The Relationship between Anxiety, Depression and Procrastination

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The given literature review will explore the nature of the relationship between anxiety, depression, and procrastination in students and aim at finding proof to the claim that procrastination does not only become the negative outcome of depression and anxiety in students, but also the main reason of the appearance of such a maladaptive outcomes of student psychology.

Levels of anxiety in students give solid predictions in regards to student performance since stress and anxiety negatively impact academic achievement. As a result, scientists agree on the fact that anxiety has a direct impact on procrastination in class (Dunn, 2014). In the study on academic procrastination, Balkis (2013) notes that depression and anxiety are rather common negative feelings to be found in students; the feelings that inflict damage on the quality of academic life satisfaction and happiness at college.

What is more, Katz et al. (2013) highlight the fact that anxiety, depression and procrastination and interrelated since the latter can not only become the result of anxiety, but also its cause. According to Khan et al. (2014), poor academic performance and procrastination often go hand in hand with low self-esteem and high levels of anxiety in college students.

There is the suggestion that psychological inflexibility, that is depression, anxiety, stress, and psychological distress push students into procrastinating (Glick & Orsillo, 2015). The overall emotional discomfort, which often includes stress and depression discourages students from applying themselves and results in academic procrastination (Kim & Seo, 2015). Furthermore, procrastination often triggers negative consequences for personal well-being including stress and depression cases (Sirois, 2013). Sirois and Pychyl (2013) also accentuate the correlation between procrastination and negative changes in physical and psychological health. Thus, academic procrastination can explain cases of physical and psychological challenges in students.

The students that are involved in academic procrastination often turn for counseling advice, complaining of the psychological discomfort they experience because of the tendency of being inefficient in their studies (Uzun Ozer et al., 2014). Steel and Klingsieck (2016) define anxiety and depression as the most important and common causes of procrastination in college students. Flett et al. (2016) also talks about depression as being a maladaptive outcome of academic procrastination. Finally, Grunschel et al. (2013) conducts an empirical analysis and proves the correlation hypothesis by finding that most of the students who turned for counseling help with their academic procrastination, were found to feel overwhelmed with depression and anxiety.


  1. Balkis, M. (2013). Academic procrastination, academic life satisfaction and academic achievement: the mediation role of rational beliefs about studying. Journal of Cognitive & Behavioral Psychotherapies, 13(1).
  2. Dunn, K. (2014). Why wait? The influence of academic self-regulation, intrinsic motivation, and statistics anxiety on procrastination in online statistics. Innovative Higher Education, 39(1), 33-44.
  3. Flett, A. L., Haghbin, M., & Pychyl, T. A. (2016). Procrastination and depression from a cognitive perspective: An exploration of the associations among procrastinatory automatic thoughts, rumination, and mindfulness. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 34(3), 169-186.
  4. Glick, D. M., & Orsillo, S. M. (2015). An investigation of the efficacy of acceptance-based behavioral therapy for academic procrastination. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(2), 400.
  5. Grunschel, C., Patrzek, J., & Fries, S. (2013). Exploring reasons and consequences of academic procrastination: An interview study. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 28(3), 841-861.
  6. Katz, I., Eilot, K., & Nevo, N. (2014). Ill do it later: Type of motivation, self-efficacy and homework procrastination. Motivation and Emotion, 38(1), 111-119.
  7. Khan, M. J., Arif, H., Noor, S. S., & Muneer, S. (2014). Academic procrastination among male and female university and college students. FWU Journal of Social Sciences, 8(2), 65.
  8. Kim, K. R., & Seo, E. H. (2015). The relationship between procrastination and academic performance: A meta-analysis. Personality and Individual Differences, 82, 26-33.
  9. Sirois, F. M. (2014). Procrastination and stress: Exploring the role of self-compassion. Self and Identity, 13(2), 128-145.
  10. Sirois, F., & Pychyl, T. (2013). Procrastination and the priority of shortterm mood regulation: Consequences for future self. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7(2), 115-127.
  11. Steel, P., & Klingsieck, K. B. (2016). Academic procrastination: Psychological antecedents revisited. Australian Psychologist, 51(1), 36-46.

    Uzun Ozer, B., O'Callaghan, J., Bokszczanin, A., Ederer, E., & Essau, C. (2014). Dynamic interplay of depression, perfectionism and self-regulation on procrastination. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 42(3), 309-319.
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The Relationship Between Anxiety, Depression And Procrastination. (2019, May 23). Retrieved July 16, 2024 , from

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