Academic procrastination among UK PhD students

Yang, Yan (2016) Academic procrastination among UK PhD students. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The majority of research on academic procrastination has been conducted among undergraduate students, and there is relatively little research investigating procrastination among doctoral students. PhD students are different from undergraduates: they might need a higher level of self-regulatory ability to conduct research. The aim of this thesis was to fill the research gap in the investigation of academic procrastination among PhD students in the UK. More specifically, the current investigation combined different perspectives to examine the extent to which PhD students procrastinate, explores the relationships between a variety of psychological variables, doctoral satisfaction and academic procrastination, and identifies the antecedents and influence of procrastination in relation to PhD students’ own experience.

This thesis comprises three studies. Firstly, a cross-sectional study (N=285) was conducted in order to assess the relationship between doctoral satisfaction, Big Five personality traits, self-efficacy, self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and academic procrastination. In Study 2, a longitudinal research design was employed to examine the stability of the identified relationships over a 12-month period (N=79). The results indicated that doctoral satisfaction and depression had long-term influence on PhD students’ procrastinatory behaviour. In addition, conscientiousness was found to have an effect on academic procrastination only in the cross-sectional study, while openness was found to predict procrastination longitudinally. Moreover, doctoral satisfaction also had meditional effect on the relationship between personality traits, self-efficacy, anxiety, and procrastination. In Study 3, the antecedents and consequences of academic procrastination in terms of UK PhD students’ own perspectives were explored in twenty-one in-depth interviews. Data were thematically analysed and a description of the themes concerning antecedents, positive and negative consequences of procrastination, and coping strategies used to help reduce procrastination, is provided. The findings indicates that PhD students’ procrastination is a multifaceted phenomenon with cognitive, affective, and behavioul factors influencing its likelihood.

Causes and effects of academic procrastination among PhD students are discussed on the basis of findings from the quantitative and qualitative studies, by considering individual differences, psychological state, and contextual factors in a new conceptual model of academic procrastination. The findings point to a range of possible procrastination-reduction interventions focused on doctoral satisfaction and psychological wellbeing. The strengths and limitations of this work are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Houdmont, Jonathan
Griffiths, Amanda
Keywords: academic procrastination, phd students, uk, gb, great britain, doctoral, graduate students, personality type
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > W Health professions
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 37613
Depositing User: Yang, Yan
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2017 14:35
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2018 13:26

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