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The cognitive antecedents of procrastination among secondary students Gorden, Lori J. 1987

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THE COGNITIVE ANTECEDENTS OF PROCRASTINATION AMONG SECONDARY STUDENTS by LORI J. GORDEN B.A., Simon Fraser University, 1979 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Counselling Psychology) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1987 (c)Lorr J, Gorden, 1987 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of C/MAJ5ELL/A/Q P5YCtfQLOQV The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date QcT>/5,/W7  DE-6G/8D i i ABSTRACT The purpose of t h i s study was to investigate the extent to which secondary students in the Arts and Sciences programme procrastinate on school work, the extent to which these students perceive procrastination as a problem which they would l i k e to change and the extent to which procrastination a f f e c t s academic achievement. The study also sought to discover differences in procrastination related to gender and grade. Furthermore, t h i s study assessed cognitions related to procrastination. Positive and negative self-statements were examined to determine whether high and low procrastinators endorse p a r t i c u l a r types of cognitive themes. The Procrastination Self-Statement Inventory was administered to 204 Arts and Sciences students from two secondary schools in a suburban/rural community in B r i t i s h Columbia. Part A of the inventory asked students to respond to 41 p o s i t i v e and negative self-statements. Part B asked students to respond to 12 questions about study habits and was used to determine a Procrastination Score for each student. Demographic data pertaining to gender, grade, age, academic achievement and future plans were also c o l l e c t e d . Data about the extent of procrastination among secondary students and the degree to which students see t h i s as a problem which they would l i k e to change were examined using descriptive s t a t i s t i c s . Inferential s t a t i s t i c s were i i i used to test eight hypotheses. Analyses of variance determined the s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t differences between the means of s p e c i f i e d groups on certain variables. The r e s u l t s of the study confirm that secondary students in the Arts and Sciences programme do procrastinate on academic tasks and do see t h i s as a problem that they would l i k e to change. Results also indicate that there are no s i g n i f i c a n t differences ln the extent of procrastination among males and females but that there are differences related to grade l e v e l . However, a trend ln procrastination related to length of time spent in school was not evident. Furthermore, the r e s u l t s confirm that procrastination has a negative impact on academic achievement. F i n a l l y , the r e s u l t s of the study suggest that low procrast1nators endorse p o s i t i v e seif-statements more than do high procrastinators and that high procrastinators endorse negative se1f-statements more than do low procrast1nators. The low procrast1nators in the sample endorsed the following subscales: F a c i l i t a t i v e Planfulness, Work F a c i l i t a t i v e Items and Perfectionism. High procrastinators endorsed these subscales: Negativiatic Intolerance, Immobilizing Mood, Low Seif-Competence, U n r e a l i s t i c Planning, Low Seif-Control, Risktaking and Low Self-Esteem. S i g n i f i c a n t gender e f f e c t s were found on the Risktaking subscale while s i g n i f i c a n t grade e f f e c t s were found on the Perfectionism subscale. iv CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT 1 i TABLE OF CONTENTS iv LIST OF TABLES vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENT x CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1 Statement of the Problem . . . . . 1 Def i n i t i o n of Key Terms . . . . . 3 Objectives of the Study . . . . . 4 Significance of the Study . . . . . 5 Limitations of the Study . . . . . 6 Overview of the Study . . . . . . 6 CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 8 Prevalence of Academic Procrastination . . 8 Parameters of Procrastination . . . . 12 Cognitive-Behavioural Theory and Treatment . 15 Related Behavioural Theories and Treatments of Procrastination . . . . . . . 22 Cognitive Antecedents of Procrastination . . 29 Hypotheses . . . . . . . . 42 V CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY 44 Sample Selection . . . . . . . 45 Procedure . . . . . . . . 48 Measurement Instrument . . . . . 51 Data Analysis . . . . . . . 61 Summary . . . . . . . . 67 CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS 68 Descriptive Analysis . . . . . . 68 Subscale C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . . . . . 70 Inferential Analyses . . . . . . 71 S t a t i s t i c a l Analyses of the Hypotheses . . 74 Summary . . . . . . . . 1 1 1 CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION . . . 115 Summary . . . . . . . . 1 1 5 Results and Discussion . . . . . 1 1 9 Limitations . . . . . . . . 129 Implications for Counselling and Recommendations 130 Conclusion . . . . . . . . 1 3 3 REFERENCES 134 APPENDIX A: STUDENT CONSENT INFORMATION . . . 1 4 0 APPENDIX B: DIRECTIONS TO PSSI 142 APPENDIX C: PROCRASTINATION SELF-STATEMENT INVENTORY 144 APPENDIX D: LETTERS OF PERMISSION TO CONDUCT STUDY 150 vi LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1 Procrastination Self-Statement Inventory Subscales . . . . . . 3.2 Subscales Added by the Investigator 3.3 Analysis of Variance: Procrastination Score by School and Age . . . . 4.1 Dis t r i b u t i o n of Subjects by Procrastination Scor*© • • • » • • * 4.2 Frequencies of Responses on Items 47, 48 and 54 . . . . . . 4.3 Subscale R e l i a b i l i t i e s , Means, Standard Deviations, Number of items, Highest/Lowest Scores and Standard Errors of Measurement 4.4 Means and Standard Deviations of Scores on Negative Items for Subjects in High and Low Procrastination Groups . . . . 4.5 Analysis of Variance: Negative Items by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade 4.6 Means and Standard Deviations of Scores on Positive Items for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . 4.7 Analysis of Variance: Po s i t i v e Items by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade 4.8 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale I Scores for Subjects ln Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . 4.9 Analysis of Variance: Subscale I -Ne g a t i v i s t i c Intolerance by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade . . . . 4.10 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale II Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . Page 52 59 63 69 70 72 74 76 75 78 79 81 80 v i i 4.11 Analysis of Variance: Subscale I I -Immobi1Izing Mood by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade . . . . . . 82 4.12 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale III Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . . 83 4.13 Analysis of Variance: Subscale III - Low Seif-Competence by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade . . . . . . 84 4.14 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale IV Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . . 83 4.15 Analysis of Variance: Subscale IV -U n r e a l i s t i c Planning by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade . . . . . 86 4.16 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale V Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . . 85 4.17 Analysis of Variance: Subscale V -F a c i l i t a t i v e Planfulness by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade . . . . . 87 4.18 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale VI Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . . 88 4.19 Analysis of Variance: Subscale VI - Low Self-Control by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade . . . . . . . 89 4.20 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale A Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . . 88 4.21 Analysis of Variance: Subscale A - H o s t i l i t y by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade . 91 4.22 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale B Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . . 90 4.23 Analysis of Variance: Subscale B - Risktaking by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade . 92 v i i i 4.24 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale C Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . . 93 4.25 Analysis of Variance: Subscale C - Fear of Success by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade . . . . . . . 94 4.26 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale D Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . . 93 4.27 Analysis of Variance: Subscale D -Perfectionism by Procrastination Group, Gender Grade . . . . . . . . 96 4.28 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale E Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . . 95 4.29 Analysis of Variance: Subscale E - Fear of F a i l u r e by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade . . . . . . . 97 4.30 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale F Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . . 98 4.31 Analysis of Variance: Subscale F - Low Self-Esteem by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade . . . . . . . 99 4.32 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale G Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . . 98 4.33 Analysis of Variance: Subscale G - Work F a c i l i t a t l v e Items by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade . . . . . . 1 0 1 4.34 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale B Scores for Male and Female Subjects . . 100 4.35 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale D Scores for Subjects in Grades 10, 11 and 12 . 102 4.36 Post Hoc Comparison of the Differences Among the Means of Grades 10, 11 and 12 Subjects on Subscale D . . . . . . 1 0 3 Ix 4.37 Interactions of Procrastination Group by Grade on the Low Self-Competence Subscale . 104 4.38 Interactions of Procrastination Group by Gender on the U n r e a l i s t i c Planning Subscale . 104 4.39 Interactions of Procrastination Group by Grade on the F a c i l i t a t l v e Planfulness Subscale 105 4.40 Interactions of Gender by Grade on the F a c i l i t a t l v e Planfulness Subscale . . . 105 4.41 Means and Standard Deviations of Procrastination Scores for Males and Females . 106 4.42 Analysis of Variance: Procrastination Score by Gender and Grade . . . . 1 0 7 4.43 Means and Standard Deviations of Procrastination Scores for Grades 10, 11 and 12 Subjects . . . . . . . 108 4.44 Post Hoc Comparison of the Differences Among the Means of Grades 10, 11 and 12 Subjects on Procrastination Score . . . 109 4.45 Means and Standard Deviations of Achievement Scores for Low and High Procrastination Groups . . . . . • . . . 1 1 0 4.46 Means and Standard Deviations of Achievement Scores for Males and Females . . . . 1 1 0 4.47 Analysis of Variance: Achievement by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade . . 112 X ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I wish to thank the members of my thesis committee, Dr. Stephen Marks, Dr. Donald A l l i s o n , and Dr. Richard Young for their assistance. I am sincerely grateful for the time and expertise which they have so kindly shared. Appreciation i s also due to my two colleagues, Chuck Spurgeon and Les Dukowski, for their helpful suggestions and support. F i n a l l y , I am thankful for the ongoing encouragement of my family, e s p e c i a l l y my husband, N e i l , and our children, Matthew and Jessica, who have patiently waited for me to complete t h i s thesis. 1 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Procrastination has been described as a psychopathology of everyday l i f e (Sablnl 8, S i l v e r , 1982). The act of needlessly postponing or avoiding a task i s a problem with which many Individuals are wei1-acquainted. Most of us can r e c a l l experiences when we struggled with procrastination; the humor that i s often triggered by the subject suggests our f a m i l i a r i t y with i t (Grecco, 1984). Despite the prevalence of procrastination, researchers have paid l i t t l e attention to t h i s phenomenon. Empirical research and l i t e r a t u r e dealing with the topic i s sparse and, therefore, our understanding of procrastination and i t s causes i s limited (Grecco, 1984). This study w i l l contribute to an understanding of procrastination by Investigating the extent and cognitive antecedents of academic procrastination among secondary school students. Statement of the Pro-Elem The problem of procrastination i s es p e c i a l l y acute in academic settings (Burka 8. Yuen, 1983). An estimate by E l l i s and Knaus (1977) that 95% of college level students procrastinate attests to i t s prevalence. The stress of 2. evaluation, the pressure of deadlines and the recurrent demands on students to complete d i f f i c u l t and tedious tasks fosters the tendency of students to procrastinate (Boyd & Grleger, 1982; Grecco, 1984). There i s evidence that procrastination has a negative impact on student functioning. Many students seek counselling assistance for depression and chronic anxiety related to procrastination (Boyd & Grleger, 1982; Burka & Yuen, 1983). Furthermore, procrastination weakens academic performance, r e s u l t i n g ln poor grades, course withdrawals and f a i l u r e s (Green, 1982; Rothblum, Solomon & Murakami, 1986). The available research on academic procrastination focuses exclusively on post-secondary students. Studies have not examined the procrast1nat1ve behaviour of high school students, even though It can be assumed that procrastination does occur among t h i s population. The extent to which secondary students procrastinate and to which t h i s behaviour accounts for detrimental academic performance i s unknown. Also not known are the a f f e c t i v e and cognitive components underlying the procrastination of t h i s group. Knowledge of these variables could be of s i g n i f i c a n t help in the development of e f f e c t i v e counselling interventions and programmes aimed at helping students overcome problematic procrastination. 3. In the l i t e r a t u r e , procrastination has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been treated as a problem of def i c i e n t study and time management s k i l l s (Burka & Yuen, 1982; Solomon & Rothblum, 1984). However, reasons for academic procrastination may extend beyond weaknesses In those s k i l l areas. Perfectionism, fear of f a i l u r e , fear of the consequences of success, depression and anxiety about evaluation are among the possible reasons for procrastination (Grecco, 1984; Solomon & Rothblum, 1984). These factors involve cognitive components such as expectancies, decisions and motivations (Grecco, 1984), which, according to cognitive-behavioural theory, can be accessed through an examination of covert self-statements or "Internal speech" (Kendall & Hoi Ion, 1981). An assessment of the cognitions of procrastinators w i l l contribute to an understanding of t h i s psychopathology and Its treatment. De f i n i t i o n of Kev Terms For the purposes of t h i s study, academic procrastination i s defined as the unnecessary postponement or avoidance of an academic task that one has decided to do and Is e n t i r e l y capable of doing, but does not do (Sabini & S i l v e r , 1982). This excludes forms of "legitimate delay" ( E l l i s 8. Knaus, 1977, p. 7) such as postponement due to " s k i l l deflclences, purposeful planning, f a l l i b l e memory, or 4. physical interference" (Grecco, 1984, p. 5). Procrastination i s not r a t i o n a l , reasonable, or even intentional behaviour; i t i s i r r a t i o n a l behaviour which i s sei f-decept i ve and sei f-sabotaging ( S i l v e r 8. Sabini, 1982), o Involving an experience of considerable anxiety or "subjective discomfort" for the individual (Solomon & Rothblum, 1984, p. 1). In t h i s study, procrastination i s operationally defined as a high score on the Procrastination Self-Rating Scale (Grecco, 1984). Objectives of the Study This study examines the following: 1. the seif-reported extent of the academic procrastination of secondary students enrolled in the Arts and Sciences programme; 2. the extent to which Arts and Sciences students experience academic procrastination as a problem and the extent to which students would l i k e to stop procrastinating on school tasks; 3. differences In the extent to which males and females In the Arts and Sciences programme procrastinate; 5. 4. differences in the extent to which Grades 10, i l and 12 students in the Arts and Sciences programme procrastinate to determine whether procrastination increases or decreases the longer one remains ln school; 5. the ef f e c t of procrastination on academic achievement; 6. the relationship of seif-statements to gender, grade and extent of procrastination. Significance of the Study Burka and Yuen (1982) suggest that procrastination i s a complex problem that can seldom be overcome through conventional study and time management approaches. Procrastination involves a f f e c t i v e and cognitive components, yet we know very l i t t l e about the way in which thoughts, feelings and b e l i e f s relate to the problem of chronic postponing (Grecco, 1984). These cognitions need to be more f u l l y understood so that treatment programmes can be developed which attend to the complex antecedents of procrast1nat1 on. Interventions which e f f e c t i v e l y treat procrastination could be c r i t i c a l for many students. High school students who plan to enroll in post-secondary educational programmes 6. should develop s t r a t e g i e s f o r overcoming p r o c r a s t i n a t i o n . Those s t r a t e g i e s c o u l d be a c q u i r e d and p r a c t i s e d d u r i n g the high school years, b e t t e r p r e p a r i n g students f o r the academic c h a l l e n g e s of post-secondary programmes. Knowledge about the nature and extent of p r o c r a s t i n a t i o n among high school s t u d e n t s c o u l d f a c i l i t a t e the development of e f f e c t i v e c o u n s e l l i n g programmes f o r t h i s group. L i m i t a t i o n s of the Study A l l s u b j e c t s in t h i s study were e n r o l l e d in the A r t s and S c i e n c e s programme in Grade 10, 11 or 12 i n two Western Canadian ru r a l / s u b u r b a n secondary s c h o o l s . R e s u l t s may not be g e n e r a l i z a b l e to other groups. Furthermore, t h i s study r e l i e s e n t i r e l y on s e l f - r e p o r t measures with no attempt to c o r r e l a t e r e s u l t s to behavioural measures. There may be l i m i t a t i o n s , t h e r e f o r e , which are inherent in s e l f - r e p o r t measures. Overview of the Study An i n t r o d u c t i o n to the study has been presented i n Chapter One. Chapter Two c o n t a i n s a review of the l i t e r a t u r e p r o v i d i n g a conceptual foundation f o r t h i s 7. research. The methodology i s stated in Chapter Three, followed by a presentation of the r e s u l t s and a discussion of the implications of the study in Chapters Four and Five. 8. CHAPTER TWO REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE The review of the l i t e r a t u r e i s organized around two areas of interest. The f i r s t section includes a discussion of the prevalence of academic procrastination, i t s parameters and the cognitive and behavioural theories and treatment of procrastination. The second section outlines eight cognitive antecedents of procrastination and provides the rationale for the self-statement inventory used ln t h i s study. The organization of the l i t e r a t u r e review i s s i m i l a r to that in Grecco's diss e r t a t i o n (1984). Grecco's general outline was followed because It i s the most appropriate format for organizing the cognitive-behavioural l i t e r a t u r e related to the topic of procrastination. Prevalence of Academic Procrastination No studies have measured the extent of procrastination among secondary students. The prevalence of the problem in academic settings i s evident, however, ln the research on college student populations. Ely and Hampton (1973) found that 33% of a sample of 75 freshmen enrolled in a self-paced Instructional programme procrastinated. Three studies 9. ( H i l l , H i l l , Chabot, 8. Barral 1 , 1978; Rothblum, Solomon, & Murakami, 1986; Solomon 8. Rothblum, 1984) used self-report measures on which college students rated their own perceived procrastination. In the Solomon et a l . sample of 295 undergraduates, 6% never procrastinated, 35% almost never procrastinated, 49% sometimes procrastinated, 9% nearly always procrastinated and 1% always procrastinated. In the H i l l et a l . sample of 500 college students, 12% seldom procrastinated, 38% occassional 1y procrastinated, 23% procrastinated half the time, 17% frequently procrastinated and 10% usually procrastinated. In the study by Rothblum et a l . , 40.6% of the sample of 379 students reported nearly always or always procrastinating on academic tasks. These studies suggest that procrastination i s a widespread phenomenon that a f f e c t s nearly a l l college students some of the time, and i s an acute problem for between 10% to 40% of that population. Studies indicate c o n f l i c t i n g evidence regarding differences In the extent to which males and females procrastinate. In the Rothblum et a l . study (1986), 31.6% of the males and 44.8% of the females met c r i t e r i a for high levels of procrastination, although t h i s difference was not s i g n i f i c a n t . However, in the Grecco study, there were s i g n i f i c a n t differences in procrastination based on gender. Males, in that study, scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on procrastination than did females (Grecco, 1984). 