Academic procrastination of Spanish pre-service teachers during the Covid-19 pandemic

  1. Luis J. Martín-Antón 1
  2. María C. Saiz-Manzanares 2
  3. Paula Molinero-González 1
  4. Wendy L. Arteaga-Cedeño 1
  5. Alberto Soto-Sánchez 1
  6. Miguel A. Carbonero 1
  1. 1 Universidad de Valladolid

    Universidad de Valladolid

    Valladolid, España


  2. 2 Universidad de Burgos

    Universidad de Burgos

    Burgos, España


Psicología educativa

ISSN: 1135-755X

Year of publication: 2024

Volume: 30

Issue: 1

Pages: 57-66

Type: Article

DOI: 10.5093/PSED2023A17 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openOpen access editor

More publications in: Psicología educativa


The present study seeks to ascertain whether the academic procrastination of university pre-service teachers varied during the COVID-19 pandemic when compared to data collected from another sample (n = 794) taken before the pandemic, and the reasons that might explain this. 910 pre-service teachers responded to the PASS scale, Academic Procrastination Scale, Unintentional Procrastination Scale, Active Procrastination Scale, and the New General Self-Efficacy Scale during the pandemic. The results reflect greater procrastination than for the pre-pandemic sample; 37.8% felt that their procrastination had increased due to the pandemic, which was more evident amongst women, whereas 8.7% reported having procrastinated less, displaying the highest level of self-efficacy. In both instances, the most commonly alleged reasons were greater time management, together with changes they were forced to make in their study habits. We discuss the implications that might need to be considered when planning and organizing teaching, should a similar situation occur again.

