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Researchers finding new links in procrastination and mental health in college students

By Admin User on March 15, 2018

In a survey done by Piers Steel, a psychology professor at the University of Calgary, 80 to 95 per cent of students say that they procrastinate regularly. This type of procrastination is often situational and not a chronic problem for most.

“I’m in my fourth semester now. I’ve had issues with procrastination in the past,” said Ryan Marsden, an instrumental engineering student. “Essentially, over time, I’ve learned to schedule stuff out and plan stuff beforehand so that way I’m not falling behind in classes.”

There are many reasons why someone would procrastinate including poor time management. However, for some, it could be a part of a bigger mental health issue like anxiety or depression.

“Anxiety affects how you approach everything in life,” said Cynthia Ma, a student-focused support administrator at NAIT’s Learning Services. “So if you’re a student or you’re working part-time, the anxiety is going to do different things in different ways. One of those things is procrastination because if you have this crippling fear of failing then you might never start. And that’s what we see often.”

Researchers have found that procrastination is often linked with the emotions someone feels toward a project. Some might be perfectionists and will put off a task because they want to do it perfectly. Others might be self-handicapping to protect themselves from negative emotions involved with failing.

Research on procrastination has also found that chronic procrastination leads to health issues. Chronic procrastinators are at a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and many stress-related problems.




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