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From psychological distress to academic procrastination: Exploring the role of psychological inflexibility (Pages 103-108)

Volume 13, July 2019, Pages 103-108


Nikolett Eisenbeck, David F. Carreno, Rubén Uclés-Juárez


Academic procrastination is generally understood as a problematic emotion regulation practice related to poor mental health. Previous studies have linked it to higher levels of psychological inflexibility, defined as the rigid dominance of certain psychological reactions over personal values in guiding actions. In order to discover the exact role of psychological flexibility in procrastination, a sample of 429 university students completed measures of academic procrastination, psychological inflexibility and general psychological distress, comprising depression, anxiety and stress. As predicted, higher levels of procrastination were related to elevated psychological distress. Both procrastination and psychological distress were associated with psychological inflexibility. Moreover, psychological inflexibility mediated the relationship between general psychological distress and procrastination. This mediator role was observed in the case of each negative emotional state (depression, anxiety and stress) that make up general psychological distress. These results indicate that negative emotional states and academic procrastination may be linked through the problematic self-regulation pattern of psychological inflexibility. The findings thus support the scope of interventions that target both psychological distress and academic procrastination by decreasing psychological inflexibility and promoting values-based actions.

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