In addition to being endemic at college, procrastination is also prevalent in the general population, chronically affecting some 15%-20% of adults (9). However, the positive form of procrastination, as the subsequent historical analysis indicates, is secondary in usage.

A common form of academic procrastination among students is postponed until the last minute to turn in papers or to study for an examination (10). Solomon and Rothblum (6) defined procrastination as the acts of unnecessarily delaying a task until the point of some uneasiness. Ellis and Knaus (1) perceive procrastination as the desire to avoid an activity, the promise to get it late, and the use of excuse making to justify the delay and avoid blame. Thus, Procrastination comprise of the intentional delay of an intended course of action, in spite of an awareness of negative outcomes (11) and it often results in unsatisfactory performance (6,12). researchers who conducted studies on procrastination at universities, suggest that academic procrastination is related to lower levels of resourcefulness, self-denigration, selfregulation, academic self-efficacy, and self-esteem, and is also associated with higher levels of selfconscouiousness, self-handicapping, anxiety, depression, stress, and illness (13- 18).

Among all of the variables that have been investigated in relation to academic procrastination, self-regulation, self-efficacy, and self-esteem have received the most attention (19-23) with most studies showing significant inverse relationships with procrastination.

Much of the recent research views procrastination as a function of low levels of self-regulation (22, 11, 24).

Wolters (24) explored procrastination's relationship to self-regulated learning and found that metacognitive self-regulation was the second strongest predictor of procrastination after academic self-efficacy beliefs. In summary, there is a strong body of evidence that lower levels of self-regulating behaviors are related to higher levels of procrastination, and that self-regulation is one of the keys to understanding procrastination. …