Bibliographic References

  • Aucejo, E. M., French, J., Ugalde, M. P., & Zafar, B. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on student experiences and expectations: Evidence from a survey. Journal of Public Economics, 191, Article 104271. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2020.104271
  • Balkis, M., & Duru, E. (2009). Prevalence of academic procrastination behavior among pre-service teachers, and its relationship with demographics and individual preferences. Journal of Theory and Practice in Education, 5(1), 18-32. mbalkis_eduru.pdf
  • Barnová, S., & Krásna, S. (2021). General procrastination and academic procrastination in pre-service teachers in the Slovak Republic. The Journal of International Education Science, 27(8), 1–11. https://doi. org/10.29228/INESJOURNAL.50845
  • Bäulke, L., Daumiller, M., & Dresel, M. (2021). The role of state and trait motivational regulation for procrastinatory behavior in academic contexts: Insights from two diary studies. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 65, Article 101951. cedpsych.2021.101951
  • Brooks, S. K., Webster, R. K., Smith, L. E., Woodland, L., Wesselym, S., Greenberg, N., & Rubin, G. J. (2020). The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: Rapid review of the evidence. Lancet, 395, 912-920.
  • Bruso, J., Stefaniak, J., & Bol, L. (2020). An examination of personality traits as a predictor of the use of self-regulated learning strategies and considerations for online instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 68(5), 2659-2683. 020-09797-y
  • Bu, F., Steptoe, A., & Fancourt, D. (2020). Who is lonely in lockdown? Cross-cohort analyses of predictors of loneliness before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public Health, 186, 31-34. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.puhe.2020.06.036
  • Busko, D. A. (1998). Causes and consequences of perfectionism and procrastination: A structural equation model (Doctoral dissertation). University of Guelph.
  • Carranza, R. F., Mamani-Benito, O., Caycho-Rodriguez, T., Lingán-Huamán, S. K., Ruiz, P. G. (2022). Psychological distress, anxiety, and academic selfefficacy as predictors of study satisfaction among peruvian university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, Article 809230.
  • Cervero, A., Galve-González, C., Blanco, E., Casanova, J. R., & Bernardo, A. B. (2021). Vivencias iniciales en la universidad, ¿cómo afectan al planteamiento de abandono? [Initial experiences in University, how do they affect to the intention to drop out?]. Journal of Psychology and Education, 16(2), 161-172.
  • Chaturvedi, K., Vishwakarma, D. K., & Singh, N. (2021). COVID-19 and its impact on education, social life and mental health of students: A survey. Children and Youth Services Review, 121, Article 105866. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105866
  • Chen, G., Gully, S., & Eden, D. (2001). Validation of a new general selfefficacy scale. Organizational Research Methods, 4(1), 62-83. https://
  • Cheng, S. L., & Xie, K. (2021). Why college students procrastinate in online courses: A self-regulated learning perspective. Internet and Higher Education, 50, Article 100807. iheduc.2021.100807
  • Choi, J. N., & Moran, S. V. (2009). Why not procrastinate? Development and validation of a new active procrastination scale. The Journal of Social Psychology, 149(2), 195-211. 212
  • Da Cruz, G., Zangiacomi, E., Pupin, P., & Martins, T. (2021). Self-perception of non-cognitive skills among undergraduate health students during Covid-19. Revista Brasileira de Educação Médica, 45(4), Article e239.
  • Da Silva, S., Smith, A., & Facciolo, M. (2020). Relations between self-efficacy and procrastination types in college students. Modern Psychological Studies, 25(2), Article 6.
  • Daura, F. T., Barni, C., & González, M. (2022). La tenacidad: predictora de la autorregulación Aacadémica en estudiantes universitarios [Grit: Predictor of academic self-regulation in undergraduates students]. Journal of Psychology and Education, 17(1), 116-131. https://doi. org/10.23923/rpye2022.01.220
  • Do anülkü, H. A., Korkmaz, O., Griffiths, M. D., & Pakpour, A. H. (2021). Fear of COVID_19 lead to procrastination among Turkish university students: The mediating role of intolerance of uncertainty. BMC Psychology, 9, Article 178.
  • Eisenbeck, N., Carreno, D. F., & Ucles-Juarez, R. (2016). From psychological distress to academic procrastination: Exploring the role of psychological inflexibility. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 13, 103-108.
  • Fernie, B. A., Bharucha, Z., Nik evic´, A. V., & Spada, M. M. (2017). The Unintentional Procrastination Scale. Journal of Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 35(2), 136-149. s10942-016-0247-x