10. Furthermore, there Is some evidence of differences in the cognitive antecedents endorsed by males and females. In the Rothblum, Solomon and Murakami study (1986), females scored higher on test anxiety items and lower on se l f - c o n t r o l items than did males. Furthermore, Grecco (1984) c i t e s an unpublished study by Rothblum and Solomon (1983) in which males endorsed Items related to r e b e l l i o n to authority and risk- t a k i n g , while females endorsed evaluation anxiety and perfectionism items. From student reports, i t appears that the tendency to procrastinate Increases the longer they remain in school so that college seniors procrastinate more than do college freshmen (Solomon & Rothblum, 1984). In one study, 60% of the freshmen reported that they seldom procrastinate, while 57% of the sophomores, 46% of the Juniors and 43% of seniors reported that they seldom procrastinate ( H i l l et a l . , 1978). Studies r e l a t i n g procrastination and academic achievement reveal c o n f l i c t i n g evidence. The H i l l et a l . (1978) study shows only a s l i g h t relationship between grade point average and procrastination, whereas the study by Rothblum et a l . (1986) indicates a s i g n i f i c a n t negative c o r r e l a t i o n , suggesting that procrastination i s related to poor academic achievement. The l a t t e r i s corroberated in a study by Green (1982) which found procrastination to be one of the main causes for student f a i l u r e and dropout. It i s 11. possible that in cases where achievement i s not adversely affected by procrastination, students are s k i l l e d at making e f f e c t i v e last minute e f f o r t s (Beery, 1975). This would help to explain the Inconsistent evidence. Only two studies measured the extent to which college students experience academic procrastination as problematic. Solomon and Rothblum (1984) reported that procrastination was experienced as problematic for 23.7% of the students in writ i n g a term paper, 21.2% In studying for exams and 23.7% in doing weekly readings. In the Rothblum, Solomon and Murakami study (1986), 40.6% of the students reported always or nearly always experiencing anxiety while procrastinating. Regarding the degree to which students would l i k e to change thei r behaviour, 65% stated they wanted to reduce procrastination when writing papers, 62% when studying for exams and 55.1% when doing weekly readings (Solomon & Rothblum, 1984). Boyd and Grieger (1982) point out that procrastination i s very frequently the presenting issue for student c l i e n t s in college counselling centers. This would support the suggestion that students want to change their procrastination behaviour and a c t i v e l y seek assistance in doing so. 12. Parameters of Procrastination Procrastination Is s i m i l a r to other psychological constructs, such as as anxiety and depression, in that i t i s experienced, to some extent, by most people (Grecco, 1984). Many of us engage ln "discomfort dodging" (Knaus, 1982) from time to time, postponing unpleasant but important tasks while reassuring ourselves that we w i l l soon begin our work. According to Knaus (1982), t h i s periodic procrastination f a l l s within the parameters of normal functioning. However, when the problem becomes habitual in that i t i s highly practised and resistant to change, then i t may be symptomatic of mild to severe forms of psychological disturbance (Knaus, 1982). Grecco (1984) points out that although procrastination i s linked to many neurotic disorders, i t d i f f e r s from most neuroses in that conscious control Is exercised. Even though one may feel that one lacks control over the problem and i t s consequences, the procrastinator does make a "choice" about whether to act or to postpone. As a result of the decision to delay, there i s some concomitant negative a f f e c t , such as g u i l t , anxiety or depression. Knaus (1982) states that "procrastination can be r e l a t i v e , variable, s i t u a t i o n a l , multlfaceted, or multidimensional" (p. 174). An individual who 13. procrastinates In one s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n may be highly e f f i c i e n t in some other equally s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n . Like anxiety or depression, procrastination varies at any given time in i t s expression and degree. Multidimensionallty r e f e r s to the interaction of cognitive, a f f e c t i v e and behavioural components r e s u l t i n g in procrastination, and points to the complexity of the problem. These interactive e f f e c t s are noted by E l l i s and Knaus (1977): Procrastination has a clear-cut element of disturbance: It consists of an emotional problem and has d i s t i n c t l y s e l f - d e f e a t in g aspects. It stems from i r r a t i o n a l choices. It includes a degree of compulsiveness. It brings poor and i n e f f i c i e n t r e s u l t s . And...(it) evolves as a pernicious hablt...(that) develop(s) into a vicious cycle...1eading to self-damnatIon which leads to more procrastination. (p.8) S i l v e r and Sablni argue that whenever postponing or "putting o f f " has a rational basis then It i s not, by d e f i n i t i o n , procrastination. Procrastination, according to these authors, i s inherently Irrational in that i t involves "recognizing what ought to be done and then doing something else" (1981, p. 218): Only agents capable of recognizing what they ought to do are capable of procrastination. It i s an i r r a t i o n a l i t y p a r a s i t i c on r a t i o n a l i t y . (Sablni & S i l v e r , 1982, p. 130) The authors outline four aspects of procrastination which underscore the i r r a t i o n a l i t y of the behaviour. 1. One meets a less Important obligation In order to 14. avoid a more important obligation. For example, instead of wr i t i n g a term paper, one does housework. By treating the accomplishments as equal and interchangeable, the Individual behaves in an i r r a t i o n a l manner. 2. One makes rational c a l c u l a t i o n s within an i r r a t i o n a l time frame. For example, a decision to watch t e l e v i s i o n "for Just f i v e minutes" i s r a t i o n a l , but when the decision i s repeated u n t i l there i s no time l e f t , then the behaviour i s self-defeating and i r r a t i o n a l . 3. One with a "fixed Intention" to accomplish a task, exhibits "wavering motivation" ( S i l v e r & Sabini, 1981, p. 218). Here the individual maintains a readiness to work, but becomes e a s i l y distracted thereby accomplishing l i t t l e . For example, bringing books on vacation with the intention of completing a paper and then forgoing leisure a c t i v i t i e s , dramatizes to the individual h i s commitment to work. However, because he i s di s t r a c t e d by Irrelevant t r i v i a , work i s not completed. His i r r a t i o n a l i t y l i e s in h i s maintenance of a readiness to work, or "procrastination f i e l d " , and h i s unwillingness to make a conscious decision to postpone work a c t i v i t i e s . 4. One has very high standards for accomplishment but lacks a plan which would f a c i l i t a t e t h i s achievement. Here, perfectionism and de f i c i e n t planning may result in perseveration, a behaviour which i s marked by obsessive involvement with less anxiety-producing aspects of the task. 15. Perseveration prevents involvement with those aspects which are necessary for task completion. For example, an individual may rewrite the introduction to a paper many times so as to create a "perfect" piece of work, but in so doing r e a l l y avoids the main task i t s e l f . This behaviour i s marked by i r r a t i o n a l i t y . Cognitive-Behavioural Theory and Treatment Cognitive-behavioural theory Is s p e c i f i c a l l y concerned with the Impact of cognitions on behaviour and emotion. Its therapeutic methods aim at modifying actions and feelings by changing i r r a t i o n a l b e l i e f s , dysfunctional thoughts or maladaptive internal speech. The major proponents of cognitive-behaviour theory are E l l i s and Beck whose theories and treatment of procrastination are summarized below. RatIonal-Emotive Therapy Rational-emotive therapy, developed primarily by Albert E l l i s (1970), assumes that i r r a t i o n a l thoughts, which stem from the b e l i e f system of an ind i v i d u a l , are at the root of most psychological disturbance. The central theory of RET i s stated in E l l i s ' A-B-C paradigm (1977) as follows: Point A re f e r s to the a c t i v a t i n g experience or external event that impinges on an i n d i v i d u a l . Point B r e f e r s to b e l i e f s , rational or I r r a t i o n a l , which give r i s e to a chain 16. of thoughts (self-statements or s e l f - v e r b a l i z a t i o n s ) r e s u l t i n g in emotional and behavioural consequences at Point C. The following example w i l l i l l u s t r a t e the A-B-C paradigm: the assignment of a term composition i s the a c t i v a t i n g event; the individual responds with these thoughts or self-statements: "I can't do t h i s paper. It's too much work and I ' l l probably f a i l anyway. I ' l l go out with my friends, instead"; the emotional and behavioural consequences are anxiety, depression and procrastination. B e l i e f s are sa i d to be rational i f they can be v e r i f i e d by empirical data, are appropriate to a given r e a l i t y , and result ln adaptive emotional and behavioural consequences that further the basic goals of the individual ( E l l i s , 1977; E l l i s & Knaus, 1977). B e l i e f s are i r r a t i o n a l i f they are empirically f a l s e , unsuitable to the r e a l i t y that i s occurring, and re s u l t in negative, s e i f - d e s t r u c t i v e or se l f - d e f e a t i n g emotional and behavioural consequences. Irrational b e l i e f s stimulate over-reactions, such as rage or anxiety, or under-reactions, such as i n e r t i a ( E l l i s & Knaus, 1977). E l l i s and Knaus (1977) have i d e n t i f i e d three i r r a t i o n a l b e l i e f s that lead to procrastination: a) self-downing, b) low f r u s t r a t i o n tolerance and c) h o s t i l i t y . Self-downing, or a b e l i e f in one's worth 1essness, stems from the 17. escalation to " a b s o l u t l s t i c , dogmatic, dire necessities" ( E l l i s 8. Knaus, 1977, p. 15) the desire to perform tasks adequately or to atta i n the love or approval of others. When those desires that one assumes "should", "ought" or "must" be attained are not r e a l i z e d , the result i s a "putting down of oneself", which in turn leads to depression, anxiety, hopelessness and procrastination. E l l i s and Knaus (1977) I l l u s t r a t e the e f f e c t s of self-downing: Your a b s o l u t l s t i c demand (rather than your r e l a t i v i s t i c desire) to do well at almost anything, then, may impel you to avoid doing that thing on time or to f i n d an excuse for never doing i t at a l l . This demand, and the anxiety to which i t almost inevitably leads, w i l l sap your energies, take away your incentive for f i n i s h i n g important tasks, focus your attention on others' opinions rather than on the value of active p a r t i c i p a t i o n in a project, convince you that no good reason e x i s t s for doing many things, minimize your Joy In ac t i v e l y doing something, sidetrack you from gaining s k i l l and ease at performance; and In many other ways sabotage your buckling down to do things, (p. 16) Low f r u s t r a t i o n tolerance, the second direct cause of procrastination ( E l l i s 8, Knaus, 1977), Involves the hedonist Insistence that l i f e ought to be easy and that one's wants ought to be g r a t i f i e d immediately. The individual refuses to suffer short-term discomforts or unpleasantries, despite long term benefits, and so procrastinates. For example, an Individual might postpone studying to avoid the stress and tedium associated with t h i s task and, despite the long-term gains that accompany academic success, Insist on the short-term pleasures that an evening of s o c i a l i z i n g would aval 1. 18. E l l i s and Knaus (1977) identif y h o s t i l i t y as the t h i r d Irrational b e l i e f that precedes procrastination. Feelings of h o s t i l i t y , anger, resentment or rage are generated when u n r e a l i s t i c expectations about how one ought to be treated by others are viol a t e d . Given the b e l i e f that the world in general, and people in p a r t i c u l a r , ought to be f a i r and treat you well, then, i f they don't, you won't try -you'll show them by procrastinating. (Rorer, 1983, p. 2) According to E l l i s and Knaus (1977), self-downing and low f r u s t r a t i o n tolerance are more prevalent causes of procrastination than h o s t i l i t y . The goal of rational-emotive therapy i s to change the c l i e n t ' s procrastination behaviour and negative emotions by d i r e c t l y disputing h i s i r r a t i o n a l b e l i e f s . The task of the therapist i s to a s s i s t the c l i e n t in the examination and a l t e r a t i o n of those b e l i e f s through dir e c t instruction, verbal persuasion, p o s i t i v e and negative feedback, modeling, cognitive rehearsal, and performance assignments (Mahoney & Arnkuff, 1978). Cognitive Theory Cognitive theory, an approach developed by Aaron Beck, i s s i m i l a r to rational-emot1ve therapy in that i t emphasizes the role of aberrant cognitions in the development of psychological disorders. Each Individual evaluates h i s experiences and regulates h i s behaviour according to a set of fundamental b e l i e f s , or program of rules, operating outside of the awareness of the person. These rules give r i s e to s e l f - v e r b a l i z a t i o n s and visual images c a l l e d automatic thoughts. Rules that are absolute or too arbitrary may stimulate faulty or dysfunctional thoughts, which in turn generate negative emotions and maladaptive behaviour (Beck, 1976). Individuals with psychological disorders t y p i c a l l y exhibit errors in thinking c a l l e d "cognitive d i s t o r t i o n s " . These d i s t o r t i o n s include personalization, polarized thinking, s e l e c t i v e abstraction, a r b i t r a r y inference and overgenerallzatlon (Beck, 1976). Personalization i s the incorrect r e f e r r a l of external events to oneself. For example, one may see oneself as the cause of a negative event for which one was not responsible. Personalization also r e f e r s to s i t u a t i o n s In which individuals compare themselves with others. "A student, hearing that another student has won a p r i z e , thinks, 'I must be dumb or I would have won the prize.'" (Beck, 1976, p. 92). Polarized, or "all-or-nothing", thinking (Burns, 1980a) refer s to the tendency to evaluate oneself In extremes. 20. This d i s t o r t i o n forms the basis for perfectionism, and self-downing ( E l l i s & Knaus, 1977), which lead to procrast i nat i on. Selective abstraction, or mental f i l t e r i n g (Burns, 1980a), i s the tendency to focus on negative d e t a i l s out of context. For example, a student becomes depressed as she dwells on her exam errors but she ignores or forgets the fact that the majority of her answers were correct. Arbitrary Inference r e f e r s to the tendency to Jump to conclusions or make negative interpretations which lack supporting evidence. A student may avoid a p a r t i c u l a r assignment because he assumes, without cause, that f a i l u r e i s inevitable. Overgeneralization i s an u n j u s t i f i e d generalization based on a single experience. For example, a student may conclude that he i s complete f a i l u r e due to one poor mark. This i s r e l a t e d to personal l a b e l l i n g whereby an individual casts himself as a " f a i l u r e " or as "lazy". Overgeneralization and l a b e l l i n g , as can the other cognitive d i s t o r t i o n s , lead to procrastination. David Burns, an associate of Aaron Beck's, formulates procrastination as an aspect of depression and the "Lethargy Cycle": 21 . Seif-defeating thoughts: There's no point in doing anything...I'11 probably f a i l i f I try. Things are too d i f f i c u l t . I don't feel l i k e doing anything, so I don't have to... Self-defeating emotions: You feel t i r e d , bored, apathetic, seif-hating...helpless... Self-defeating actions: ...You avoid people, work, and a l l p o t e n t i a l l y s a t i s f y i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Consequences...: ...Your decreased productivity con-vinces you that you actually are Inadequate... (Burns, 1980a, p.80) Burns (1980a) outlines 13 mind-sets associated with procrastination, or "do-nothingism". They are: hopelessness, helplessness, overwhelming yourself, Jumping to conclusions, s e i f - l a b e l i n g , undervaluing the rewards, perfectionism, fear of f a i l u r e , fear of success, fear of c r i t i c i s m or disapproval, coercion and resentment, low-frustration tolerance, g u i l t and self-blame. As in rational-emotive therapy, the goals of cognitive therapy are to help the c l i e n t become aware of errors in thinking, recognize the negative impact of those thoughts, and substitute the maladaptive thoughts with more objective and adaptive thinking patterns. There are differences, however, between rational-emotive and cognitive therapy having to do with therapeutic s t y l e . E l l i s ' approach i s d i d a c t i c and confrontational ln that he overtly disputes the c l i e n t ' s i r r a t i o n a l thoughts. Beck, in contrast, stresses a collaborative approach between therapist and c l i e n t wherein the l a t t e r discovers for himself the inaccuracy of h i s thoughts (Mahoney & Arnkoff, 1978). Burns, for example, 22. asks procrastInators to keep a Dally Record of Dysfunctional Thoughts aimed at exposing inaccurate cognitions (Burns, 1980a). Furthermore, c l i e n t s are encouraged to test the v a l i d i t y of personal hypotheses through active behavioural performance. To t h i s end, Burns recommends 14 s e l f - a c t 1 vat ion exercises for procrastinators, a l l of which mobilize the c l i e n t and target d i s t o r t i o n s In thinking processes. Related Behavioural Theories and Treatments of Procrastination A t t r l b M t l p n Theory A t t r i b u t i o n theory i s concerned with the way in which Individuals ascribe causes for the actions of themselves and others (Antakl, 1982). It Is also concerned with the e f f e c t of a t t r i b u t i o n s on future cognitions, emotions and behav1 our. The early a t t r i b u t i o n theory of F r i t z Heider (1958) suggested that people explain behaviour by a t t r i b u t i n g either Internal (personal) or external (environmental) causes. This formulation was later extended by Welner to a mode] of achievement motivation (1982). Welner argued that the motivation of an Individual Is Influenced by h i s perception of the causes of past successes and f a i l u r e s (Antakl, 1982). 23. These a t t r i b u t i o n s t y p i c a l l y f a l l into four categories: 1. a b i l i t y , 2. e f f o r t , 3. task d i f f i c u l t y and 4. chance or luck. These elements may be c l a s s i f i e d along two dimensions: internal-external and stable-unstable. The f i r s t dimension, Internal-external, pertains to locus of control. A b i l i t y and e f f o r t both refer to q u a l i t i e s possessed by the Individual, and are therefore internal and under one's contr o l . Task d i f f i c u l t y and chance are external factors, however, which are not under the control of the i n d i v i d u a l . The second dimension, stable-unstable, r e l a t e s to the s t a b i l i t y of the four components influencing achievement. A b i l i t y and task d i f f i c u l t y are stable because they do not change over time; luck and e f f o r t , however, are unstable because they are subject to change (Covington & Beery, 1976). These dimensions Influence the individual's cognitive, a f f e c t i v e and behavioural reactions. An a t t r i b u t i o n of success to internal causes, such as a b i l i t y , w i l l l i k e l y enhance self-confidence and promote further achievement whereas an a t t r i b u t i o n of success to external causes, such as luck, w i l l have a n e g l i g i b l e impact on future performance. Likewise, an individual who a t t r i b u t e s f a i l u r e to Internal and stable factors, such as a b i l i t y , w i l l despair of ever doing better. Indeed, research indicates that Individuals who are depressed, test-anxious, 24. socially-anxious, low in self-esteem or low in achievement-motivation t y p i c a l l y make such a t t r i b u t i o n s (Grecco, 1984). However, individuals who attribute f a i l u r e to internal but unstable causes, such as lack of e f f o r t , w i l l maintain hope for future successful performance (Burka & Yuen, 1983). It i s in t h i s way that procrastination can be seen as a strategy which protects self-esteem and defends against the experience of f a i l u r e and concomitant depression. (Procrastination) does ensure that a b i l i t y i s never completely tested. If students, after putting off e f f o r t u n t i l the last minute, f i n a l l y perform at a "mediocre" l e v e l , they can always say i t was a last-minute job, c e r t a i n l y not representative of their true c a p a b i l i t i e s . And, on the other hand, i f they do very well, i t enhances their sense of a b i l i t y . (Beery, 1975, p. 201) Procrastination allows individuals to take comfort in the b e l i e f that their performance does not accurately r e f l e c t their a b i l i t y . In a society which equates performance with a b i l i t y , and both with self-worth, many individuals f i n d the at t r i b u t i o n of f a i l u r e to a b i l i t y to be very threatening (Beery, 1975). According to Beery, procrastination breaks the performance equals a b i l i t y equation because a complete e f f o r t has not been made. Thus, one's sense of self-worth can be preserved. Besides protecting self-esteem, procrastination strengthens motivation for future work. Bandura theorized 25. that expectations of personal e f f i c a c y influence motivation, e f f o r t and persistence. At t r i b u t i o n of f a i l u r e to lack of e f f o r t r e s u l t s in the sustaining of hope and in the enhancement of e f f i c a c y expectations, whereas "strong e f f o r t that produces f a i l u r e weakens e f f i c a c y expectations, thereby reducing motivation to perform the a c t i v i t y " (Bandura, 1977, p. 162). Behavioural Self-Control Theory The aim of behavioural s e l f - c o n t r o l i s to provide c l i e n t s strategies for modifying t h e i r own behaviour. This approach u t i l i z e s the operant techniques of stimulus control and contingency reinforcement, along with the cognitive techniques of self-mon1 toring and self-evaluatlon. The c l i e n t i s trained to use these approaches to control h i s or her own responses (Mahoney 8. Arnkoff, 1978). Stimulus control i s a technique which r e l i e s on cues in the environment. The frequency of a behaviour, such as studying, i s reinforced in the presence of certain s t i m u l i . In the study s k i l l s and procrastination research incorporating t h i s procedure, subjects have been instructed to e s t a b l i s h a set time and place to study, to remove a l l d i s t r a c t i o n s from the area, to do a l l studying at that place and to avoid doing anything else there (Beneke & Harris, 26. 