Psychological Well-Being and Its Relationships with Active and Passive Procrastination

  •  Emily Anne Habelrih    
  •  Richard Edward Hicks    


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.

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