  • Flores, M. A., Barros, A., Simão, A. M. V., Pereira, D., Flores, P., Fernandes, E., Costa, L., & Ferreira, P. C. (2022). Portuguese higher education students’ adaptation to online teaching and learning in times of the COVID-19 pandemic: Personal and contextual factors. High Education, 83(6), 1389-1408.
  • Garzón-Umerenkova, A., & Gil, J. (2017). Propiedades psicométricas de la versión en español de la prueba Procrastination Assessment ScaleStudents (PASS) [Psychometric properties of the Spanish Version of the Procrastination Assessment Scale-Students PASS]. Revista Iberoamericana de Diagnóstico y Evaluación Psicológica, 43(1), 149- 163.
  • Gil, J., De Besa, M. R., & Garzón-Umerenkova, A. (2020). ¿Por qué procrastina el alumnado universitario? Análisis de motivos y caracterización del alumnado con diferentes tipos de motivaciones [Why do university students procrastinate? An analysis of the reasons and characterization of students with different reasons for procrastination]. Revista de Investigación Educativa, 38(1), 183-200. rie.344781
  • Graff, M., & Barenholtz, E. (2023). An imagination procrastination link? The role of efficacy beliefs, visual imagery, and affect in academic procrastination. Psychological Reports. Advance online publication.
  • 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. https://
  • Hofmann, S. G. (2021). The impact of COVID-19 on mental health. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 50(3), 185-190. 2021.1897666
  • Hong, J. C., Lee, Y. F., & Ye, J. H. (2021). Procrastination predicts online self-regulated learning and online learning ineffectiveness during the coronavirus lockdown. Personality and Individual Differences, 174, Article 110673.
  • Jia, J., Wang, L-l., Xu, J-b., Lin, X-h., Zhang, B. & Jiang, Q. (2021). Selfhandicapping in Chinese medical students during the COVID19 pandemic: The role of academic anxiety, procrastination and hardiness. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, Article 741821. fpsyg.2021.741821
  • Klassen, R. M., Krawchuk, L. L., & Rajani, S. (2008). Academic procrastination of undergraduates: Low self-efficacy to self-regulate predicts higher levels of procrastination. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 33(4), 915-931.
  • Klingsieck, K. B. (2013). Procrastination: When good things don’t come to those who wait. European Psychologist, 18(1), 24-34. https://doi. org/10.1027/1016-9040/a000138
  • Laybourn, S., Frenzel, A. C., & Fenzl, T. (2019). Teacher procrastination, emotions, and stress: A qualitative study. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, Article 2325.
  • Lim, A. J., & Javadpour, S. (2021). Into the unknown: Uncertainty and procrastination in students from a life history perspective. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, Article 717380. fpsyg.2021.717380
  • Martín-Antón, L. J., Almedia, L. S., Sáiz-Manzanares, M. C. ÁlvarezCañizo, M., & Carbonero, M. A. (2022a). Psychometric properties of The academic procrastination scale in Spanish university students. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 48(5), 642-656. https://
  • Martín-Antón, L. J., Aramayo-Ruiz, K. P., Rodríguez-Sáez, J. L., & SáizManzanares, M. C. (2022b). Procrastination in pre-service teachers: The role of learning strategies and academic achievement. Educación XX1, 25(2), 65-87.
  • Meier, A., Reinecke, L., & Meltzer, C. E. (2016) Facebocrastination? Predictors of using Facebook for procrastination and its effects on students’ well-being. Computers in Human Behavior, 64, 65-76. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.06.011
  • Melgaard, J., Monir, R., Lasrado, L. A., & Fagerstrøm, A. (2022). Academic procrastination and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Procedia Computer Science, 196, 117-124. procs.2021.11.080
  • Naujoks, N., Bedenlier, S., Gläser-Zikuda, M., Kammerl, R., Kopp, B., Ziegler, A., & Händel, M. (2021). Self-regulated resource management in emergency remote higher education: Status quo and pedictors. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, Article 672741. fpsyg.2021.672741
  • Peixoto, E. M., Pallini, A. C., Vallerand, R. J., Rahimi, S., & Silva, M. V. (2021). The role of passion for studies on academic procrastination and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social Psychology of Education, 24(3) 877-893.
  • Pelikan, E. R., Korlat, S., Reiter, J., Holzer, J., Mayerhofer, M., Schober, B., Spiel, C., Hamzallari, O., Uka, A., Chen, J., Välimäki, M., Puharic´, Z., Anusionwu, K. E., Okocha, A. N., Zabrodskaja, A., Salmela-Aro, K., Käser, U., Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Wachs, S., … Lüftenegger, M. (2021). Distance learning in higher education during COVID-19: The role of basic psychological needs and intrinsic motivation for persistence and procrastination – a multi-country study. PLoS ONE, 16(10), Article e0257346.
  • Pelikan, E. R., Lüftenegger, M., Holzer, J., Korlat, S., Spiel, C., & Schober, B. (2021). Learning during COVID-19: The role of self-regulated learning, motivation, and procrastination for perceived competence. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 24(2), 393-418. s11618-021-01002-x
