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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2011 Mar;33(3):344-57. doi: 10.1080/13803395.2010.518597. Epub 2010 Nov 25.

Academic procrastination in college students: the role of self-reported executive function.

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Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY, USA.


Procrastination, or the intentional delay of due tasks, is a widespread phenomenon in college settings. Because procrastination can negatively impact learning, achievement, academic self-efficacy, and quality of life, research has sought to understand the factors that produce and maintain this troublesome behavior. Procrastination is increasingly viewed as involving failures in self-regulation and volition, processes commonly regarded as executive functions. The present study was the first to investigate subcomponents of self-reported executive functioning associated with academic procrastination in a demographically diverse sample of college students aged 30 years and below (n = 212). We included each of nine aspects of executive functioning in multiple regression models that also included various demographic and medical/psychiatric characteristics, estimated IQ, depression, anxiety, neuroticism, and conscientiousness. The executive function domains of initiation, plan/organize, inhibit, self-monitor, working memory, task monitor, and organization of materials were significant predictors of academic procrastination in addition to increased age and lower conscientiousness. Results enhance understanding of the neuropsychological correlates of procrastination and may lead to practical suggestions or interventions to reduce its harmful effects on students' academic performance and well-being.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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