An Issue Of Procrastination And Stress Levels

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Abstract

This study examines the correlation between levels of procrastination and levels of stress. Data was gathered to conclude whether or not procrastination levels had a correlational relationship with stress levels. Participants took part in a three part study which included a demographic survey, a procrastination questionnaire, and Cohenr’s perceived stress scale questionnaire.

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Results concluded that there was no statistically significant correlation between levels of procrastination and levels of stress. Future research should include a variety of other factors like declared major, economic status, if the participant has other responsibilities including multiple jobs, and whether or not the participant lives on campus or commutes.

Introduction

Literature Review

The study conducted by Beleaua and Cocorada (2016) further explored the hypothesis that procrastination leads to negative factors including higher levels of stress. In their research they theorized that individuals who report higher levels of procrastination would in turn, have higher levels of stress. College students were given stress and procrastination questionnaires. Results found that there was a correlation between procrastination and stress. Participants who had high levels of procrastination also had higher levels of stress (Beleaua & Cocorada, 2016). Research by Tice and Baumeister (1997) looked into the effects of procrastination on stress and illness in a college setting. Results showed that procrastination scores were correlated with stress. The negative correlations found meant that procrastinators showed lower stress levels and fewer illness symptoms than non-procrastinators (Tice & Baumeister, 1997). Szabo and Marian (2018) conducted a study to find correlations between procrastination and stress levels regarding college students during finals week. Using methods as the previous two studies, results found that those participants with increased levels of procrastination also had higher levels of stress than those who did not (Szabo & Marian, 2018). Jackson, Weiss, and Lundquist (2000) researched the hypothesis that procrastination had a significant correlation with stress.

Results of their study showed that there was a significant correlation between both, meaning that higher levels of procrastination were accompanied with higher levels of stress (Jackson et al., 2000). All studies sought out to find a correlation between procrastination and stress levels. All but one found those with higher levels of procrastination also had higher levels of reported stress. Hypotheses In this study, it was hypothesized that higher levels of procrastination would result in higher levels of stress. It was also hypothesized that participants who showed lower levels of procrastination would also show lower levels of stress.

Also, it was hypothesized that demographic factors would not have a significant correlation with procrastination nor stress levels. Method Participants As shown in Table 1, there was a total of 29 participants. Of those 29 participants, 15 identified as male and 14 identifies as female. Of the 29 participants, 6 reported that they were Freshman, 8 reported that they were Sophomores, 7 reported that they were Juniors, and 8 reported that they were Seniors. The demographic survey concluded that 4 participants were White, 11 were Hispanic, 10 were African American, 1 was Asian, and 3 were classified as other. Of the 29 participants, 13 fell between the ages of 18 and 20, 8 fell between 21 and 24, and 6 were 25 years or older. Materials Materials used in this study contained a demographic survey that included gender, year, ethnicity, and age. The demographic survey was a multiple choice formatted questionnaire in which each letter represented a different answer choice. A five question procrastination survey was made for this study to measure procrastination within participants. Stress levels were measured with the use of Cohenr’s Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). The stress scale consists of a five item questionnaire in which answers consist of a scale from 0-4, 0 depicting never and 4 depicting very often. The PSS has an alpha coefficient of 0.72, meaning it has good internal consistency and reliability.

Procedure

Participants were chosen in a public setting. Possible participants were approached and asked if they wanted to part take in a research study for Kean Universityr’s psychology program. Participants were given a consent form stating that he or she had no obligation to participate in the study and they had the option to opt out at any given time if they decided to. It was reiterated that completion of their participation was not mandatory. Once the participant signed the consent form, the purpose of the study was thoroughly explained to them along with the steps they would be partaking in. First, participants were given a demographic survey in which the participant had 1-2 minutes to complete. Afterwards, the participant was given 2 questionnaires including the procrastination and the stress questionnaire. Participants were given up to five minutes to complete both questionnaires. Upon completion, demographic surveys, and both questionnaires were collected. Debriefing forms were handed out and explained. Participants were told that if they had any questions, concerns, or were in need of counseling due to any factor regarding the study they would contact the head faculty or the Kean University counseling center at any given time.

Results

Inferential

A pearson correlation found no significant relationship between procrastination and stress. As can be seen in Table 2, the correlation between procrastination and stress failed to reach significance (r=.11, p=.58). Thus, the hypothesis that higher levels of procrastination would result in higher levels of stress was not confirmed. The hypothesis that lower levels of procrastination would result in lower levels of stress also failed to be confirmed. Data found no significant relationship between GPA, procrastination, and stress (r=.35, p=.06). Thus, the hypothesis that demographic factors like GPA would not have a significant relationship with procrastination or stress was confirmed. Discussion Relate to Hypothesis The hypothesis that procrastination and stress levels would be correlated failed to reach statistical significance. Therefore, the theory that higher levels of procrastination would result in higher levels of stress was not confirmed. The hypothesis that lower levels of procrastination would result in lower levels of stress was also not confirmed. Contrary to the findings of this study, the research conducted by Tice and Baumeister (1997) showed that procrastination scores were correlated with stress. The study by Jackson, Weiss, and Lundquist (2000) also confirmed the hypothesis that there was a correlation between procrastination and stress.

Results of their study showed that there was a significant correlation between both, meaning that higher levels of procrastination were accompanied with higher levels of stress. This study did not have similar findings. In fact, this study had the opposite findings, and failed to confirm the relationship between both procrastination and stress. Limitations Limitations included a small sample size of 29 participants which affected the external validity because sample data could not be used to generalize an entire population. All participants were college students.

Therefore, data could not relate to those who do not fit that criteria including senior citizens, and other groups. Internal validity was also skewed by the small sample size and the selection. In this study participants consisted of only Kean University students. The data could differ if participants consisted of individuals in another college campuses. Future Research Future research for this study should include a larger sample size so that findings will better generalize the college population. Also, other factors can be used to better specify certain findings. Factors can include the participants declared major, economic status, if the participant has other responsibilities including multiple jobs, and whether or not the participant lives on campus or commutes. A confidence survey can also be used to depict whether or not there is a correlation between confidence levels and stress or procrastination. Research can be expanded by having participants from different college campuses so that the results wont be limited to certain individuals and can better generalize a larger group of people.

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