  • Rahimi, S., & Hall, N. C. (2021). Why are you waiting? Procrastination on academic tasks among undergraduate and graduate students. Innovative Higher Education, 46(6), 759-776. s10755-021-09563-9
  • Rahimi, S., & Vallerand, R. J. (2021). The role of passion and emotions in academic procrastination during a pandemic (COVID-19). Personality and Individual Differences, 179, Article 110852. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.paid.2021.110852
  • Rapanta, C., Botturi, L., Goodyear, P., Guàrdia, L., & Koole, M. (2020). Online university teaching during and after the Covid-19 crisis: Refocusing teacher presence and learning activity. Postdigital Science and Education, 2, 923-945.
  • Rasheed, R. A., Kamsin, A., & Abdullah, N. A. (2020). Challenges in the online component of blended learning: A systematic review. Computers & Education, 144, Article 103701. compedu.2019.103701
  • Sæle, R. G., Dahl, T. I., Sørlie, T., & Friborg, O. (2017). Relationships between learning approach, procrastination and academic achievement amongst first-year university students. Higher Education, 74(5), 757- 774.
  • Schimmenti, A., Billieux, J., & Starcevic, V. (2020). The four horsemen of fear: An integrated model of understanding fear experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 17(2), 41-45.
  • Schodl, M. M., Raz, A., & Kluger, A. N. (2018). On the positive side of avoidance motivation: An increase in avoidance motivation reduces procrastination among students: Avoidance motivation and procrastination. Applied Psychology, 67(4), 655-685. https://doi. org/10.1111/apps.12147
  • Solomon, L. J., & Rothblum, E. D. (1984). Academic procrastination: Frequency and cognitive-behavioral correlates. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 31(4), 503-509.
  • Steel, P. (2007). The nature of procrastination: A meta-analytic and theoretical review of quintessential self-regulatory failure. Psychological Bulletin, 133(1), 65-94. 2909.133.1.65
  • Stoliarchuk, O., Khrypko, S., Olga, D., Ishchuk, O., Kokhanova, O., Sorokina, O., & Salata, K. (2022). Academic procrastination as a challenge for students’ mental health in the context of distance learning and the virtual world during the Covid-19 pandemic. International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security, 22(3), 276-284. https://doi. org/10.22937/IJCSNS.2022.22.3.36
  • Suárez-Perdomo, A., & Feliciano-García, L. (2020). Influencia del perfil de procrastinación activa en el rendimiento académico del alumnado de Ciencias de la Educación [The influence of active procrastination: a profile on Educational Sciences students’ academic achievement]. Bordón, 72(3), 157-170.
  • Unda-López, A., Osejo-Taco, G., Vinueza-Cabezas, A., Paz, C., & HidalgoAndrade, P. (2022). Procrastination during the COVID-19 pandemic: A scoping review. Behavioral Sciences, 12(2), Article 38. https://doi. org/10.3390/bs12020038
  • Valenzuela, R., Codina, N., Pestana, J. V., & Gonzalez-Conde, J. (2018). Relations between student procrastination and teaching styles: Autonomy-supportive and controlling. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, Article 809.
  • Von Keyserlingk, L., Yamaguchi-Pedroza, K., Arum, R., & Eccles, J. S. (2022). Stress of university students before and after campus closure in response to COVID-19. Journal of Community Psychology, 50(1), 285- 301.
  • Wang, Q., Kou, Z., Du, Y., Wang, K., & Xu, Y. (2022). Academic procrastination and negative emotions among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: The mediating and buffering effects of online-shopping addiction. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, Article 789505. https://doi. org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.789505
  • Wäschle, K., Allgaier, A., Lachner, A., Fink, S., & Nückles, M. (2014). Procrastination and self-efficacy: Tracing vicious and virtuous circles in self-regulated learning. Learning and Instruction, 29, 103-114.
  • Wolters, C. A., Won, S., & Hussain, M. (2017). Examining the relations of time management and procrastination within a model of self-regulated learning. Metacognition and Learning, 12(3), 381-399. https://doi. org/10.1007/s11409-017-9174-1
  • Yildirim, F. B., & Demir, A. (2020). Self-handicapping among university students: The role of procrastination, test anxiety, self-esteem, and self-compassion. Psychological Reports, 123(3), 825-843. https://doi. org/10.1177%2F0033294118825099
  • Ziegler, N., & Opdenakker, M. C. (2018). The development of academic procrastination in first-year secondary education students: The link with metacognitive self-regulation, self-efficacy, and effort regulation. Learning and Individual Differences, 64, 71-82. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.lindif.2018.04.009