1972; Harris 8. Ream, 1972; Harris 8, T r u j i l l o , 1975; Lopez & Wambach, 1982; Richards, 1975; Ziesat, Rosenthal, & White, 1978). Several self-help and popular psychology books make sim i l a r suggestions for dealing with procrastination ( B l i s s , 1983; E l l i s & Knaus, 1977; Morris 8, Charney, 1983). The basic intent i s to increase stimuli associated with adaptive behaviour (studying) and to reduce stimuli associated with undesirable responses (procrastination). Evidence regarding the effectiveness of stimulus control i s somewhat c o n f l i c t i n g . A number of studies which found stimulus control to be e f f e c t i v e have used t h i s procedure ln combined treatment formats and therefore i t i s d i f f i c u l t to determine which technique produced the r e s u l t s (Beneke 8. Harris, 1972; Harris 8. Ream, 1972; Harris & T r u j i l l o , 1975; Lopez 8. Wambach, 1982; Ziesat, Rosenthal, 8. White, 1978). In a study by C. Steven Richards (1975), i t was found that stimulus-control for studying was not as ef f e c t i v e as other approaches. Contingency reinforcement techniques involve seif-administered rewards or punishments subsequent to certain responses. Self-reward, used to Increase the frequency of an a c t i v i t y , i s contingent on the occurrence of some desired response, such as studying. Individuals are asked to l i s t f a v o r i t e leisure a c t i v i t i e s , such as watching t e l e v i s i o n , reading favorite books, shopping or playing 27. sports and to engage in one of these a c t i v i t i e s following task completion (Beneke 8, Harris, 1972; Green, 1982; Greiner 8. Karoly, 1976; Ziesat, Rosenthal, 8. White, 1978). Self-reward i s a technique recommended often in the popular psychology and time management l i t e r a t u r e ( B l i s s , 1983; Burka 8, Yuen, 1983? E l l i s 8. Knaus, 1977; Knaus, 1979; Mackenzie 8. Waldo, 1981; Morris 8. Charney, 1983; Porat, 1980; Scott, 1980). Evidence on the effectiveness of self-reward in Improving academic behaviours i s not consistent. Greiner and Karoly (1976) found self-reward did not enhance the effectiveness of study s k i l l s advice, whereas two studies (Green, 1982; Ziesat et a l . , 1978) found that self-reward was e f f e c t i v e in increasing studying. Self-punishment i s a technique in which aversive stimulus i s self-administered (or a po s i t i v e stimulus i s self-removed) subsequent to the occurrence of an undeslred response (Mahoney 8c Arnkoff, 1978). In the l i t e r a t u r e , punishments for procrastination behaviour include: 1) denying yourself something you desire (Beneke & Harris, 1972; Knaus, 1979); 2) performing unpleasant chores (Beneke 8. Harris, 1972; E l l i s 8, Knaus, 1977); 3) f i n i n g yourself or sending money to an organization you abhor (Morris 8. Charney, 1983); 28. 4) wearing a rubber band on your wrist and snapping yourself with i t after procrastination begins (Knaus, 1979; Ziesat et a l . , 1978). Ziesat, Rosenthal and White (1978) found no evidence that seif-punishment reduced procrastination of studying. Seif-mon1 toring i s a procedure by which an individual observes and records h i s or her own behaviour for the purpose of guiding future actions. Again, several authors recommend sei f-mon 1 tor ing approaches (Burka 8. Yuen, 1983; Burns, 1980a; E l l i s 8. Knaus, 1977; Knaus, 1979), although evidence regarding the effectiveness of t h i s technique in a l t e r i n g academic behaviour i s inconsistent. Studies have found that seif-monitoring alone does not improve study behaviour ( B r i s t o l 8, Sloane, 1974; Green, 1982; Greiner 8. Karoly, 1976; Ziesat, Rosenthal, 8, White, 1978). However, seif-monitoring combined with other techniques, such as study advice (Richards, McReynolds, Holt, 8. Sexton, 1976) and self-reward (Green, 1982) i s e f f e c t i v e in increasing academic behaviours. Two studies attempted to teach secondary school students techniques of s e l f - c o n t r o l of study behaviour. Methodological problems in the Harris and Ream (1972) study prevented clear Interpretation of the r e s u l t s . However, in the Harris and T r u j i l l o (1975) study, s e l f - c o n t r o l 29. procedures in a combined treatment format were found to be e f f e c t i v e in improving the study habits of junior secondary students. Cognitive Antecedents of Procrastination As t h i s study used Patrick Grecco's self-statement inventory (1984), the eight cognitive antecedents of procrastination which have been i d e n t i f i e d by Grecco as most frequently appearing in the l i t e r a t u r e , and which form the basis of the Inventory, are examined in t h i s section of the l i t e r a t u r e review. The eight areas of thinking associated with procrastination are perfectionism, fear of f a i l u r e , fear of success, r i s k taking, h o s t i l i t y , poor planning, depression and low f r u s t r a t i o n tolerance. Low self-esteem and anxiety relate to several areas of thinking and are dealt with throughout. P e r f e c t i o n i s m Perfectionism i s causally linked with procrastination throughout the l i t e r a t u r e (Burka & Yuen, 1983; E l l i s 8, Knaus, 1977; Knaus, 1979; Solomon 8. Rothblum, 1984). Burns defines a p e r f e c t i o n i s t as one who has set unattainable and 30. unreasonable standards for himself, s t r i v e s compulsively towards unreachable goals, and equates h i s sense of self-worth with h i s accomplishments (Burns, 1980b). This neurotic perfectionism i s to be distinqulshed from the healthy pursuit of excellence, referred to by Hamachek as normal perfectionism (Hamachek, 1978). Perfectionism i s revealed not so much ln outstanding achievement or "perfect behavior", as ln impossible standards and u n r e a l i s t i c attitudes, which hinder and i n h i b i t , rather than motivate, an individual (Burka & Yuen, 1983; E l l i s 8. Knaus, 1977). U n r e a l i s t i c standards set one up for disappointment and negative s e i f - a p p r a i s a l , which in turn foster anxiety, depression, and withdrawl from performance s i t u a t i o n s (Grecco, 1984). Burns (1980b) i d e n t i f i e s three errors in thinking common to p e r f e c t i o n i s t s : " a l l or nothing" thinking ( i . e . , "If I don't get an A, I'm a f a i l u r e " ) , overgeneralization ("Since I f a i l e d today, I ' l l always f a i l " ) and "should" statements ("I should always achieve the highest grade"). These cognitive d i s t o r t i o n s lead to ruminations that are non-productive and s e i f - c r i t i c a l (Burns, 1980b). Burka and Yuen (1983) identify six p e r f e c t i o n i s t b e l i e f s which are associated with procrastination. 1. "Mediocrity Breeds Contempt": the p e r f e c t i o n i s t believes that h i s or her everyday performance must match 31. that of h i s or her ideal s e l f , and when i t does not, he fe e l s mediocre. Comfort i s found in procrastination because the mediocre or average performance can be attributed to last-minute e f f o r t , rather than lack of a b i l i t y . 2. "Excellence Without E f f o r t " : the p e r f e c t i o n i s t believes that a l l tasks must be accomplished with ease. When confronted with d i f f i c u l t tasks, disappointment at having to put forth e f f o r t , leads to avoidance or delay. 3. "Going It Alone": the p e r f e c t i o n i s t believes that i t i s a sign of weakness to delegate tasks or to seek assistance, and so, when work becomes overwhelming, s/he procrastinates Instead. 4. "There Is a Right Way": rather than r i s k making a wrong decision or choice, a p e r f e c t i o n i s t may endlessly postpone decision-making. 5. "I Can't Stand to Lose": p e r f e c t i o n i s t s may avoid a c t i v i t i e s that bring them into d i r e c t competition with others. 6. " A l l or Nothing": p e r f e c t i o n i s t s with t h i s attitude are not s a t i s f i e d with only a p a r t i a l achievement of t h e i r goals. They become discouraged when everything they set out to do i s not accomplished, when things do not turn out exactly as planned, when they perform well but not pe r f e c t l y , or when the recognition they feel they deserve i s not forthcoming. 32. In each case c i t e d above, procrastination serves a protective function in that i t allows an individual to J u s t i f y lowered performance expectations so that anxiety about performance i s assuaged and self-esteem i s not threatened. Fear of Fallure Fear of f a i l u r e i s c i t e d as a cause of procrastination by several authors (Beery, 1975; B l i s s , 1976, 1983; Burka 8, Yuen, 1983; Burns, 1980a; Knaus, 1979; Mackenzie 8. Waldo, 1981; Solomon 8, Rothblum, 1984). Although there i s a vast l i t e r a t u r e pertaining to fear of f a i l u r e , anxiety and achievement motivation that i s beyond the scope of t h i s study, aspects of the topic relevant to cognitive theory and procrastination are reviewed. Grecco (1984) defines fear of f a i l u r e as "a f e e l i n g of anxiety associated in certain persons with the tendency to avoid s i t u a t i o n s involving evaluation and the p o s s i b i l i t y of f a i l u r e " (p. 59). According to cognitive theory, fear represents a cognitive process or an ideation. Beck (1976) wrote: "The s p e c i f i c psychological process i s the awareness, recognition, a n t i c i p a t i o n that something undesirable may occur." (p. 137). Anxiety, however, i s an emotional state characterized by tension, nervousness, 33. shakiness and even feelings of terror (Beck, 1976). As anxiety i s an key component of both fear of f a i l u r e and i t s concomitant "paralysis of w i l l " (Beck, 1967), the d i s t i n c t i o n between fear and anxiety i s an Important one. Fear of f a i l u r e i s closely related to perfectionism. Individuals experience feelings of anxiety and depression when their p e r f e c t i o n i s t ideals are not achieved (Knaus, 1979). Failure Is not necessarily determined by an objective standard ( i . e . , a f a i l i n g grade on an exam) but rather i s a subjective c r i t e r i o n or an internalized standard which In some cases may be unreasonably high ( i . e . , a f i r s t c l a s s student can view a second c l a s s performance as a f a i l u r e ) (Beery, 1975). Fear of f a i l u r e i s linked to an individual's lack of self-confidence, or posit i v e self-evaluation (Grecco, 1984). When individuals view themselves as equal to a task, then they have self-confidence (Covington 8, Beery, 1976). However, an Individual may have high standards but i n s u f f i c i e n t confidence in h i s or her a b i l i t y . Their negative self-evaluation may result in negative emotional consequences, such as anxiety, g u i l t or sadness (Grecco, 1984). In t h i s s i t u a t i o n , anxiety and other negative emotions Interfere with f a c i l i t a t l v e thinking processes ( i . e . , problem solving thoughts) and task-relevant behavior (Grecco, 1984; Williams, 1982), r e s u l t i n g in task avoidance or procrastination. 34. Fear of f a i l u r e relates to two important concepts in the l i t e r a t u r e . The f i r s t i s Bandura's theory regarding "personal e f f i c a c y " (Bandura, 1977). Bandura argued that individuals w i l l be more l i k e l y to perform tasks when they are convinced that they w i l l be e f f e c t i v e . A negative sense of s e l f - e f f i c a c y w i l l r e s u l t in task-avoidance. The second important concept involves the impact of anxiety on performance. Williams (1982) discussed two types of cognitive responses during task performance: task-relevant and task-irrelevant reponses. Task-relevant responses are organizing s e l f - t a l k responses which are helpful to performance (e.g. I must try harder, I must concentrate, go more slowly, e t c . ) . Task-irrelevant responses are disorganizing s e l f - t a l k responses which are unhelpful to performance (e.g. I can't do t h i s task, e t c . ) . (p. 197) Williams pointed out that anxious individuals tend to respond to tasks with task-irrelevant s e l f - t a l k which interferes with task completion. Meichenbaum and h i s associates i d e n t i f i e d a sim i l a r pattern common to individuals who fear f a i l u r e and negative evaluation in s t r e s s f u l achievement s i t u a t i o n s . This pattern involves cognitions or self-statements that are task irr e l e v a n t , negative s e l f - r e f e r e n t , catastrophic, and s p i r a l i n g downward ( i . e . , negative cognitions result in negative emotions which in turn result in further negative cognitions) (Meichenbaum, Henshaw, & Himel, 1982). 35. Fear of f a i l u r e r e s u l t s in procrastination because negative cognitions and affect Inhibit task completion, and because the Individual seeks to avoid the adversive performance s i t u a t i o n . Fear of Success Fear of success has been c i t e d by several authors as a reason why individuals procrastinate (Burka & Yuen, 1983; Rorer, 1983; Solomon & Rothblum, 1984). Rorer (1983) points out that, In fact, i t i s the consequences of success that are feared. He i d e n t i f i e s examples of the way in which t h i s fear leads to procrastination. 1. An Individual may avoid success in one s i t u a t i o n because he fears being set up for greater f a i l u r e in some future s i t u a t i o n ( i . e . , "If I am too successful ln t h i s course, the teacher might want to assign me more d i f f i c u l t work. Then I wi11 f a l l , and show everyone how stupid I real 1y am.") 2. An individual procrastinates because he fears that success w i l l lead to a punishing s i t u a t i o n , ( i . e . , "If I am too successful in school, other students w i l l not l i k e me, I wi11 lose a l l my friends.") 3. An individual avoids dealing with important 36. personal issues by never f i n i s h i n g less important tasks ( i . e . , by not f i n i s h i n g studying, one never has to face one's unsatisfactory personal r e l a t i o n s h i p s ) . Therefore, success i s not attained so that important Issues can be avoided. In each case, procrastination protects the individual from concomitants of success perceived to be intolerable. Risk Taking Individuals may r a t i o n a l i z e t h e i r procrastination by claiming that they work best under pressure and so leave tasks u n t i l the "eleventh hour" quite intentionally ( E l l i s & Knaus, 1977). Scott (1980) suggests that people do require stimulation, and, for some, a last-minute rush can provide excitement. Solomon and Rothblum (1984) found that some students enjoyed the t h r i l l of f i n i s h i n g work Just before deadlines. The r i s k taking of some procrastinators has been described by Burka and Yuen (1983): Many procrastinators describe the t h r i l l of being on the brink of disaster. They feel elated when, by delaying, they take a s i t u a t i o n to i t s l i m i t s and emerge v i c t o r i o u s . As one procrastinator described, " I t ' s l i k e walking along a very narrow c l i f f and t r y i n g to see how close you can get to the edge before f a l l i n g o f f . (p. 48) By increasing the r i s k of f a i l i n g or doing poorly, procrastination allows some individuals to feel special when 37. they are able to be successful despite the obstacles of time (Burka 8. Yuen, 1983). Host 11itv Procrastination becomes an act of h o s t i l i t y when Individuals postpone tasks in order to r e t a l i a t e against others (Burka 8, Yuen, 1983). Burka and Yuen (1983) present cases wherein individuals who feel hurt, s l i g h t e d and betrayed by others fight back by delaying on important tasks. E l l i s and Knaus (1977) suggest that such individuals I r r a t i o n a l l y believe that others must always treat them well and so feel upset when t h i s i s not the case. "Procrastination becomes your means of i n f l i c t i n g some pain or discomfort on those who hurt you" (Burka & Yuen, 1983, p. 49). Cognitive theories downplay the psychodynamlc perspective which links procrastination and passive-aggression (Grecco, 1984). Although cognitive theori s t s do associate h o s t i l i t y with procrastination in some cases, i t Is not regarded as a prevalent cause. Procrastinating individuals simply do not feel p a r t i c u l a r l y angry...(and while) resentment can sometimes contribute to your lack of motivation, ( i t ) i s usually not central to the problem. (Burns, 1980a, p. 78) According to E l l i s and Knaus (1977), h o s t i l i t y may 38. merely be a j u s t i f i c a t i o n for one's procrastination in that one may choose to blame others rather than take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for delaying on tasks. Se1f-statements such as "The teacher i s out to get me" allow the procrastinator to a t t r i b u t e h i s or her poor performance to someone else. Poor Planning Grelner and Karoly (1976) define plans as follows: Plans can be viewed as a special c l a s s of d i f f e r e n t i a t e d intention statements, which specify not only a terminal goal for s e l f - c o n t r o l (e.g., to lose 20 pounds) but also the strategies for atta i n i n g that goal (e.g., exercise 15 minutes per day, eat only 1,000 c a l o r i e s ' worth of food per day), (p. 495) Procrast1nators sometimes have d i f f i c u l t i e s developing r e a l i s t i c plans (Grecco, 1984). The procrastInator may know what i t Is he hopes to achieve, but have no "recipe" to follow in order to attain h i s goal (Sabini & S i l v e r , 1982). Often the goals of procrastinators are vague or unreasonably grandiose (Jones, 1975), leading invariably to negative sei f - a p p r a i s a l (Burns, 1980b; Grecco, 1984). For example, a student may wish to achieve an outstanding grade on an assignment, but because s/he lacks a r e a l i s t i c plan by which to complete h i s or her task, i s set up for f a i l u r e , anxiety and negative seif-evaluation (Grecco, 1984). Procrastinators tend to be u n r e a l i s t i c about their goals because they often think ln terms of an ideal s i t u a t i o n , as i f there were no l i m i t a t i o n s on their time or energy. (Burka 8. Yuen, 1983, p. 134) 39. The l i t e r a t u r e , especially time management and s e l f - h e l p l i t e r a t u r e , i s r i f e with treatment approaches for overcoming the problem of poor planning. Suggestions for overcoming t h i s d e f i c i t Include defining long-term and short-term objectives and goals, specifying the steps by which to achieve those objectives and scheduling one's time (Burka & Yuen, 1983; Burns, 1980a; E l l i s 8. Knaus, 1977; Greiner 8. Karoly, 1976; Lakein, 1973; Porat, 1980? Scott, 1980). Depressjon Depression i s c i t e d as a cause of procrastination by several authors (Beck, 1967? Burns, 1980a? E l l i s 8. Knaus, 1977; Solomon 8. Rothblum, 1984). Grecco (1984) points out that the self-statements of procrastinators and depressed individuals are s i m i l a r in that they reveal "perfectionism, harsh self-standards, vulnerable self-esteem, motivational d e f i c i t s , u n r e a l i s t i c a t t r i b u t i o n a l s t y l e , task postponement (and) anxiety" (p. 64). Aaron Beck (1967) wrote that a loss of p o s i t i v e motivation and an i n a b i l i t y to self-mobilize are symptomatic of mild to severe forms of depression. (The depressed person) can define for himself what he should do, but does not experience any internal stimulus to do i t . Even when urged, cajoled, or threatened, he does not seem able to arouse any desire to do these things. (Beck, 1967, p. 26) 40. In cases of mild depression, an individual may procrastinate only on those things which do not bring immediate g r a t i f i c a t i o n , while in cases of moderate depression, he may lack motivation to perform basic everyday tasks. Individuals who are severely depressed may experience complete p a r a l y s i s of w i l l (Beck, 1967). According to cognitive theory, a depressed person's loss of motivation i s the result of i r r a t i o n a l b e l i e f s ( E l l i s 8, Knaus, 1977), or cognitive d i s t o r t i o n s , such as overgeneralization, p o l a r i z a t i o n , s e l e c t i v e abstraction, personalization and arbitrary inference (Beck, 1976). Perfectionism, and other errors in thinking c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of depressed individuals, lead to negativism, diminished self-esteem and hopelessness (Beck, 1967). Grecco (1984) i d e n t i f i e s seif-statements that reveal the negative outlook of depressed persons: "I'm no good, everything i s awful. I can't do anything right and probably never w i l l . A l l i s hopeless" (p. 65). Beck pointed out that as long as the depressed individual anticipates that any course of action w i l l result in a negative outcome, internal motivation i s quashed (Beck, 1967). Beck noted that depressed patients often attribute their I n a c t i v i t y , not to symptoms of a temporary i l l n e s s , but rather to fixed, ingrained personality t r a i t s (Beck, 41. 1967). This observation supports Seligman's a t t r i b u t i o n a l reformulation of the learned helplessness theory (Peterson & Seligman, 1980). Seligman posited that helplessness, lowered self-esteem and depression result when individuals a t t r i b u t e the cause of negative events to i n t e r n a l , stable and global (rather than external, unstable and s p e c i f i c ) factors (Peterson, 1982). Depressed individuals would tend to see decreased productivity as evidence of laziness, Inadequacy and worthlessness (Beck, 1967). When individuals a t t r i b u t e poor performance to unstable factors such as lack of e f f o r t , s e l f esteem Is protected, severe depression i s avoided and motivation i s enhanced (Covington & Beery, 1976). Therefore, although procrastination i s often a symptom of depression, It can also act to stave off depression, depending on the "a t t r i b u t i o n a l s t y l e " of the individual (Layden, 1982). Low Frustration Tolerance Low f r u s t r a t i o n tolerance, according to E l l i s and Knaus (1977), i s one of the main causes of procrastination. It describes an individual's i r r a t i o n a l and hedonistic b e l i e f that one should not have to expend e f f o r t nor wait for long term pay-offs, but should instead have a l l desires g r a t i f i e d Immediately. Students who exhibit a low f r u s t r a t i o n tolerance may be unwilling to postpone immediate wants 42. ( i . e . , for a social l i f e ) in order to achieve long term goals and distant rewards ( E l l i s 8, Knaus, 1977; Solomon 8. Rothblum, 1984). Summary These eight areas of thinking are not the only types of cognitions associated with problematic procrastination but they have been most frequently i d e n t i f i e d in the l i t e r a t u r e and, according to Grecco (1984), were readily translated into items on the Procrastination Self-Statement Inventory. Hypotheses The review of the l i t e r a t u r e gives r i s e to the following hypotheses. Given the Procrastination Self-Statement Inventory (PSSI), 1. High procrast1nators w i l l endorse negative self-statements more than w i l l low procrast i nators. 2. Low procrastinators w i l l endorse p o s i t i v e s e l f -statements more than w i l l high procrastInators. 3. High procrastInators w i l l endorse negative se1f-statement subscales more than w i l l low procrastinators and low procrastinators w i l l endorse p o s i t i v e self-statement subscales 43. more than w i l l high p r o c r a s t i n a t o r s . 4. There w i l l be no gender d i f f e r e n c e s ln the endorsement of s e l f - s t a t e m e n t s u b s c a l e s . 5 . There w i l l be no grade l e v e l d i f f e r e n c e s ln the endorsement of s e i f - s t a t e m e n t s u b s c a l e s . 6. There w i l l be no d i f f e r e n c e l n the extent to which males and females p r o c r a s t i n a t e . 7. There w i l l be d i f f e r e n c e s i n the extent to which Grade 10, 11, and 12 s t u d e n t s p r o c r a s t i n a t e . 8. P r o c r a s t i n a t i o n w i l l have a negative e f f e c t on academic achievement. 44. CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY The research on academic procrastination focuses exclusively on post-secondary students. The purpose of t h i s study was to investigate seif-reported academic procrastination among secondary students in the Arts and Sciences programme to determine the extent to which these students put off doing school assignments and the extent to which students experience procrastination as a problem and would l i k e to change their behaviour. The effect of gender and grade on procrastination and the effect of procrastination on academic achievement were also examined. This study also assessed cognitions associated with problematic procrastination. An inventory containing 41 items representing seif-statements which either f a c i l i t a t e or i n h i b i t work behavior was administered to the students. Knowledge of what secondary students t y p i c a l l y say to themselves that interferes with completion of school assignments, or what they do not say that could f a c i l i t a t e e f f i c i e n t and timely work completion, could be s i g n i f i c a n t ln the development of counselling interventions aimed at helping students overcome problematic academic procrastination. 45. In t h i s chapter, a description of the sample sel e c t i o n , procedures, measurement instrument, null hypotheses, and data analysis are presented. Sample Selection Description of the Population The sample employed in the study was selected from two schools, H.D. Stafford Junior Secondary and Aldergrove Secondary, in School D i s t r i c t 35, Langley, B r i t i s h Columbia. Langley i s a suburban-rural community located approximately 50 km. from Vancouver, B.C. A wide range of socio-economic leve l s i s represented in t h i s area. Residents own or are employed in local businesses or commute to blue - c o l l a r or white-collar Jobs in Vancouver. Some residents, s p e c i f i c a l l y of Aldergrove, work on the nearby Department of National Defense base and there are s t i l l a few families in that part of Langley for whom farming Is a primary or secondary source of income. The sample of 204 students was drawn from H.D. Stafford Junior Secondary and Aldergrove Secondary schools because the students at these schools represented a range of socio-economic backgrounds and because the p r i n c i p a l s of both schools were amenable to the study being conducted at their schools. Although the investigator i s employed as a counsellor at one of the schools, she had not taught any of 46. the students involved in the study. The sample was drawn from a Grade 10, 11 and 12 population in the Arts and Sciences (academic or pre-university) programme. Arts and Sciences students were selected for t h i s study for three reasons. F i r s t , i t was assumed that students with severe and long-term learning d i f f i c u l t i e s are t y p i c a l l y not advised to pursue the academically rigorous pre-univers!ty stream. Therefore, academic problems for the Arts and Sciences group would more l i k e l y be re l a t e d to study habits than to other d e f i c i t s . Second, the academic tasks of t h i s programme are si m i l a r In kind to those at the college and university level and are typical of demands which foster procrastination (Grecco, 1984). Third, i t was assumed that students in the Arts and Sciences programme, by th e i r s election of courses which lead to further education rather than dir e c t entry into the job market, have indicated some level of commitment to academic studies, and therefore should understand the significance of good study and time management s k i l l s . These students are l i k e l y to have some cognizance of th e i r own study habits and any tendencies to procrastinate on academic tasks. Description of the Sample Of the sample of 204 subjects used in t h i s study, 156 were enrolled at Aldergrove Secondary while 48 were enrolled 47. at H.D. Stafford Junior Secondary. Three students at Aldergrove Secondary were not included in the sample as they refused to p a r t i c i p a t e in the study. Although the relationship between age and procrastination was not of p a r t i c u l a r interest in t h i s study, data regarding age were c o l l e c t e d . Students in the sample ranged from 15 to 19 years o l d . Forty (19.6%) of the students were 15 years old, 75 (36.8%) were 16 years old, 55 <27.0%) were 17 years old, 30 (14.7%) were 18 years old, and 4 (2.0%) were 19 years old. As there i s some evidence of gender differences in both procrastination (Grecco, 1984) and the cognitive antecedents endorsed by students (Rothblum, Solomon, & Murakami, 1986), gender differences were examined in t h i s study. From Aldergrove, there were 77 males and 79 females. From H.D. Stafford, there were 24 males and 24 females. Males employed in the study t o t a l l e d 101, while females t o t a l l e d 103. The research indicates that the tendency to procrastinate increases as students progress through college (Solomon & Rothblum, 1984). Differences in procrastination among the secondary grade lev e l s was of interest in t h i s study and so an adequate sample from Grades 10, 11 and 12 was sought. Of the 156 Aldergrove subjects, there were 43 Grade 10, 56 Grade 11 and 57 Grade 12 students. A l l 48 of 48. the H.D. Stafford students were enrolled in Grade 10. The focus of t h i s study was the academic procrastination of students in the Arts and Sciences programme. These students were drawn from French 10 and Algebra 11 and 12 classes, as both French and Algebra are requirements of t h i s programme. As the Arts and Sciences programme i s the academic or pre-unlversity stream, i t was anticipated that the majority of the students would be planning to attend college or university. In fact, of the sample of 204 students, 87 students (42.6%) planned to attend university and 88 students (43.1%) planned to attend college. Only 18 students (8.8%) expressed an intent to Join the workforce Immediately after graduation, while 11 students (5.4%) had plans other than stated above. Procedure The Procrastination Self-Statement Inventory (PSSI) was administered to the students in June, 1987 just p r i o r to f i n a l examinations. It was assumed that during t h i s period of heightened academic demands, the students would be aware of th e i r own thinking processes associated with getting started and completing school work. The test (PSSI) was d i s t r i b u t e d by the investigator to each Individual in class along with a statement advising subjects that p a r t i c i p a t i o n was voluntary, that the study 49. was not connected to their school and that they could stop at any time with absolutely no jeopardy to their course standing. Also, the statement informed the students that the test was anonymous, that t h e i r answers would be kept in s t r i c t confidence, and that only general r e s u l t s would be reported (See Appendix A for statement and Appendix C for quest ionnaire). Each individual received a copy of the dir e c t i o n s in which subjects were instructed to think back to a time when they had a school assignment (homework, studying, term paper, etc.) to do that they did not feel l i k e doing. They were asked to read a l i s t of 41 statements that people t y p i c a l l y make to themselves when faced with boring, d i f f i c u l t or unpleasant academic tasks, and to Indicate in the answer column how frequently they had si m i l a r thoughts while they were deciding whether or not to work. The five-point scaled response choice ranged from "hardly ever" to "very often". The f i v e responses corresponded to l e t t e r s A to E in the answer column and subjects simply c i r c l e d a le t t e r to Indicate their choice (See Appendix B). In addition to the 41 self-statements, subjects were asked to respond to fi v e items (items 42 through 46) from the Procrastination Log (Strong et a l . , 1979). Subjects again responded on a five-point scale which ranged from "hardly ever" to "very often". These items measured the extent of student procrastination (e.g., "I talk on the 50. phone or v i s i t with friends when I should be doing school work">. Five items (items 47 through 51) from the Procrastination Self-Rating Scale (Grecco, 1984) measured the extent to which students perceived procrastination as a problem. Two items (52 and 53) asked subjects to report on s p e c i f i c school work behavior ( i . e . , how close to the deadline their last major assignment was completed and how close to exam time they began to study). Item 54 was added to the questionnaire by the investigator. This item asked subjects to rate the extent to which they would l i k e to stop procrastinating on school work. On each item above, subjects responded on a five-point scale which was i n d i v i d u a l l y explained. Subjects c i r c l e d their choices ln the answer column. Items 55 through 59 provided descriptive information pertaining to the grade, age, sex, school achievement and future plans of the students. Students responded by c i r c l i n g appropriate answers ln the answer column. Report cards were available in the classroom so that students were able to v e r i f y l e t t e r grade averages for the school achievement i tern. Following d i s t r i b u t i o n of the questionnaire, the Investigator read a statement which outlined the purpose of the research. A statement pertaining to subject consent as 51. well as the d i r e c t i o n s to the questionnaire were also read to the subjects by the investigator (See Appendix A). The questionnaires required approximately 15 minutes to complete. The investigator c o l l e c t e d the questionnaires aft e r every student had finished. Measurement Instrument The Procrastination Self-Statement Inventory, developed by Patrick R. Grecco In 1984, examines cognitions related to academic procrastination and nonprocrastination. The questionnaire l i s t s p o s i t i v e and negative self-statements which have been shown, In Grecco's study, to d i f f e r e n t i a t e low from high academic procrastinators. The PSSI contains 24 items which r e f l e c t many of the antecedents associated with procrastination in the l i t e r a t u r e . Themes of depression, h o s t i l i t y , poor planning, low-frustration tolerance, low s e l f - c o n t r o l , low self-esteem and neuroticlsm are represented In 21 of the statements and are grouped into f i v e subscales as follows: Negative Intolerance, Immobilizing Mood, Low Self-Competence, U n r e a l i s t l c Planning, Low Self-Control. The s i x t h subscale, containing three pos i t i v e or work f a c i l i t a t l v e items, i s labeled F a c i l i t a t l v e Planfulness (see Table 3.1 for a complete l i s t i n g of subscale items). 52. Table 3.1 Procrastination Self-Statement Inventory Subscales Item Number Items Subscale I - N e g a t i v i s t i c Intolerance 3 I Just don't feel l i k e i t . 10 I r e a l l y can't stand a l l the work I have to do. 19 There's so much to do, I don't know where to begin. 22 I can't stand doing t h i s work. Subscale II - Immobilizing Mood 8 I don't have to be perfect about t h i s work. 11 I want to do well but I don't want to put so much e f f o r t into i t . 12 Others are probably doing better. 14 I ' l l be in a better mood l a t e r . 25 I ' l l wait u n t i l I'm more in the mood. 27 Since I won't get i t done now I might as well not begin. Subscale III - Low Seif-Competence 1 I ' l l probably f a l l i f I try. 2 I can't do t h i s work. 7 They're asking too much of me. 23 This work i s too hard. 53. Table 3.1 (continued) Item Number Items Subscale IV - U n r e a l i s t i c Planning 5 There's plenty of time. I ' l l do i t l a t e r . 6 I ' l l just do something else f i r s t then I ' l l get to i t . 15 I should be working but I don't want to. Subscale V - F a c i l i t a t i v e Planfulness 13 It's harder to put i t off than i t i s to do i t . 17 I ' l l do i t now so I can be free to do other things 1ater. 21 If I plan my work ahead of time I can get more accomplished. Subscale VI - Low Self-Control 16 I just don't want to wait to have a good time. 18 I've got so much to do, I won't do any of i t . 20 I want to enjoy myself now and not have to wait u n t i l l a t e r . 24 I shouldn't have to work so hard. 54. Subscale I, labeled N e g a t i v i s t i c Intolerance, i s comprised of items r e f l e c t i n g a strong negative, possibly h o s t i l e , attitude toward academic tasks; items in t h i s subscale also r e l a t e s i g n i f i c a n t l y to depression (Grecco, 1984). Subscale II, labeled Immobilizing Mood, contains items which r e f l e c t the "manana" attitude. The lack of productivity of individuals who score high on these items would l i k e l y be related to anxiety or depression (Grecco, 1984). Subscale III, labeled Low Seif-Competence, i s comprised of items which relate to E l l i s and Knaus's (1977) concept of self-downing. Individuals who score high on these items procrastinate because they expect to f a i l or do poorly, and because they feel incompetent. Subscale IV, labeled U n r e a l i s t i c Planning, contains items which r e f l e c t a "self-defeating, problem solving d e f i c i t " (Grecco, 1984, p. 163) and, according to Grecco, i s the best subscale predictor of academic procrastination. Subscale V, labeled F a c i l i t a t i v e Planfulness, i s the only subscale that contains the po s i t i v e seif-statements which characterize the cognitions of low procrastinators. Individuals who score high on t h i s scale l i k e l y have a "planful and problem-solving approach" to academic tasks (Grecco, 1984, p. 164). 55. Subscale VI, labeled Low Self-Control, i s comprised of Items which r e f l e c t poor management of one's own behavior and i s r e l a t e d to E l l i s and Knaus's (1977) concept of low f r u s t r a t i o n tolerance. Subscale scores are obtained e a s i l y by adding the value a subject has assigned to each item as follows: 1 = hardly ever had the thought 2 = rarely had the thought 3 = sometimes had the thought 4 = often had the thought 5 = very often had the thought In addition to the 24 items representing cognitions, the PSSI also contains a 12-1 tern c r i t e r i o n measure of procrastination, which Grecco c a l l s the Procrastination Self-Rating Scale <PSRS). This section of the questionnaire contains f i v e statements (items 42 through 46) from The Procrastination Log (Strong et a l . , 1979) which measure a student's procrastination behavior. Strong et a l . report a 0.62 test-retest r e l i a b i l i t y c o e f f i c i e n t for the Procrastination Log. An additional f i v e items (47 through 51) ask subjects to consider the extent to which they perceive t h e i r own procrastination as a problem. Subjects are asked to rate t h e i r own procrastination on these dimensions: frequency, seriousness, study time l o s t , impact on academic performance, and s a t i s f a c t i o n with use of study 56. time. This portion of the PSRS was developed by Grecco. There are two f i n a l items in the PSRS (items 52 and 53) which also measure a student's academic procrastination. A total Procrastination Score (P-score> ranging from 12 to 60 i s calculated by adding the value (1 to 5) that a subject has assigned to each of the 12 items (42 through 53). A high Procrastination Score f a l l s within the top t h i r d of possible scores. Thus, the range of high scores i s 44 to 60. A low Procrastination Score f a l l s within the bottom t h i r d of possible scores, in the range of 12 to 27. The last f i v e items on the questionnaire ask subjects to provide demographic information pertaining to grade, age, sex and l e t t e r grade average and future plans. R e l i a b i 1 i t v Grecco reports that the internal consistency c o e f f i c i e n t , calculated using the Chronbach alpha formula, was .84. The alpha c o e f f i c i e n t s for the six subscales range from .59 to .74 (Grecco, 1984). The tes t - r e t e s t r e l i a b i l i t y was computed 4 weeks afte r i n i t i a l test administration with 97 subjects. The test-retest c o e f f i c i e n t for the total score was .68. The c o e f f i c i e n t s for the six subscales range from .56 to .78 (Grecco, 1984). V a l i d i t y 57. Grecco (1984) reports that there Is sound evidence of the construct and predictive v a l i d i t y of the PSSI. Evidence pertaining to construct v a l i d i t y suggests that there i s a p o s i t i v e relationship between the self-statements associated with procrastination on the PSSI and the following variables: depression (as measured by a short form of the Beck Depression Inventory) and anxiety and neuroticlsm (as measured by the Neurotlclsm scale of the Eysenck Personality Inventory). There Is a negative relationship between the PSSI and these variables: defensiveness (as measured by the Eysenck Lie sc a l e ) , self-esteem (as measured by the Rosenberg scale) and se l f - c o n t r o l (as measured by the Self-Control scale on the C a l i f o r n i a Psychological Inventory). (For a detailed description of the r e s u l t s see Grecco, 1984, pp. 166 - 174.) The predictive v a l i d i t y of the PSSI was determined by a comparison of the total score and subscale scores to a behavioral measure of procrastination. A limited, but s i g n i f i c a n t , p o s i t i v e relationship (r = .19) was calculated suggesting "that the PSSI i s capable of making guarded predictions about respondents' future procrastination behavior" (Grecco, 1984, p. 177). Additional Items The 24 items of the PSSI represent the f i n a l version of 58. Greece's inventory following cross-validation and item analysis. An i n i t i a l pool of 54 items, obtained by open-ended cognitive assessment and items derived from the l i t e r a t u r e , was therefore s i g n i f i c a n t l y refined and only items that proved able to discriminate between high and low procrastination c r i t e r i o n groups were retained. However, according to the observations of the investigator, 12 of the items eliminated are statements t y p i c a l l y made by secondary school students. One such statement, "The teacher i s out to get me", i s made by secondary students as a way of explaining their own lack of motivation in a course. Junior college students, on whom the instrument was developed, are enrolled in larger classes and have less contact with the instructor. They are not as l i k e l y to att r i b u t e their own lack of motivation to instructor bias. Also, for some secondary students, success in school has generated a certain degree of h o s t i l i t y from their peers. It i s possible that students at t h i s level might think: "Doing too well on t h i s could cause a problem for me". These two items plus 10 others have been incorporated into the questionnaire. (For a complete l i s t of additional items, see Table 3.2.) The 12 statements represent the following ideational themes associated with procrastination: h o s t i l i t y (3 items), r i s k taking (2 items), fear of success (2 items), perfectionism (2 items), fear of f a i l u r e (2 items) and low seif-competence (1 item). 59. Table 3.2 Subscales Added by the Investigator Item number Items Subscale A - H o s t i l i t y 28 I don't l i k e the teacher. 32 They shouldn't give me such tight deadlines. 36 The teacher i s out to get me. Subscale B - Risktaking 30 I work better at the last minute. 39 I work better under pressure. Subscale C - Fear of Success 31 The better I do, the more that i s expected of me. 33 Doing too well at school could cause problems for me. Subscale D - Perfectionism 29 I must get an excellent grade. 38 I must do excellent work. 60. Table 3.2 (continued) Item Number Items Subscale E - Fear of Failure 34 I'm a f r a i d of what may happen i f I don't do well. 40 I'm so anxious I can't even s t a r t . Subscale F - Low Self-Esteem 37 What good does i t do to work. I won't do well anyway. Subscale G - Work F a c i l i t a t i v e Items 4 Once I star t i t ' s not so bad. 9 Every l i t t l e b i t i s that much closer to f inishing. 26 I ' l l do i t now so I can relax la t e r . 35 I don't have to l i k e i t , I just have to do i t . 41 I may not l i k e i t , I Just have to do i t . 6 1 . These six thematic groups were i d e n t i f i e d as six additional subscales of negative items (Subscales A through F>. Along with the above negative items, f i v e p o s i t i v e or work-facl11 tat 1ve items were added to questionnaire. It was f e l t that t h i s would give the questionnaire more balance In terms of p o s i t i v e and negative self-statements. This group of items was i d e n t i f i e d as one additional subscale (Subscale G) of po s i t i v e items. (See Table 3.2 for a l i s t of these items.> One additional Item (item 54) i s included in the Procrastination Self-Rating Scale. This item asks subjects to rate the extent to which they would l i k e to stop procrastinating on school work. Results of t h i s item are reported separately. No other changes or additions to the Procrastination Self-Statement Inventory were made. Data Analysis Demographic data and item responses for each subject were copied onto a Fortran Coding Form and subsequently entered into a computer f i l e at the U.B.C. Computing Centre. The f i l e was then checked, and errors were corrected. Three questionnaires were missing responses to some items and two questionnaires were spoiled. These f i v e questionnaires were not among the 204 used in the analysis. 62. Test Analyses An item analysis of the test data was performed using the computer programme LERTAP (Nelson, 1974). Descriptive and i n f e r e n t i a l data were generated by the programme SPSSx (L a i , 1986). PrelImlnarv Analyses Although there was no theoretical basis for formulating hypotheses regarding the relationship of school attended or student's age with procrastination, these variables needed to be included in the analysis because of their contribution to the overall variance. These two factors were the school attended and the age of the subjects. Therefore, a 2X5 (school by age) analysis of variance was performed with Procrastination Score as the dependent variable. The computer programme SPSSx was used. A sign i f i c a n c e level of 0.05 was chosen and a l l subjects were Included in the analyses. (See Table 3.3.) The r e s u l t s of the analyses revealed that age and school attendance did not affect overall Procrastination Score. As these were not factors of interest in t h i s study, both were eliminated as factors in further analyses. Descriptive Analyses Three questions were examined using descriptive s t a t i s t i c s only. These questions were: 63. Table 3.3 Analysis of Variance Procrastination Score by School and Age Source of variance Degrees of Freedom Mean Square F Main e f f e c t s 5 43.79 0.54 School (S) 1 116.79 1.45 Age (A) 4 27.41 0.34 S x A 2 8.58 0.11 Explalned 7 33.74 0.42 Residual 196 80.63 Total 203 79.01 *p < .05 64. 1. The extent to which students in the Arts and Sciences programme procrastinate on academic assignments. 2. The extent to which students view their own procrastination as a problem. 3. The extent to which students would l i k e to stop procrastinating on academic tasks. To examine the f i r s t question, a Procrastination Score for each student was computed and students were divided into high, medium and low procrastination groups. The number of students in each group was then examined. To examine the second question, the frequencies of student responses on items 47 and 48 were computed and examined. To examine the t h i r d question, the frequencies of student responses on item 54 were computed and examined. Hypotheses In order to f a c i l i t a t e the analysis of the data, the hypotheses were restated in the null form as follows: 1. High procrastinators w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t <p < 0.05) on the combined total of negative seif-statements than low procrastinators. 65. 2. High procrastInators w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t <p < 0.05) on the combined total of pos i t i v e self-statements than low procrastinators. 3. High procrastinators w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t <p < 0.05) on the each of the self-statement subscales than low procrastinators. 4. Males w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t (p < 0.05) on each of the self-statement subscales than females. 5. Grades 10, 11 and 12 students w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t (p < 0.05) on each of the self-statement subscales. 6. There w i l l be no s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t difference <p < 0.05) in the mean Procrastination Score of males and females 7. There w i l l be no s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t difference <p < 0.05) in the mean Procrastination Scores of Grade 10, 11 and 12 students. 8. There w i l l be no s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t difference <p < 0.05) in the mean achievement score of high and low procrastinators. 66. i n f e r e n t i a l Analyses To examine the effect of high or low procrastination, gender and grade on the score of a l l negative items combined, a 2X2X3 (high/low procrastination groups by gender by grade) analysis of variance with the total score on a l l negative items as a dependent variable was performed. To examine the effect of high or low procrastination, gender and grade on the score of a l l p o s i t i v e items combined, a 2X2X3 (high/low procrastination groups by gender by grade) analysis of variance with total score on a l l po s i t i v e items as a dependent variable was performed. To examine the effect of high or low procrastination, gender and grade on each subscale score, a 2X2X3 (high/low procrastination groups by gender by grade) analysis of variance with each subscale as a dependent variable was performed. To examine the effect of gender and grade on Procrastination Score, a 2X3 (gender by grade) analysis of variance with Procrastination Score as the dependent variable was performed. To examine the eff e c t of procrastination, gender and grade on achievement (as measured by student l e t t e r grade averages in the previous term), a 2X2X3 (high/low procrastination group by gender by grade) analysis of variance with achievement as the dependent variable was performed. 67. Summary Chapter Three began with a description of the population and the selection and description of the sample. An outline of the procedure for data c o l l e c t i o n was followed by a description of the measurement instrument, the null hypotheses and the plan for data analyses. The r e s u l t s of the data analysis are presented in Chapter Four. 68. CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS In the preceding chapter, the procedure for data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis were discussed. In t h i s chapter, the descriptive analysis of the r e s u l t s and the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the subscales are presented followed by the r e s u l t s of the analyses for each of the hypotheses. Descriptive Analysis One of the central concerns of t h i s study was the self-reported extent to which secondary students in the Arts and Sciences programme procrastinate on academic tasks. In Chapter Three, the method for determining a subject's Procrastination Score was described. A low procrastination score f a l l s within the bottom t h i r d of possible scores, in the range from 12 to 27. A medium procrastination score f a l l s within the middle range from 28 to 43. A high procrastination score f a l l s within the top t h i r d of possible scores, in the range from 44 to 60. Dis t r i b u t i o n of subjects into low, medium and high procrastination groups based on procrastination score are presented in Table 4.1 along with the related descriptive stat i s t i e s . 69. Table 4.1 Dis t r i b u t i o n of Subjects by Procrastination Score Procrastination Group Frequency Percent Mean S.D. Low 20 9.80 22.70 4.13 Medium 124 60.78 36.23 4.49 High 60 29.41 49.15 3.69 Total 204 100.00 Also of interest in t h i s study was the extent to which Arts and Science students perceive t h e i r own academi c procrastination as a problem and the extent to which they would l i k e to stop procrastinating on academic tasks. On the item (item 47) which asked "How often do you feel that you procrastinate over school assignments?", 8.8% of the students indicated that they procrastinate rarely or hardly ever, while 33.8% indicated that they procrastinate very often. On the item (item 48) which asked "How serious a problem do you consider your procrastination?", 34.4% indicated that t h e i r problem was serious to very serious while 26% indicated that their problem was not serious. 70. On the item (item 54) which asked, "To what extent would you li k e to stop procrastinating on school work?", only 7.4% responded with "not at a l l " . However, 21.6% indicated that they would l i k e to stop procrastinating, and 40.2% indicated that they would very much l i k e to stop procrastinating on school assignments. Table 4.2 Frequencies of Responses on Items 47, 48 and 54 Item Value Frequency Percent 47 1 (Hardly ever) 10 4.9 2 8 3.9 3 (Somet imes) 81 39.7 4 36 17.6 5 (Very Often) 69 33.8 48 1 (No problem) 31 15.2 2 22 10.8 3 (Not greater 81 39.7 than most) 4 35 17.2 5 (Very serious 35 17.2 problem) 54 1 (Not at a l l ) 15 7.4 2 10 4.9 3 (Neutral) 53 26.0 4 44 21.6 5 (Very much) 82 40.2 Subscale C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Test r e l i a b i l i t i e s are influenced by the length of test (Ferguson, 1981). Each of the subscales in t h i s study 71. contained only a small number of items, and as a re s u l t , some of the subtest r e l i a b i l i t i e s computed using Hoyt's ANOVA are not high. The Procrastination Seif-Statement Inventory subscales (Subscales I to VI) range from a low of 0.56 to a high of 0.77. The subscales added by the investigator (Subscales A to G) range from a low of 0.12 to a high of 0.87. Subscale F contained only one item, and therefore, a Hoyt r e l i a b i l i t y and standard error of measurement could not be computed. When a l l negative (work in h i b i t i n g ) items in the questionnaire were combined, a r e l i a b i l i t y of 0.88 was computed. The combining of a l l p o s i t i v e (work f a c i l i t a t i v e ) items yielded a r e l i a b i l i t y of 0.69. A complete l i s t of r e l i a b i l i t i e s i s found in Table 4.3. Inferential Analyses As differences between high and low procrast1nators were of p a r t i c u l a r interest in t h i s study, i t was decided that only these two extreme groups would be used ln the inf e r e n t i a l analyses. The high and low procrastination groups, however, were not equal in frequency (see Table 4.1), and as problems in the analyses could be created by th i s s i t u a t i o n (Ferguson, 1981), a decision was made to equalize the frequencies. The high procrastination group was kept Intact with 60 subjects. The low procrastination 72. T a b l e 4.3 S u b s c a l e R e l i a b i l i t i e s , Means, S t a n d a r d D e v i a t i o n s , Number of i t e m s , H i g h e s t / L o w e s t S c o r e s and S t a n d a r d E r r o r s of Measurement S u b s c a l e Mean S c o r e S.D. No. High Low Hoyt S t a n d a r d o f S c o r e S c o r e R e l i a b i l i t y E r r o r i terns S u b s c a l e I -Negat i v i s t i c I n t o l e r a n c e 13.20 3.41 4 20 0.72 1 .57 S u b s c a l e II -Immobi1i z i ng Mood 15.22 4.72 6 28 0.71 2.32 S u b s c a l e I l l -Low S e l f -Competence 8.99 3.24 4 19 0 .77 1 .34 S u b s c a l e IV U n r e a l i s t i c Pl ann i ng 11.19 2.31 3 15 0 .59 1 .21 S u b s c a l e V -Fac i 1 i t a t i ve P l a n f u 1 n e s s 7.72 2.44 3 15 0.56 1 .32 S u b s c a l e VI Low S e l f -C o n t r o l 10.18 3.56 4 20 0 .75 1 .54 Note. Two hundred f o u r s u b j e c t s wrote each s u b t e s t . 73. T a b l e 4.3 ( c o n t i n u e d ) S u b s c a l e R e l i a b i l i t i e s , Means, S t a n d a r d D e v i a t i o n s , Number of it e m s , H i g h e s t / L o w e s t S c o r e s and S t a n d a r d E r r o r s of Measurement S u b s c a l e Mean S c o r e S.D. No. High Low Hoyt S t a n d a r d of S c o r e S c o r e R e l i a b i l i t y E r r o r items S u b s c a l e A - 7.36 2.83 3 15 3 0.62 1.43 H o s t i l i t y S u b s c a l e B - 5.44 2.42 2 10 2 0.80 0.77 R i s k t a k i n g S u b s c a l e C - 4.44 1.86 2 10 2 0.45 0.97 F e a r of S u c c e s s S u b s c a l e D - 6.54 2.26 2 10 2 0.87 0.58 P e r f e c t i o n i s m S u b s c a l e E - 4.66 1.66 2 10 2 0.12 1.10 F e a r of F a l 1 u r e S u b s c a l e F - 1.72 0.96 1 5 1 Low S e l f -Esteem S u b s c a l e G - 15.29 3.25 5 23 5 0.53 1.99 Work F a c i l i t a t l v e I terns N e g a t i v e items 88.93 17.43 33 135 46 0.88 5.98 Combi ned P o s i t i v e items 23.00 4.99 8 36 8 0.69 2.59 Combi ned Note. Two hu n d r e d f o u r s u b j e c t s wrote each s u b t e s t . 74. group was extended to include 40 of the lowest scoring subjects in the middle group. The frequency in each procrastination group used in the analyses, then, was 60 so that 120 students in total were used, approximately 58.8% of the sample. S t a t i s t i c a l Analyses of the Hypotheses flypothesjg 1 Hypothesis 1 states that high procrastinators w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on the combined total of negative self-statements than low procrastInators. The data analysis reveals that high procrastinators had a mean score of 99.2 on negative se1f-statements, while low procrastinators had a mean score of 79.8 on these items (See Table 4.4) Table 4.4 Means and Standard Deviations of Scores on Negative Items for Subjects in High and Low Procrastination Groups Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastinators 60 79.80 15.81 46 125 High Procrastinators 60 99.20 15.59 58 135 The e f f e c t s due to high or low procrastination group, 75. gender and grade were examined using a 2X2X3 (group by gender by grade) analysis of variance. This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.5. An examination of t h i s table indicates that there was a s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t due only to procrastination group, and that the mean score of high procrastinators on negative seif-statements was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher than that obtained by low procrast i nators. Therefore, the f i r s t hypothesis was rejected. Hypothesis 2 Hypothesis 2 states that high procrastinators w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on the combined total of po s i t i v e seif-statements than low procrastinators. The data analysis reveals that low procrastinators had a mean score of 24.90 on po s i t i v e se1f-statements while high procrast1nators had a mean score of 21.27 on these items (see Table 4.6) Table 4.6 Mean and Standard Deviations of Scores on Positive Items for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastinators 60 24.90 4.68 11 36 High Procrastinators 60 21.27 5.55 8 34 76. TABLE 4.5 Analysis of Variance Negative Items by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Freedom Mean Square F Main e f f e c t s 4 3080.67 12.49 Group 1 8605.58 34.90 * Gender 1 5.18 0.02 Grade 2 500.93 2.03 2-Way Interactions 5 188.15 0.76 Group x Gender 1 157.02 0.64 Group x Grade 2 280.49 1.14 Gender x Grade 2 159.53 0.65 3-Way Interactions 2 242.68 0.98 Group x Gender x Grade 2 242.68 0.98 Explained 11 1249.89 5.07 Residual 108 246.55 Total 119 339.29 * p < .05 77. The e f f e c t s due to low or high procrastination group, gender and grade were examined using a 2X2X3 (group by gender by grade) analysis of variance. This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.7. This table shows that there was an s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t due only to procrastination group and that the mean score of low procrast1nators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on p o s i t i v e items than that of high procrastinators. The second hypothesis was rejected. Hypotheses 3. 4 and 5 Hypothesis 3 states that high procrastinators w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on each of the seif-statement subscales than low procrastinators. Hypothesis 4 states that males w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on each of the seif-statement subscales than females. Hypothesis 5 states that Grades 10, 11 and 12 students w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on each of the self-statement subscales. The e f f e c t s due to procrastination group, gender and grade were examined for each subscale using a 2X2X3 (group by gender by grade) analysis of variance. These analyses are summarized in ANOVA Tables 4.9, 4.11, 4.13, 4.15, 4.17, 4.19, 4.21, 4.23, 4.25, 4.27, 4.29, 4.31 and 4.33. The main e f f e c t s due to each variable are presented separately 78. Table 4.7 Analysis of Variance Positive Items by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Mean Square F Freedom Main e f f e c t s 4 120.45 4.43 Group 1 369.38 13.59 Gender 1 20.12 0.74 Grade 2 26.27 0.97 2-Way Interactions 5 7.67 0.28 Group x Gender i 0.14 0.01 Group x Grade 2 1.81 0.07 Gender x Grade 2 15.99 0.59 3-Way Interactions 2 25.56 0.94 Group x Gender x Grade 2 25.56 0.94 Explained 11 51.93 1.91 Residual 108 27.17 Total 119 29.46 * p < .05 7 9 . followed by a discussion of s i g n i f i c a n t interactions. A signi f i c a n c e level of 0.05 was chosen for a l l . Hypothesis 3 - Procrastination Group An examination of the ANOVA tables indicates that there was a s i g n i f i c a n t effect due to procrastination group on a l l PSSI subscales (Subscales I to VI) and on a l l but three of the subscales (Subscales A to G) added by the student Investigator. Only on Subscales A ( h o s t i l i t y ) , C (Fear of Success) and E (Fear of Failure) was there no s i g n i f i c a n t effect due to procrastination group. Tables indicating means and standard deviations for high and low procrastination groups, and a discussion of the signi f i c a n c e of the difference between the means, are presented for each subscale. Hypothesis 3 i s examined separately for each subscale. Subscale I - N e g a t l v l s t l c Intolerance Table 4.8 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale I Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups Variables N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastination 60 11.88 3.22 6 18 High Procrastination 60 15.12 3.25 4 20 80. The analysis of variance shows that the mean score of high procrastinators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on the Ne g a t i v i s t i c Intolerance subscale than the mean score of low procrastinators. This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.9. The t h i r d hypothesis regarding N e g a t i v i s t i c Intolerance was rejected. Subscale II - Immobilizing Mood Table 4.10 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale II Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups Variables N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastination 60 12.50 4.02 6 23 High Procrastination 60 18.13 4.50 9 28 The analysis of variance reveals that the mean score of high procrast1nators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on the Immobilizing Mood subscale than the mean score of low procrast1nators. This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.11. The t h i r d hypothesis pertaining to Immobilizing Mood was rejected. 81 . Table 4.9 Analysis of Variance Subscale I - Ne g a t i v l s t i c Intolerance by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Mean Square F Freedom Main e f f e c t s 4 92.86 9.04 Group 1 223.98 21.79 * Gender 1 9.65 0.94 Grade 2 19.69 1.92 2-Way Interactions 5 11.97 1.16 Group x Gender 1 1.53 0.15 Group x Grade 2 8.83 0.86 Gender x Grade 2 20.72 2.02 3-Way Interactions 2 2.34 0.23 Group x Gender x Grade 2 2.34 0.23 Explained 11 39.63 3.86 Residual 108 10.28 Total 119 12.99 *p < .05 82. Table 4.11 Analysis of Variance Subscale II - Immobilizing Mood by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Freedom Mean Square F Main e f f e c t s 4 263.90 14.29 Group 1 724.66 39.23 * Gender 1 7.09 0.38 Grade 2 47.89 2.59 2-Way Interactions 5 9.22 0.49 Group x Gender 1 13.25 0.72 Group x Grade 2 15.67 0.85 Gender x Grade 2 2.73 0.15 3-Way Interactions 2 3.69 0.20 Group x Gender x Grade 2 3.69 0.20 Explained 11 100.83 5.46 Residual 108 18.47 Total 119 26.08 *p < .05 83. Subscale III - Low Seif-Competence Table 4.12 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale III Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups Variables N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastination 60 8.08 2.88 4 18 High Procrastination 60 9.98 3.36 4 18 The analysis of variance indicates that the mean score of high procrastinators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on the Low Se1f-Competence subscale than the mean score of low procrastinators. This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.13. The t h i r d hypothesis concerning Low Seif-Competence was rejected. Subscale IV - U n r e a l i s t i c Planning Table 4.14 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale IV Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastination 60 9.65 2.22 4 14 High Procrastination 60 12.53 1.91 7 15 84. Table 4.13 Analysis of Variance Subscale III - Low Self-Competence by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Mean Square F Freedom Main e f f e c t s 4 34.39 3.59 Group 1 77.24 8.08 * Gender 1 18.44 1.93 Grade 2 5.47 0.57 2-Way Interactions 5 15.76 1.65 Group x Gender 1 2.98 0.31 Group x Grade 2 33.19 3.47 * Gender x Grade 2 5.48 0.57 3-Way Interactions 2 7.64 0.80 Group x Gender x Grade 2 7.64 0.80 Explained 11 21.06 2.20 Residual 108 9.56 Total 119 10.62 *p < .05 85. The analysis of variance shows that the mean score of high procrastinators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on the U n r e a l i s t i c Planning subscale than the mean score of low procrastinators. This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.15. The t h i r d hypothesis regarding U n r e a l i s t i c Planning was rejected. Subscale V - F a c i l i t a t l v e Planfulness Table 4.16 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale V Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastination 60 8.78 2.26 4 15 High Procrastination 60 6.83 2.53 3 15 The analysis of variance indicates that the mean score of low procrastinators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on the F a c i l i t a t l v e Planfulness subscale than the mean score of high procrastInators. This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.17. The t h i r d hypothesis concerning F a c i l i t a t l v e Planfulness was rejected. 86. Table 4.15 Analysis of Variance Subscale IV - U n r e a l i s t i c Planning by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of Variance Degrees of Freedom Mean Square F Main E f f e c t s 4 69.15 16.79 Group 1 189.01 45.19 * Gender 1 3.74 0.91 Grade 2 10.34 2.51 2-Way Interactions 5 6.45 1.57 Group x Gender 1 21 .39 5.19 * Group x Grade 2 5.45 1.33 Gender x Grade 2 4.10 0.99 3-Way Interactions 2 0.29 0.07 Group x Gender x Grade 2 0.29 0.07 Exp 1ai ned 11 28.13 6.83 Residual 108 4.12 Total 119 6.34 *p < .05 87. Table 4.17 Analysis of Variance Subscale V - F a c i l i t a t i v e Planfulness by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Freedom Mean Square F Main e f f e c t s 4 32.94 5.69 Group 1 91 .95 15.88 * Gender 1 0.97 0.17 Grade 2 8.07 1.39 2-Way Interactions 5 3.86 0.67 Group x Gender 1 2.76 0.48 Group x Grade 2 3.11 0.54 * Gender x Grade 2 5.79 1.00 * 3-Way Interactions 2 7.03 1.21 Group x Gender x Grade 2 7.03 1 .21 Explained 11 15.01 2.59 Residua] 108 5.79 Total 119 6.64 *p < .05 88. Subscale VI - Low Self-Control Table 4.18 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale VI Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastination 60 8.28 2.81 4 16 High Procrastination 60 12.75 3.33 6 20 The analysis of variance indicates that the mean score of high procrast1nators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on the Low Self-Control subscale than the mean score of low procrastinators. This analysis i s summarized ln Table 4.19. The t h i r d hypothesis regarding Low Self-Control was rejected. Subscale A - H o s t i l i t y Table 4.20 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale A Scores for Subjects ln Low and High Procrastination Groups Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastination 60 6.90 2.65 3 15 High Procrastination 60 7.85 2.87 3 15 89. Table 4.19 Analysis of Variance Subscale VI - Low Self-Control by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Freedom Mean Square F Main e f f e c t s 4 154.83 16.09 Group 1 529.77 55.08 * Gender 1 9.91 1.03 Grade 2 5.29 0.55 2-Way Interactions 5 7.36 0.77 Group x Gender 1 4.78 0.49 Group x Grade 2 1.82 0.19 Gender x Grade 2 14.07 1.46 3-Way Interactions 2 11.57 1.20 Group x Gender x Grade 2 11 .57 1 .20 Explained 11 61.75 6.42 Residual 108 9.62 Total 119 14.44 * p < .05 90. The analysis of variance indicates that the mean scores of high and low procrastinators on the H o s t i l i t y subscale were not s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t . This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.21. The t h i r d hypothesis pertaining to H o s t i l i t y must be accepted. Subscale B - Risktaking Table 4.22 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale B Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastination 60 4.82 2.18 2 10 High Procrastination 60 6.02 2.54 2 10 The analysis of variance reveals that the mean score of high procrastinators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on the Risktaking subscale than the mean score of low procrast 1nators. This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.23. The t h i r d hypothesis concerning Risktaking was rejected. 91 . Table 4.21 Analysis of Variance Subscale A - H o s t i l i t y by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Mean Square F Freedom Main e f f e c t s 4 9.03 1.16 Group 1 19.33 2.49 Gender 1 2.09 0.27 Grade 2 4.01 0.52 2-Way Interactions 5 5.78 0.74 Group x Gender 1 8.48 1.09 Group x Grade 2 5.44 0.70 Gender x Grade 2 1.28 0.16 3-Way Interactions 2 11.72 1.51 Group x Gender x Grade 2 11 .72 1.51 Explained 11 8.04 1.03 Residual 108 7.78 Total 119 7.79 *p < .05 92. Table 4.23 Analysis of Variance Subscale B - Risktaking by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Freedom Mean Square F Main e f f e c t s 4 27.87 5.52 Group 1 50.62 10.03 * Gender 1 55.10 10.92 * Grade 2 2.29 0.45 2-Way Interactions 5 6.32 1.25 Group x Gender 1 10.48 2.08 Group x Grade 2 2.69 0.54 Gender x Grade 2 5.22 1 .03 3-Way Interactions 2 8.46 1.68 Group x Gender x Grade 2 8.46 1.68 Explained 11 14.55 2.88 Res1 dual 108 5.05 Total 119 5.93 * < .05 93. Subscale C - Fear of Success Table 4.24 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale C Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastination 60 4.58 1.94 2 10 High Procrastination 60 4.23 1.89 2 10 The analysis of variance indicates that the mean score of high and low procrast1nators on the Fear of Success subscale were not s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t . This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.25. The t h i r d hypothesis regarding Fear of Success must be accepted. Subscale D - Perfectionism Table 4.26 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale D Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastination 60 7.28 2.04 2 10 High Procrastination 60 5.87 2.55 2 10 94. Table 4.25 Analysis of Variance Subscale C - Fear of Success by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Freedom Mean Square F Main e f f e c t s 4 4.47 1.24 Group 1 7.69 2.14 Gender 1 0.15 0.04 Grade 2 7.09 1 .97 2-Way Interactions 5 1.94 0.54 Group x Gender 1 2.48 0.69 Group x Grade 2 1.04 0.29 Gender x Grade 2 1.75 0.49 3-Way Interactions 2 10.17 2.82 Group x Gender x Grade 2 10.17 2.82 Explained 11 4.36 1.21 Residual 108 3.60 Total 119 3.67 *p < .05 95. The analysis of variance Indicates that the mean score of low procrastinators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on the Perfectionism subscale than the mean score of high procrastinators. This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.27. The t h i r d hypothesis concerning Perfectionism was rejected. Subscale E - Fear of Failure Table 4.28 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale E Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastination 60 4.38 1.42 2 8 High Procrastination 60 4.77 1.96 2 10 The analysis of variance indicates that mean scores of high and low procrastinators on the Fear of Failure subscale were not s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t . This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.29. The t h i r d hypothesis pertaining to Fear of Failure must be accepted. 96. Table 4.2? Analysis of Variance Subscale D - Perfectionism by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Freedom Mean Square F Main E f f e c t s 4 24.41 4.57 Group 1 52.53 9.83 * Gender 1 1.01 0.19 Grade 2 18.72 3.50 * 2-Way Interactions 5 2.34 0.44 Group x Gender 1 0.19 0.04 Group x Grade 2 4.71 0.88 Gender x Grade 2 0.37 0.07 3-Way Interactions 2 1 .46 0.27 Group x Gender x Grade 2 1.46 0.27 Explained 11 10.21 1.91 Residual 108 5.34 Total 119 5.79 *p < .05 97. Table 4.29 Analysis of Variance Subscale E - Fear of Failure by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Mean Square F Freedom Main e f f e c t s 4 3.50 1.15 Group 1 2.79 0.92 Gender 1 7.61 2.50 Grade 2 0.34 0.11 2-Way Interactions 5 0.97 0.32 Group x Gender 1 0.37 0.12 Group x Grade 2 0.70 0.23 Gender x Grade 2 1.66 0.55 3-Way Interactions 2 0.86 0.28 Group x Gender x Grade 2 0.86 0.28 Explained 11 1.87 0.62 Residual 108 3.04 Total 119 2.94 *p < .05 98. Subscale F - Low Self-Esteem Table 4.30 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale F Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastination 60 1.43 .89 1 5 High Procrastination 60 1.95 1.05 1 5 The analysis of variance indicates that the mean score of high procrastInators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on the Low Self-esteem subscale than the mean score of low procrastinators. This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.31. The t h i r d hypothesis concerning Low Self-Esteem was rejected. Subscale G - Work F a c i l i t a t l v e Items Table 4.32 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale G Scores for Subjects in Low and High Procrastination Groups Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low Procrastination 60 16.12 3.14 6 23 High Procrastination 60 14.43 3.78 5 20 99. Table 4.31 Analysis of Variance Subscale F - Low Self-Esteem by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Freedom Mean Square F Main e f f e c t s 4 2.82 2.88 Group 1 5.18 5.29 # Gender 1 0.86 0.88 Grade 2 1.24 1.27 2-Way Interactions 5 0.36 0.37 Group x Gender 1 0.47 0.48 Group x Grade 2 0.63 0.64 Gender x Grade 2 0.19 0.19 3-Way Interactions 2 0.34 0.34 Group x Gender x Grade 2 0.34 0.34 Explained 11 1.25 1.28 Residual 108 0.98 Total 119 1.01 *p < .05 100. The analysis of variance indicates that the mean score of low procrastinators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on the Work F a c i l i t a t i v e Items than the mean score of high procrastinators. This analysis i s summarized ln Table 4.33. The t h i r d hypothesis regarding the Work F a c i l i t a t i v e Items was rejected. Hypothesis 4 - Gender Hypothesis 4 states that males w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on each of the seif-statement subscales than females. An examination of the ANOVA tables above Indicates that there was a s i g n i f i c a n t effect due to gender in only one of the subscales, Subscale B - Risktaking (see ANOVA Table 4.23). In t h i s case, the mean score obtained by males was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher than that obtained by females. For Subscale B, the fourth hypothesis was rejected. Table 4.34 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale B Scores for Male and Female Subjects Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Males 53 6.15 2.22 2 10 Females 67 4.84 2.45 2 10 Total 120 101 . Table 4.33 Analysis of Variance Subscale G - Work F a c i l i t a t l v e Items by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Freedom Mean Square F Main e f f e c t s 4 31.24 2.51 Group 1 92.74 7.44 * Gender 1 12.24 0.98 Grade 2 9.71 0.78 2-Way Interactions 5 4.13 0.33 Group x Gender 1 1.64 0.13 Group x Grade 2 2.74 0.22 Gender x Grade 2 4.76 0.38 3-Way Interactions 2 8.74 0.70 Group x Gender x Grade 2 8.74 0.70 Explalned 11 14.82 1.19 Residual 108 12.47 Total 119 12.69 * p < .05 102. The scores on a l l other self-statement subscales were not s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t for males and females. Therefore, the fourth hypothesis was accepted on those subscales. Hypothesis 5 - Grade Hypothesis 5 states that Grade 10, 11 and 12 students w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on each of the self-statement subscales. An examination of the ANOVA tables (see ANOVA Tables 4.9, 4.11, 4.13, 4.15, 4.17, 4.19, 4.21, 4.23, 4.25, 4.27, 4.29, 4.31, 4.33) indicates that there was a s i g n i f i c a n t effect due to grade in only one of the subscales, Subscale D - Perfectionism (see ANOVA Table 4.27). For Subscale D, the f i f t h hypothesis was rejected. Table 4.35 Means and Standard Deviations of Subscale D Scores for Subjects in Grade 10, 11 and 12 Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Grade 10 54 7.15 2.30 2 10 Grade 11 37 5.76 2.22 2 10 Grade 12 29 6.55 2.60 2 10 Total 120 103. A post hoc comparison of the differences among these means was done using Tukey's method for multiple comparisons (Glass & Hoptklns, 1984). This analysis reveals that the difference between Grade 10 and Grade 11 was s i g n i f i c a n t at the 0.05 l e v e l . Table 4.36 Post Hoc Comparison of the Differences Among the Means of Grades 10, 11 and 12 Subjects on Subscale D Compar1son Gr. 10 Gr. 11 Gr. 10 Gr. 12 Gr. 11 Gr. 12 Means 7.15 - 5.76 7.15 - 6.55 5.76 - 6.55 Di fferences 1.39 .60 -.79 Sx Q .3488 3.985 * .3763 1.595 .4054 1.949 * p < .05 The scores on a l l other self-statement subscales were not s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t for Grade 10, 11 and 12 subjects. Therefore, the f i f t h hypothesis was accepted for those subscales. Si g n i f i c a n t Interactions The ANOVA Tables 4.13, 4.15 and 4.17 show s i g n i f i c a n t f i r s t - o r d e r interactions. ANOVA Table 4.13 (Subscale III -104. Low Self-Competence) reveals a group by grade Interaction. ANOVA Table 4.15 (Subscale IV - U n r e a l i s t i c Planning) shows a group by gender interaction. ANOVA Table 4.17 (Subscale V - F a c i l i t a t l v e Planfulness) indicates both group by grade and gender by grade Interactions. The four f i r s t - o r d e r interactions are shown in Tables 4.37, 4.38, 4.39 and 4.40. Table 4.37 Interactions of Procrastination Group by Grade on the Low Self-Competence Subscale Low Procrastination High Procrastination N Mean S.D. N Mean S.D. Grade 10 26 7.96 2.78 28 9.89 2.91 Grade 11 13 9.85 3.26 24 9.67 3.54 Grade 12 21 7.14 2.35 8 11.25 4.37 Table 4.38 Interactions of Procrastination Group by Gender on the U n r e a l i s t i c Planning Subscale Low Procrastination N Mean S.D. High Procrastination N Mean S.D. Males Fema1es 30 9.73 2.08 30 9.57 2.37 23 11.83 37 12.97 1.72 1 .91 105. Table 3.39 Interactions of Procrastination Group by Grade on the F a c i l i t a t i v e Planfulness Subscale Low Procrastination High Procrastination N Mean S.D. N Mean S. D. Grade 10 26 9.04 2.18 28 7.14 2. 52 Grade 11 13 8.46 2.40 24 6.17 1. 81 Grade 12 21 8.67 2.33 8 7.75 3. 96 Table 4.40 Interactions of Gender by Grade on the F a c i l i t a t i v e Planfulness Subscale Males Females N Mean S.D. N Mean S. D. Grade 10 43 7.58 2.62 48 8.06 2. 17 Grade 11 26 6.65 1.98 30 7.50 2. 39 Grade 12 32 8.13 2.67 25 8.12 2. 67 Since no hypotheses had been formulated with regard to interactions between the variables of group, gender and grade, no attempt has been made to Interpret these interact ions. There were no second order interactions. 106. Hypotheses 6 Hypothesis 6 states that there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t difference in the Procrastination Score of males and females. The data analysis revealed that males had a mean Procrastination Score of 38.28 while females had a mean Procrastination Score of 39.12 (see Table 4.41). Table 4.41 Means and Standard Deviations of Procrastination Scores for Males and Females Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Males 101 38.28 8.46 16 57 Females 103 39.12 9.32 13 58 The e f f e c t s due to gender and grade were examined using 2X3 (gender by grade) analysis of variance with Procrastination Score as the dependent variable. This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.42. An examination of t h i s table shows that there was no s i g n i f i c a n t effect due to gender. The sixth hypothesis was accepted. 107. Table 4.42 Analysis of Variance Procrastination Score by Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Freedom Mean Square F Main e f f e c t s 3 260.77 3.39 Gender 1 16.53 0.22 Grade 2 373.19 4.85 * 2-Way Interactions 2 10.47 0.14 Gender x Grade 2 10.47 0.14 Explained 5 160.65 2.09 Residual 198 76.95 Total 203 79.01 *p < .05 108. Hypotheses 7 Hypothesis 7 states that there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t difference in the mean Procrastination Score of Grades 10, 11 and 12 students. The data analysis revealed that Grade 12 students had the lowest Procrastination Score while Grade 11 students had the highest (see Table 4.43). Table 4.43 Means and Standard Deviations of Procrastination Scores for Grades 10, 11 and 12 Subjects Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Grade 10 91 38.59 9.08 13 57 Grade 11 56 41.41 7.84 27 55 Grade 12 57 36.21 8.94 16 58 The e f f e c t due to Grade were examined using a 2X3 (gender by grade) analysis of variance with Procrastination Score as the dependent variable. This analysis i s summarized in Table 4.42. An examination of t h i s table reveals that there was a s i g n i f i c a n t effect due to grade. The seventh hypothesis was rejected. A post hoc comparison of the differences among these means was done using Tukey's method for multiple comparisons (Glass & Hopkins, 1984). This analysis reveals that the 109. difference between the means of Grade 11 and Grade 12 students was s i g n i f i c a n t (see Table 4.44). Table 4.44 Post Hoc Comparison of the Difference Among the Means of Grade 10, 11 and 12 Subjects on Procrastination Score Comparisons Means Differences Sx Q Gr. 10 Gr. 11 38.59 - 41.41 -2.82 1.053 2.678 Gr. 10 Gr. 12 38.59 - 36.21 2.38 1.032 2.307 Gr. 11 Gr. 12 41.41 - 36.21 5.20 1.108 4.693 * ______ Hypothesis 8 Hypothesis 8 states that there w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t difference in the mean achievement score of high and low procrast i nators. The data analysis revealed that the mean achievement score of low procrastinators was 5.68 while the mean achievement score of high procrastinators was 4.73 (see Table 4.45). 110. Table 4.45 Means and Standard Deviations of Achievement Scores for Low and High Procrastination Groups Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Low 60 5.63 .93 2 7 High 60 4.73 1.21 1 7 Total 120 The data analysis also revealed that the mean achievement score of the females in the sample was 5.37 while the mean achievement score of the males was 5.00 (see Table 4.46). Table 4.46 Means and Standard Deviations of Achievement Scores for Males and Females Variable N Mean S.D. Minimum Maximum Males 53 5.00 1.14 2 7 Females 67 5.37 1.18 1 7 Total 120 The e f f e c t s due to low or high procrastination group, gender and grade were examined using a 2X2X3 (group by gender by grade) analysis of variance with achievement as the dependent variable. This analysis i s summarized in H i . Table 4.47. An examination of t h i s table reveals that there was a s i g n i f i c a n t effect due to procrastination and gender. The achievement of low procrastinators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher than the achievement of high procrastinators. The achievement of females in the sample was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher than that of males. The eighth hypothesis was rejected. Summary The purpose of t h i s study was to investigate self-reported academic procrastination among secondary students in the Arts and Sciences programme to determine the extent to which these students put off doing school assignments and the extent to which students experience procrastination as problematic and would l i k e to change t h i s behaviour. The data c o l l e c t e d Indicated that almost 30% of the students in the sample often procrastinate on academic work, that 34.4% view t h i s as a serious problem, and that 40.2% would very much li k e to stop procrastinating on assignments. The study also assessed cognitions associated with problematic procrastination. The differences between high and low procrastinators in t h e i r endorsement of 33 negative items representing self-statements which i n h i b i t work behaviour and eight p o s i t i v e items representing 112. Table 4.47 Analysis of Variance Achievement by Procrastination Group, Gender and Grade Source of variance Degrees of Freedom Mean Square F Main e f f e c t s 4 9.19 8.68 Group 1 31.46 29.71 * Gender 1 5.16 4.87 * Grade 2 1.31 1.23 2-Way Interactions 5 1 .72 1 .63 Group x Gender 1 0.24 0.23 Group x Grade 2 2.31 2.18 Gender x Grade 2 1.32 1.24 3-Way Interactions 2 2.04 1 .92 Group x Gender x Grade 2 2.04 1 .92 Explained 11 4.50 4.25 Residual 108 1.06 Total 119 1.38 * p < .05 113. self-statements which f a c i l i t a t e work behaviour were examined. The Inferential analyses indicated that the mean score of high procrastinators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on negative items than that of low procrastInators. Also, the mean score of low procrastinators was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on p o s i t i v e items than that of high procrastInators. The null hypotheses were rejected. The 41 item questionnaire was comprised of six subscales devised by the test author and an additional seven subscales Included by the investigator. Each subscale was examined for the e f f e c t s due to high or low procrastination group, gender and grade. The analyses revealed the high procrastinators endorsed the following subscales s i g n i f i c a n t l y more than did low procrastinators: N e g a t l v l s t i c Intolerance, Immobilizing Mood, Low S e l f -Competence, U n r e a l i s t i c Planning, Low Self-Control, Risktaking and Low Self-esteem. Low procrastinators endorsed the following subscales s i g n i f i c a n t l y more than d i d high procrastinators: F a c i l i t a t l v e Planfulness, Perfectionism and Work F a c i l i t a t l v e Items. Results for the following subscales were not s i g n i f i c a n t : H o s t i l i t y , Fear of F a i l u r e and Fear of Success. The analyses further indicated that the scores of males on the Risktaking Subscale were s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher than the scores of females. There were no s i g n i f i c a n t gender differences in the endorsement of any of the other subscales. F i n a l l y , the 114. analyses indicated the scores of Grade 10, 11 and 12 students were s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on the Perfectionism subscale, but not on any of the other subscales. The e f f e c t s of gender and grade on procrastination score were investigated. The i n f e r e n t i a l analyses indicated that there was no s i g n i f i c a n t effect on procrastination score due to gender, but that there was a s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t due to grade. The Grade 12 students in the sample had the lowest mean procrastination score, while Grade 11 students had the highest mean procrastination score. Therefore, the null hypothesis pertaining to gender was accepted and the null hypothesis pertaining to grade was rejected. The rela t i o n s h i p of procrastination to academic achievement was also examined. The Inferential analysis revealed that the achievement of students with a low procrastination score was higher than the achievement of students with a high procrastination score. The null hypothesis was rejected. 115. CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY. CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION Summary The l i t e r a t u r e has shown that the problem of procrastination i s p a r t i c u l a r l y acute in academic settings and that procrastination has a negative Impact on academic performance and student functioning (Boyd & Grieger, 1982; Burka & Yuen, 1983; Green, 1982; Rothblum, Solomon & Murakami, 1986). Even though i t has been assumed that procrastination occurs among secondary students, available research has focused exclusively on students at the college l e v e l . This study sought to examine the extent to which secondary students in the Arts and Sciences programme procrastinate on academic tasks, the extent to which they perceive t h i s as a problem which they would li k e to change, and the extent to which procrastination a f f e c t s academic achievement. As there i s some evidence in the l i t e r a t u r e of gender and grade differences related to procrastination, t h i s study also sought to discover whether males procrastinate more than females, and whether procrastination increases or decreases with grade l e v e l . Procrastination involves more than d e f i c i e n t time management or study s k i l l s (Burka 8. Yuen, 1982). Recent studies suggest that negative cognitions i n h i b i t task 116. completion and p o s i t i v e cognitions f a c i l i t a t e task completion (Grecco, 1984; Solomon & Rothblum, 1984; Williams, 1982). This study sought to examine the relationship of p o s i t i v e and negative s e l f - t a l k , or seif-statements, to procrastination and to discover whether high and low procrast!nators endorse p a r t i c u l a r types of cognitive antecedents. Knowledge of these variables could be of s i g n i f i c a n t help in the development of e f f e c t i v e counselling programmes aimed at helping students overcome procrast i nat1 on. The objectives of t h i s study were to examine the following: 1. the self-reported extent of the academic procrastination of secondary students enrolled in the Arts and Sciences programme; 2. the extent to which Arts and Sciences students experience academic procrastination as a problem and would l i k e to stop procrastinating on academic tasks. The study also sought to test the following hypotheses: High procrast!nators w i l l endorse negative seif-statements more than w i l l low procrastinators. Low procrastinators w i l l endorse p o s i t i v e s e l f -statements more than w i l l high procrastinators. High procrastinators w i l l endorse negative 2. 117. seif-statement subscales more than w i l l low procrast!nators and low procrastinators w i l l endorse p o s i t i v e seif-statement subscales more than w i l l high procrastinators. 4. There w i l l be no gender differences in the endorsement of seif-statement subscales. 5. There w i l l be no grade level differences ln the endorsement of seif-statement subscales. 6. There w i l l be no difference in the extent to which males and females procrastinate. 7. There w i l l be differences ln the extent to which Grade 10, 11 and 12 students procrastinate. 8. Procrastination w i l l have a negative effect on academic achievement. To accomplish these objectives and to test the hypotheses, a sample of 204 Arts and Sciences students was drawn from two secondary schools in Langley, B.C. Students were asked to complete the Procrastination Seif-Statement Inventory which contained two parts. Part A asked subjects to respond to eight p o s i t i v e or work-facl1 1tative seif-statements and 31 negative or work-inhibitive self-statements. Part B (Procrastination Self-Rating Scale) asked students to respond to 12 questions about study habits and was used to determine a Procrastination Score for each student. Demographic Information pertaining to gender. 118. grade, age, academic achievement and future plans was also col 1ected. Data regarding the extent of procrastination among secondary students, and the extent to which these students see t h i s as a problem which they would l i k e to change, were gathered. Descriptive s t a t i s t i c s were used to examine the r e s u l t s . The eight other hypotheses were reformulated in the null form and tested using i n f e r e n t i a l s t a t i s t i c s . In each case, an analysis of variance was used to test the difference between means to determine i f there was a s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t of s p e c i f i e d groups on certain variables. In terms of the objectives of the study, the r e s u l t s confirm that secondary students in the Arts and Sciences programme do procrastinate on academic tasks and do see t h i s as a problem that they would l i k e to correct. There appear to be no s i g n i f i c a n t gender e f f e c t s on procrastination, and although there were grade e f f e c t s , the r e s u l t s did not corroborate previous research that suggested a trend in procrastination related to length of time in school. E f f e c t s of gender and grade were evident on only two subscales. The r e s u l t s of t h i s study also indicate that there i s a negative ef f e c t of procrastination on academic achievement. F i n a l l y , the study confirmed that low procrastInators endorse p o s i t i v e self-statements and subscales more than do 119. high procrastinators. High procrastinators endorse negative seif-statements and subscales more than do low procrast1nators. R e s u l t s and D i s c u s s i o n Hypothesis Onet High procrastinators w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on the combined total of negative seif-statements than low procrast1nators. Resultst The null hypothesis was rejected. High procrastinators scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on the combined total of negative self-statements than did low procrast i nators. Discussion: The rationale for Hypothesis One stems from the contention of cognitive-behaviorists that negative s e l f - t a l k i n t erferes with task completion. According to the cognitive t h e o r i s t s , a downward s p i r a l i s created in which negative cognitions lead to negative emotions and procrastination ( E l l i s & Knaus, 1977; Grecco, 1984; Meichenbaum, Henshaw, & Hlmel, 1982). The r e s u l t s demonstrate support for the supposition that high procrast1nators, when confronted with tedious or d i f f i c u l t work that they do not wish to do, tend to make more negative statements about the work and about themselves than do low procrast1nators. 120. Hypothesis Two: High procrastinators w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on the combined total of p o s i t i v e self-statements than low procrstinators. Results: The null hypothesis was rejected. Low procrastinators scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on the combined total of p o s i t i v e self-statements than did high procrastinators. Discussion: The r e s u l t s reveal that students who rarely procrastinate make statements to themselves that are w o r k - f a c l 1 i t a t i v e . These statements r e f l e c t a p o s i t i v e and r e a l i s t i c approach to planning and accomplishing academic tasks. Hypothesis Three: High procrast1nators w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on each of the self-statement subscales than low procrastinators. Results: The r e s u l t s of Hypothesis 3 for each subscale are presented and discussed separately. Subscale I - N e a a t l v l s t l c Intolerance Results: The null hypothesis was rejected. High procrastInators scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on N e g a t l v i s t i c Intolerance than low procrast1nators. Discussion: The N e g a t l v i s t i c Intolerance subscale r e f l e c t s a negative attitude about school work. Results suggest that high procrastinators engage in s e l f - t a l k that 121. Is strongly negative, perhaps containing elements of h o s t i l i t y (Burka & Yuen, 1983} E l l i s 8, Knaus, 1977). Subscale ll - Immobilizing Mood Results: The null hypothesis was rejected. High procrast1nators scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on Immobilizing Mood than low procrast1nators. Discussion: According to Grecco, individuals who score high on t h i s subscale may be procrastinators who are anxious or depressed. The r e s u l t s indicate support for the views of Aaron Beck (1967) and David Burns (1980a) that procrastination i s often symptomatic of mild to severe forms of depression and that depression, in turn, leads to further loss of motivation and i n a b i l i t y to s e l f - m o b i l i z e . Subscale III - Low Seif-Competence Resultst The null hypothesis was rejected. High procrastinators scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on Low Seif-Competence than low procrastinators. Discussion: E l l i s and Knaus (1977) c i t e d self-downing as one of the main causes of procrastination. Bandura's theory of s e l f - e f f i c a c y states that individuals who believe that they w i l l be e f f e c t i v e w i l l be more l i k e l y to perform tasks. A negative sense of s e i f - e f f i c a c y r e s u l t s in task-avoidance (Bandura, 1977). The views of Bandura and E l l i s and Knaus are supported by the r e s u l t s of t h i s study. 122. High procrastinators endorsed items which r e f l e c t a low sense of self-competence. Subscale iv - U n r e a l i s t i c Planning Results: The null hypothesis was rejected. High procrastinators scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on U n r e a l i s t i c Planning than low procrastinators. Discussion: S i l v e r and Sablni wrote that procrastinators often know what they hope to achieve but lack a "recipe" to follow (1982). A student who lacks a r e a l i s t i c and appropriate plan which w i l l enable the timely completion academic tasks i s set up for f a i l u r e . The re s u l t s of t h i s study suggest that high procrastInators tend to make self-statements that indicate u n r e a l i s t i c or i d e a l i s t i c attitudes about time, as If there were no real l i m i t a t i o n s on th e i r time or energy (Burka & Yuen, 1983). Subscale V - F a c i l i t a t l v e Planfulness Results: The nul1 hypothesis was rejected. Low procrastinators scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on F a c i l i t a t l v e Planfulness than high procrastInators. Discussion: The re s u l t s reveal that low procrastinators tend to make statements that r e f l e c t a problem-solving and planful approach to work. The se1f-statements in t h i s scale represent adaptive, coping statements that f a c i l i t a t e work-completion. The students who scored high on t h i s scale 123. do not make statements to themselves which lead to negative a f f e c t , ruminations about their work and procrastination. Subscale VI - Low Seif-Control Results: The null hypothesis was rejected. High procrast1nators scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on Low Self-Control than low procrast1nators. Discussion: According to Grecco, individuals who endorse t h i s scale may be unable to manage their own behavior. They may procrastinate because they have, as E l l i s and Knaus (1977) suggest, a low-frustration tolerance. These individuals may have the i r r a t i o n a l b e l i e f that goals should be attained e a s i l y , without work, and that one should not have to forgo short-term pleasures ln order to at t a i n long-term goals. The r e s u l t s here suggest that high procrast1nators do indeed endorse low s e l f - c o n t r o l items. Subscale B - Risktaking Results: The null hypothesis was rejected. High procrast1nators scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on Risktaking than low procratinators. o Discusslon: A number of authors refer to individuals who claim to work best under pressure and so intentionally leave work u n t i l the last minute (Burka & Yuen, 1983; E l l i s & Knaus, 1977; Solomon & Rothblum, 1984; Scott, 1980). The t h r i l l of ris k - t a k i n g , of the "eleventh hour" rush, i s 124, linked to procrastination. High procrast1nators in t h i s study endorsed ris k t a k i n g items s i g n i f i c a n t l y more than did low procrastinators. Subscale D - Perfectionism Results: The null hypothesis was rejected . Low procrastinators scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on Perfectionism than high procrastinators. DlscMggJiont Although the r e s u l t s on t h i s subscale were s i g n i f i c a n t , they were not in the d i r e c t i o n suggested by the l i t e r a t u r e . Perfectionism Is c i t e d throughout the l i t e r a t u r e as a leading cause of procrastination (Burka & Yuen, 1983; E l l i s & Knaus, 1977; Knaus, 1979; Solomon 8. Rothblum, 1984). Yet, low procrastinators in t h i s study endorsed the Perfectionism items s i g n i f i c a n t l y more than did high procrastinators. One explanation for these r e s u l t s i s that the items may not have been interpreted by the subjects as representing u n r e a l i s t i c a l 1 y high or grandiose standards but rather as representing healthy standards of excellence. Subscale F - Low Self-Esteem Results: The null hypothesis was rejected. High procrastinators scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on Low Self-Esteem than low procrastInators. Discussion: Although there was only one item in t h i s subscale, the item s i g n i f i c a n t l y distinguished between high 125. and low procrast1nators. This item, l i k e the Low Seif-Competence items, r e f l e c t s a sense of negative e f f i c a c y ( i . e . , there i s no point in t r y i n g because one won't do we 11). Subscale G - Work F a c i l i t a t i v e Items Resultst The null hypothesis was rejected. Low procrast1nators scored s l g n f i c a n t l y higher on the Work F a c i l i t a t i v e Items than did high procrast1nators. Discussion: The endorsement of the pos i t i v e or work f a c i l i t a t i v e items added to the inventory by the investigator reaffirms the hypothesis that individuals who do not procrastinate make adaptive seif-statements when faced with work that they do not wish to do. Low procrast1nators focus on tasks and problem-solving rather than waste time on negative rumination. Non-si an i f leant Results; The following subscales added to the inventory by the Investigator did not show signficant differences in the extent to which they were endorsed by high and low procrast1nators: Subscales A, C and E ( H o s t i l i t y , Fear of Success and Fear of F a i l u r e ) . There i s evidence that fear of f a i l u r e i s an antecedent of procrastination (Rothblum, Solomon, 8, Murakami, 1986). The items presented in t h i s research, however, may not 126. adequately represent fear of f a i l u r e . As Beery suggests, f a i l u r e i s a r e l a t i v e term In that, for some, " f a i l u r e " connotes any achievement short of perfection. The anxiety evoked by the fear of f a i l u r e Inhibits work completion. The items contained here may not have r e f l e c t e d the s e l f - t a l k of Individuals who are a f r a i d of f a i l i n g . Likewise, the fear of success and h o s t i l i t y items may not have accurately represented self-statements made by procrastInators. The items may have been associated, by the students In the sample, with statements t y p i c a l l y made by younger students. Hypothesis Four: Males w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on each of the self-statement subscales than females. Results: The null hypothesis was accepted for a l l but one subscale. Only on Subscale B, Risktaking, did males score s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher than females. There were no s i g n i f i c a n t gender e f f e c t s on any other subscale. Discussion: There i s some evidence in the l i t e r a t u r e that males and females endorse d i f f e r e n t Ideational antecedents of procrastination. In an unpublished study by Rothblum and Solomon (1983) c i t e d by Grecco (1984), males endorsed items related to r i s k - t a k i n g more than did females. Those r e s u l t s are corroborated in t h i s study. 127. Hypothesis Five: Grade 10, 11 and 12 students w i l l not score s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on each of self-statement subscales. Results: The null hypothesis was accepted for a l l but one subscale. Only on Subscale D, Perfectionism, were there s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t s due to grade l e v e l . Grade 10 students had the highest mean score, and Grade 11 students had the lowest mean score. The post hoc comparision of the r e s u l t s showed that the difference between the means of Grade 10 and Grade 11 students was s i g n i f i c a n t . Discussion: As the endorsement of the P e r f e c t i o n i s t items reveals no trend, i t i s not possible to interpret the r e s u l t s . Regarding a l l other subscales, the r e s u l t s support the hypothesis that grade level does not ef f e c t the endorsement by high and low procrastinators of p a r t i c u l a r ideational or cognitive antecedents. Hypothesis Six: There w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t difference in the Procrastination Score of males and females. Results: The null hypothesis was accepted. The r e s u l t s indicate that there i s no s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t of gender on Procrastination Score. Discussion: Evidence regarding gender differences related to procrastination i s somewhat c o n f l i c t i n g . Only one study (Grecco, 1984) showed gender differences related to procrastination. In that study, males scored higher on 128. procrastination than females. Other studies (Rothblum, Solomon & Murakami, 1986; Solomon & Rothblum, 1984) indicate that there are no differences in the extent to which males and females procrastinate. This study adds support to the evidence that males and females do not score d i f f e r e n t l y on items which measured the extent of their procrastination. Hypothesis Seven: There w i l l be no s i g n i f i c a n t difference in the Procrastination Scores of Grades 10, 11 and 12 students. Results: The null hypothesis was rejected. There were s i g n i f i c a n t grade level differences ln Procrastination Scores. Grade 11 students had the highest mean Procrastination Score while Grade 12 students had the lowest mean score. A post hoc comparison of the differences among the Grade 10, 11 and 12 means revealed that the difference between the Grade 11 and 12 scores was s i g n i f i c a n t . Discussion; There i s some evidence, in the l i t e r a t u r e , of grade level e f f e c t s on procrastination. It appears that the tendency to procrastinate increases the longer one remains in school (Solomon & Rothblum, 1984). The r e s u l t s of t h i s study also reveal grade level e f f e c t s on procrastination but do not indicate a trend similar to that in other studies. The r e s u l t s here do not lend themselves to interpretation. 129. Hypothesis Eight; There i s no s i g n i f i c a n t difference in the mean achievement score of high and low procrast1nators. Results; The null hypothesis was rejected. Low procrastinators had s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher achievement scores than high procrastinators. Discussion: There i s c o n f l i c t i n g evidence pertaining to the relat i o n s h i p between procrastination and achievement. Beery (1975) noted that high procrastinators are often able to make e f f e c t i v e last-minute e f f o r t s so that their achievement i s not adversely affected. Other studies show a negative c o r r e l a t i o n between procrastination and achievement ( H i l l , H i l l , Chabot & Barral1, 1978; Rothblum, Solomon, & Murakami, 1986). The re s u l t s of t h i s study suggest that Arts and Sciences students who procrastinate do not achieve as high on report card grades as those students who do not procrastinate. LlmltflUong The research sample was r e s t r i c t e d to Arts and Sciences students in Grades 10, 11 and 12. A l l students in the sample attended two schools in the same suburban/rural school d i s t r i c t . A l l students in the sample agreed to pa r t i c i p a t e on a volunteer basis. These factors might 130. affect the generalizabi1ity of the findings to the general secondary student population. This study was based exclusively on sel f - r e p o r t measures with no attempt to correlate r e s u l t s to behavioural measures. This may limit the r e s u l t s to what the students were prepared to say about themselves and to the i r own subjective Judgements about their study habits. Furthermore, there are shortcomings inherent using se l f - r e p o r t inventories to c o l l e c t information about cognitions. Self-report inventories, unlike open-ended cognitive assessment techniques, "Increase the l i k e l i h o o d that responses are only approximations of the actual cognitions, or worse, are fabrications" (Grecco, p. 80, 1984). In future research, open-ended assessment devices could be used. Implications for Counselling and Recommendations The r e s u l t s of the study confirm that many secondary students who are planning to attend post-secondary educational programmes procrastinate on academic tasks. Given the findings of t h i s research that procrastination i s detrimental to academic performance, and given the present competitive climate surrounding entrance into many college and university programmes and the Job market, t h i s problem 131, Is one which deserves substantial consideration. This study revealed that many secondary students are concerned about problematic procrastination and would l i k e to change their behavior. Students themselves recognize the d e b i l i t a t i n g e f f e c t s of procrastination, both emotional and academic. Given student recognition of the problem, counselling programmes aimed at helping students overcome procrastination may be well received at the secondary l e v e l . Procrastination Is a complex problem, which involves more than d e f i c i e n t study and time management s k i l l s . The re s u l t s of t h i s research indicate that procrastination may be linked to cognitions which e l i c i t negative affect and unproductive rumination. What are the Implications of such findings for counselling interventions? I f , as Burka and Yuen <1982) suggest, study s k i l l s advice, time management and behavioural s e l f - c o n t r o l programmes alone are ultimately Ineffective in treating procrastination, what strategies would be useful? Given the r e s u l t s of the present study, i t would appear that counselling interventions which modify dysfunctional thoughts may well be appropriate therapy for procrastinators. David Burns <1980a) recommends a number of s e l f - a c t l v a t l o n exercises which help to reveal d i s t o r t i o n s in thinking and mobilize c l i e n t s . Certainly students at the secondary level can be made aware of the way in which their own thinking processes i n h i b i t t h e i r a b i l i t y to complete school work. Students could, in conjunction with more 132. t r a d i t i o n a l approaches, be given exercises which help to expose maladaptive thinking processes and promote a more pos i t i v e attitude. The r e s u l t s of the study also suggest that procrastination may be symptomatic of other forms of psychological disturbance. Counsellors need to be aware that habitual academic postponing may more than lack of study s k i l l s knowledge, and indeed may indicate depression or other disorders. Grecco's Procrastination Seif-Statement Inventory could be a useful tool ln counselling sessions, not only to help uncover themes ln the thinking processes of students, but also to suggest the presence of more d e b i l i t a t i n g emotional problems which are in need of attent ion. A suggestion for improvement of the PSSI would be to expand the inventory so that i t addresses the relationship of procrastination to task d i f f i c u l t y . In t h i s study, procrastination has been defined as the postponement of a task that one i s capable of doing, but does not do. Yet, in the study, no real measure of student perception of task d i f f i c u l t y was sought. Therefore, i t i s not known whether or not the students ln the sample in fact procrastinated on assignments which they Judged to be d i f f i c u l t or beyond their c a p a b i l i t i e s . Items which ask students to rate, for example, subject d i f f i c u l t y and subsequently extent of 133. procrastination might overcome t h i s l i m i t a t i o n of the i nventory. A suggestion for further research would be to test the e f f e c t s of cognitive techniques for overcoming procrastination among secondary students. Exercises, such as those recommended by Burns <1980a), could be incorporated quite readily into a group programme and r e s u l t s then compared to study s k i l l s or behavioural s e l f - c o n t r o l approaches. Such research could help pave the way for truly e f f e c t i v e counselling programmes aimed at treating problematic procrastination. Conclusion Based on the measures used in t h i s study and the analyses applied, high procrastInators endorsed negative, work-inhibltive se1f-statements more than than did low procrastInators. Low procrastinators endorsed p o s i t i v e , work-faci1Itative self-statements more than did high procrastinators. These r e s u l t s suggest that there i s a relationship between negative cognitions and procrastinative behavior which should be addressed further in counselling research. Knowledge of the antecedents of procrastination may a s s i s t counsellors in developing Interventions for students whose chronic postponing on school assignments stands in the way of academic success and emotional wei1-being. 1 3 4 . REFERENCES Antaki, C. < 1 9 8 2 ) . A br i e f introduction to a t t r i b u t i o n and att r i b u t i o n a l theories. In C. Antaki & C. Brewin (Eds.), Attributions and psychological change (pp. 3 - 2 1 ) . London: Academic Press. Antaki, C., 8, Brewin, C. (Eds.) ( 1 9 8 2 ) . Attributions and psychological change. London: Academic Press. Bandura, A. ( 1 9 7 7 ) . Social learning theory. Englewood C l i f f s , NJ: Prentice-Hall. Bar-Tal, D. ( 1 9 8 2 ) . The e f f e c t s of teachers' behaviour on pup i l s ' a t t r i b u t i o n s : a review. In C. Antaki 8< C. Brewin (Eds.), Attributions and psychological change (pp. 1 7 7 - 1 9 4 ) . London: Academic Press. Beck, A . T . ( 1 9 6 7 ) . Depressions Causes and treatment-Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press. Beck, A.T. ( 1 9 7 6 ) . Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: New American Library. Beery, R.G. ( 1 9 7 5 ) . Fear of f a i l u r e ln the student experience. Personnel and Guidance Journal. 5 4 , 1 9 0 - 2 0 3 , Beneke, W.N., 8, Harris, M.B. ( 1 9 7 2 ) . Teaching se l f - c o n t r o l of study behavior. Behaviour Research and Therapy. 1P_, 3 5 - 4 1 . B l i s s , E.C. ( 1 9 7 6 ) . G e t t i n g t h i n g s done. New York: Bantam Books. B l i s s , E.C. ( 1 9 8 3 ) . Doing i t now. New York: Bantam Books. Borg, W.R., 8. G a l l , M.D. ( 1 9 7 9 ) . Educational research: An introduction. New York: Longman Inc. Boyd, J., 8i Grleger, R. ( 1 9 8 2 ) . Sei f-acceptance problems. In R. Grieger 8. I.Z. Grleger (Eds.), Cognition and emotional disturbance (pp. 1 1 0 - 1 3 2 ) . New York: Human Sciences Press. B r i s t o l , M.M., 8, Sloane, H.M., J r . ( 1 9 7 4 ) . Effect of contingency contracting on study rate on test performance. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. 2, 2 7 1 - 2 8 5 . 135. Burka, J.B., & Yuen, L.M. (1982, January). Mind games procrastinators play. Psychology Today. 32-44. Burka, J.B., & Yuen, L.M. (1983). Procrastination: WJiy_ VQV. do iitt What to do about i t . Massachusetts: Addlson-Wesley. Burns, D.D. (1980a). Feelino good: The new mood therapy. New York: New American Library. Burns, D.D. (1980b, November). The p e r f e c t i o n i s t ' s s c r i p t for s e l f -defeat. Psychology Today. 34-52. Burns, D.D., & Beck, A.T. (1978). Cognitive behavior modification of mood disorders. In J. Foreyt & D. RathJen (Eds.), Cognitive behavior therapy: Research and appl1cat ion (pp. 109-134). New York: Plenum Press. Covington, M., 8, Beery, R. (1976). Self-worth and school learning. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Doctor, R.M., Aponte, J., Burry, A . , 8. Welch, R. (1970). Group counseling versus behavior therapy In treatment of col lege underachlevement. Behaviour Research and Therapy, fi, 87-89. E l l i s , A . (1970). Reason and emotion i n psychotherapy. New York: Lyle Stuart. E l l i s , A . (1977). The basic c l i n i c a l theory of r a t i o n a l -emotive therapy. In A . E l l i s 8. R. Grieger (Eds.), Handbook of rational-emotive therapy (pp. 3-34). New York: Springer Publishing Co. E l l i s , A . , 8, Knaus, W.J. (1977). Overcoming P r o c r a s t i n a t i o n - New York: Institute for Rational L i v i n g . Ely, D.D., & Hampton, J.D. (1973). Prediction of procrastination in a self-pacing instructional system, (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 0755501) Ferguson, G . A . (1981). S t a t i s t i c a l a n a l y s i s i n psychology and education (5th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Foreyt, J . , 8. Rathjen, D. (1978). Cognitive behavior therapy: Research and application. New York: Plenum Press. 136. G a r f i e l d , S., 8, Bergin, A. (Eds.) (1978). Handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. Glass, G.V. 8= Hopkins, K.D. (1984). S t a t i s t i c a l methods in education and psychology (2nd Ed.). Englewood C l i f f s , NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. Grecco, P.R. (1984). A cognitive-behavioral assessment of problematic academic procrastination: Development of a procrastination self-statement inventory. (Doctoral d i s s e r t a t i o n , C a l i f o r n i a School of Professional Psychology, Fresno). Green, L. (1982). Minority students' s e l f - c o n t r o l of procrastination. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 22, 636-644. Grleger, R., 8. Grieger, I.Z. (Eds.) (1982). Cognition and emotional disturbance. New York: Human Sciences Press. Greiner, J.M., 8. Karoly, P. (1976). E f f e c t s of se l f - c o n t r o l t r a i n i n g on study a c t i v i t y and academic performance: An analysis of self-monitoring, self-reward, and systematic planning components. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 2_(6), 4 9 5 - 5 0 2 . Groveman, A.M., Richards, C.S., 8. Caple, R. (1977). E f f e c t s of s t u d y - s k i l l s counseling versus behavioral s e l f -control techniques in the treatment of academic performance. Psychological Reports. 4_, 186. Hamachek, D.E. (1978). Psychodynamics of normal and neurotic perfectionism. Psychology: A Journal of Human Behavior. 27-33. Harris, M.B., & Ream, F. (1972). A program to improve study habits of high-school students. Psychology ln Schools. 9_, 325-330. Harris, M.B., 8. T r u j i l l o , A.E. (1975). Improving study habits of Junior high school students through s e l f -management versus group discussion. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 22(6), 513-517. Heider, F. (1958). The psychology of interpersonal r e l a t i o n s . New York: Wiley. 137. H i l l , M.B., H i l l , D.A., Chabot, A.E., & Barral1, J.F. (1978). A survey of college faculty and student procrastination. College Student Journal. 12, 256-262. Jones, A.C. (1975). Grandiosity blocks wr i t i n g projects. Transactional Anal vs i s Journal . 5_, 415. Kendal], P.C., & Hoi Ion, S.D. (1981). Assessing s e l f - r e f e r e n t speech: Methods in the measurement of self-statements. In P.C. Kendall & S.D. Hoi Ion (Eds.), Assessment strategies for cognitive-behavioral interventions (pp. 85-118). New York: Academic Press. Knaus, W.J. (1979). Po U now: How to stop procrastinating. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Knaus, W.J. (1982). The parameters of procrastination. In R. Grieger & R.Z. Grieger (Eds.), Cognitive and emotional disturbance (pp. 174-196). New York: Human Science Press. Krohne, H.W. and Laux, L. (Eds.) (1982). Achievement. stress and anxiety. Washington, D.C: Hemisphere. La i , C. (1986). UBC SPSSX,: S t a t i s t i c a l package for the soci a l sciences extended version release 2 .0 (under MTS). Vancouver: University of B r i t i s h Columbia. Lakeln, A. (1973). How to get control of vour time and your  1 l f e . New York: Signet. Layden, M.A. (1982). At t r i b u t i o n a l s t y l e therapy. In C. Antaki & C. Brewin (Eds.), Attributions and psychological change (pp. 63-82). London: Academic Press. Lopez, F.G. & Wambach, CA. (1982). E f f e c t s of paradoxical and s e l f - c o n t r o l d i r e c t i v e s in counselling. Journal Qt Counseling Psychology, 22 ( 2 ) , 115-124. Mackenzie, A., & Waldo, K.C. (1981). About time: A woman's guide to time management. New York: McGraw-Hill. Mahoney, M., 8. Arnkoff, D. (1978). Cognitive and sel f - c o n t r o l therapies. In S. G a r f i e l d & A. Bergin (Eds.), Handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change <2nd ed,? (PP. 689-722). New York: John Wiley & Sons. 138. Meichenbaum, D., Henshaw, D., & Himel, N. (1982). Coping with stres s as a problem-solving process. In H.W. Krohne 8. L. Laux (Eds.), Achievement, stress, and  anxiety (pp. 127-142). Washington, DC: Hemisphere. Morris, S., 8. Charney, N. (1983, October). Stop i t . Whipping procrast1 nation—now. Psychology Today. 80-81. Nelson, L.R. (1974). Guide to LERTAP use and interpretation. Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago. Peterson, C. 8. Seligman, M.E.P. (1980). Helplessness and a t t r i b u t i o n a l s t v l e in depression. Unpublished manuscript, University of Pennsylvania. Peterson, C. (1982). Learned helplessness and a t t r i b u t i o n a l interventions in depression. In C. Antakl & C. Brewin (Eds.), Attributions and psychological change (pp. 97-115). London: Academic Press. Porat, F. (1980). C r e a t i v e p r o c r a s t I n a t l o n ' Organizing vour own 1Ife. San Francisco: Harper & Row. Richards, C.S. (1975). Behavior modification of studying through study s k i l l s advice and s e l f - c o n t r o l procedures. Journal of CounselIng Psychology, 22<5>, 431-436. Richards, C.S., McReynolds, W.T., Holt, S., 8. Sexton, T. (1976). E f f e c t s of information feedback and self-administered consequences on self-monitoring study behavior. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 23, 316-321. Rimm, D. , 8, Masters, J. (1979). Behavior therapy techniques and empirical findings. (2nd. ed.) New York: Academic Press. Rorer, L.G. (1983). "Deep" RET: A reformulation of some psychodynamic explorations of procrastination. Cognitive Therapy and Research. 2 d ) , 1-10. Rosati, P.A. (1975). Procrastinators prefer PSI. Education Research and Methods. 8, 17-22. Rothblum, E.D., 8, Solomon, L. (1983). Cogn 111 ve-behav 1 ora 1 antecedents of procrastination. Unpublished manuscript, University of Vermont, Burlington. 139. Rothblum, E.D., Solomon, L.J. 8. Murakami, J . (1986). A f f e c t i v e , cognitive and behavioral differences between high and low procrastinators. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 32(4), 387-394. Sabini, J . , 8, S i l v e r , M. (1982). M o r a l i t i e s of everyday 1 1 f e . Oxfords Oxford University Press. Scott, D. (1980). How to put more time ln vour l i f e . New York: New American Library. S i l v e r , M., 8. Sabini, J. (1981). Procrastinating. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior. _ ( 2 ) , 207-221. S i l v e r , M., 8. Sabini, J. (1982, January). When i t ' s not r e a l l y procrastination. Psychology Today. 39-42. Solomon, L.J., & Rothblum, E.D. (1984). Academic procrastination: Frequency and cognitive-behavioral correlates. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 3_(4), 503-509. Strong, S.R., Wamback, C.A., Lopez, G.G., & Cooper, R.K. (1979). Motivational and equipping functions of interpretations in counseling. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 26, 98-109. Weiner, B. (1982). An a t t r i b u t i o n theory of motivation and emotion. In H. W. Krohne & L. Laux (Eds.), Achievement, stress, and anxiety (pp. 223-245). Washington, DC: Hemisphere. Williams, J.G. (1982). Expectancy x value: A model of how at t r i b u t i o n s affect educational attainment. In C. Antaki 8, C. Brewin (Eds.), Attributions and psychological change (pp. 195-210). London: Academic Press. Wilson, G.T. (1978). Cognitive behavior therapy: Paradigm s h i f t or passing phase. In J . Foreyt & D. Rathjen (Eds.), Cognitive behavior therapy: Research and a p p l i c a t i o n <PP- 7-32). New York: Plenum Press. Ziesat, H.A., Rosenthal, T.L., 8, White, G.M. (1978) Behavioral s e l f - c o n t r o l in treating procrastination of studying. Psychological Reports. 42(1), 59-69. 140. APPENDIX A STUDENT CONSENT INFORMATION 141. Dear Student: I am conducting research on the study habits of secondary students to determine to what extent students habitually put off doing school work to the last minute, to what extent students see t h i s as a problem which they would li k e to change, and to what extent study habits effect academic achievement (report card grades). F i n a l l y , I am examining the statements students t y p i c a l l y make to themselves when they are deciding whether or not to do school work. This research w i l l contribute to our knowledge of study habits and so could f a c i l i t a t e the development of counselling programmes which would be e f f e c t i v e in helping students overcome academic problems. Student Consent Information: As t h i s research has no connection with t h i s course or with your school, p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s completely voluntary. You may stop at any time with absolutely no Jeopardy to your academic standing. The questionnaire w i l l take approximately f i f t e e n minutes to complete should you decide to p a r t i c i p a t e . Your completed questionnaire w i l l indicate that your personal consent to p a r t i c i p a t e as a subject in t h i s study has been gi ven. Note that you are not being asked to identify yourself on the questionnaire. Your individual answers w i l l be kept in s t r i c t e s t confidence and only general r e s u l t s w i l l be reported. Thank you for your cooperation, Lorl Gorden 142. APPENDIX B DIRECTIONS TO PSSI 143. Direct ions: Please think back to the last time that you had a school assignment (homework, studying, term paper, etc.) to do that you r e a l l y didn't feel l i k e doing. When was that? Re-create that time as v i v i d l y as you can, as i f you were reexperiencing the si t u a t i o n at t h i s moment. Really see yourself. Imagine where you were, what work you had to do, the things that were going through your head. Below i s a p a r t i a l l i s t i n g of statements that people make to themselves (their thoughts) when confronted with doing school work they f i n d d i f f i c u l t , boring, or otherwise unpleasant. Read each statement and Indicate on the questionnaire how frequently you may have been thinking a sim i l a r thought while you were deciding to work or not. Choose the l e t t e r that best characterizes your experience. The scale i s interpreted as follows: A = hardly ever had the thought B = rarely had the thought C = sometimes had the thought D = often had the thought E = very often had the thought The usefulness of t h i s survey w i l l e n t i r e l y depend on your honest and thoughtful responses. Please respond on the basis of your actual experience and not on what you think should be the right or correct way of responding. There are no "right" or "wrong" answers to these statements. Please do not omit any of the statements. To summarize, I want you to indicate, by c i r c l i n g the appropriate l e t t e r beside each statement, how often a pa r t i c u l a r thought has occurred to you as you are thinking about t h i s event. 144. APPENDIX C PROCRASTINATION SELF-STATEMENT INVENTORY 145. Part A: Items 1 through 41: Please relate the following 41 statements to the last time you were confronted with school work that you did not want to do. Rate how frequently you make the following statements using the rating scale below. Circle the appropriate letter. 1. I'll probably fail if I try. 2. I can't do this work. 3. I Just don't feel like i t . 4. Once I start it's not so bad. 5. There's plenty of time, I'll do it later. 6. I'll just do something else first then I' l l get to i t . 7. They're asking too much of me. 8. I don't have to be perfect about this work. 9. Every l i t t l e bit is that much closer to finishing. 10. I really can't stand all the work I have to do. 11. I want to do well but I don't want to put so much effort into i t . 12. Others are probably doing better. 13. It's harder to put it off than it is to do i t . 14. I'll be ln a better mood later, 15. I should be working but I don't want to. A B C 0 E Hardly Rarely Sometimes Often Very ever often A B C D E A B C 0 E A B C D E A B C D E A B C D E A B C D E A B C D E A B C D E A B C D E A B C D E A B c D E A B C D E A B C D E A B C D E A B C 0 E 146. A B C D E Hardly Rarely Sometimes Often Very ever often 16. I Just don't want to wait to have a good time. A B C D E 17. I'll do It now so I can be free to do other things later. A B C D E 18. I've got so much to do, I won't do any of i t . A B C D E 19, There's so much to do I don't know where to begin. A B C D E 20. I want to enjoy myself now and not have to wait until later. A B C D E 21. If I plan my work ahead of time I can get more accomplished. A B C D E 22. I can't stand doing this work. A B C D E 23. This work is too hard. A B C D E 24. I shouldn't have to work so hard. A B C D E 25. I'l l wait until I'm more in the mood. A B C D E 26. I'll do it now so I can re 1 ax later. A B C D E 27. Since I won't get It done now I might as well not begin. A B C D E 28. I don't like the teacher. A B C D E 29. I must get an excellent grade. A B c D E 30. I work better at the last minute. A B c D E 31. The better I do, the more that is expected of me. A B c D E 32. They shouldn't give me such tight deadlines. A B c D E 33. Doing too well at school could A B c D E cause problems for me. 147. A B C D E Hardly Rarely Sometimes Often Very ever often 34. I'm afraid of what may happen If I don't do wei1. A B C D E 35. I don't have to like It, I just have to do i t . A B C D E 36. The teacher is out to get me. A B C D E 37. What good does it do to work. I won't do well anyway. A B C D E 38. I must do excellent work. A B C D E 39. I work better under pressure. A B C D E 40. I'm so anxious I can't even start. A B C D E 41. I may not like i t , I just have to A B C D E do i t . Part B» Here are some general questions about your study habits. You will be asked about the extent to which you procrastinate, or unnecessarily put off doing school assignments until the last minute. Items 42 through to 46: Please rate how frequently the following items apply to you. Circle the appropriate letter. A B C D E Hardly Rarely Sometimes Often Very ever often 42. I work on papers and assignments A B C D E well before they are due. 43. I keep up with the reading A B C D E required for my courses. 44. I watch TV or listen to music A B C D E when I should be doing school work. 45. I talk on the phone or visit with A B C D E friends when I should be doing school work. 46. I go out when I should be doing A B C D E school work. 148. Items 47 through 59: appropriate letter. Please answer the following by circling the 47. How often do you feel that you procrastinate (i.e. needlessly delay) over school work assign-ments? A Hardly ever Sometimes E Very often 48. How serious a problem do you consider your procrastination? A No problem C D Not greater than most E Very ser i ous problem 49. How much of your available study time do you feel that you lose because of procrastination? A 0-20% C 40-60% E 80-100% 50. How would you rate the A impact that procrastination Almost has had on your academic no performance? impact Moderate impact Strongly negative impact 51. How satisfied are you A with your use of available Very study time? satisfied C Neutral D E Very dissatisfied 52. When do you usually complete major school assignments? A B C D Several Several A few The weeks days days night before before before before E Late 53. How soon before your last major exam did you begin to study? A B C Several Several A few weeks days days before before before 0 E Two The days night before before 54. To what extent would you A like to stop procrastinating Not on school work? at al1 C Neutral E Very much 149. 55. What is your grade level? A B C 10 11 12 56. What is your age? A B C D E 15 16 17 18 19 57. What is your sex? A B Male Female 58. What was your letter grade average on the last report card? B C+ C D E 59. What are your plans A B C D after graduation university college work other from high school? 150. APPENDIX D LETTERS OF PERMISSION TO CONDUCT STUDY 

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