How Procrastination Affects Students and Their Grades

If you’re a middle school or high school teacher, you know that procrastination affects your students’ grades. Typically, five percentage points or half a grade are lost for each day a student leaves an assignment late. A recent meta-analysis confirmed this link between procrastination and grades. This meta-analysis included 33 studies and over 38,000 students. However, what causes procrastination? How can it be treated?

It’s important to take a look at the causes to understand how to fix them with solutions that vary from managing your time and expectations to getting outside help, like from dissertation editing services, for example. We take a more in-depth look at everything below.

Common Causes

Identify the root causes of procrastination. Lack of time, poor sleep, and too much homework can all be common causes of procrastination. While a lack of time may not be a cause of procrastination, it’s important to recognize the common patterns and factors that make students hesitant to get started on assignments. Avoiding these causes of procrastination may help them avoid their consequences.

Often, procrastination is the result of feelings of insecurity and fear of failure. These feelings can prevent students from getting work done and evaluating their performance. Students who feel insecure generally underestimate their abilities. As a result, they procrastinate on important tasks because they are unsure of whether they can do them well. However, procrastination does not have to be a permanent problem.

Other factors that can lead to procrastination include exhaustion and personal concerns. For example, when a student is tired and distracted, he/she may be more likely to procrastinate than if they had the time to do the work. As a result, he or she may put off checking bills, studying, or writing an essay. Despite these factors, procrastination can cause students to miss important deadlines and rush to complete assignments.

Effects on Grades

The effects of procrastination on grades are well documented, but what causes this behavior? Procrastination is not simply a lack of time management skills but has complicated psychological causes. The pressures of college and the constant evaluation of students contribute to this behavior. Procrastination may also be a self-protection mechanism, as it offers a reason to put off a task rather than complete it.

The study’s authors used a meta-analysis to analyze the effects of procrastination on grades. To perform this analysis, they looked at studies published between 2000 and 2020 in the ERIC and Academic Search Ultimate databases. Researchers filtered the studies for studies examining the relationship between two or more variables. They then used the correlation coefficient as an index for effect size. This method included 22 relevant studies involving 8307 students.


Another way to examine the effects of procrastination on grades is by looking at the way students behave in different courses. For example, a hypothetical student Sam tends to procrastinate more in his Biology class than in his other classes. As a result, he receives lower grades than in his other classes. However, a study of procrastination in college students found that it lowered overall grades. Because of this, students can use different professional writer services, where the authors with great experience can help with their tasks. The study also examined the link between psychological flexibility and time and effort management skills. The researchers found that these two factors seem to go hand-in-hand. Psychological flexibility does not directly impact procrastination, but it does appear to be an important determinant of procrastination. Overall, the study has important implications for student health and wellbeing. If procrastination affects the quality of education, it can cause a host of problems, including low self-confidence, poor marks, and high levels of stress.

While procrastination among college students is a serious problem, it can have positive or negative effects on a student’s academic performance. Procrastination is a way for people to avoid major responsibilities. Instead of focusing on these activities, they substitute them with other behaviors. This can have devastating effects on grades. While procrastination may be a symptom of depression, it’s not necessarily an indication of mental illness.

Common Coping Mechanisms

There are several common coping mechanisms for procrastinating college students. While many coping mechanisms focus on minimizing the problems, some individuals also try to rationalize their procrastination. In addition to minimizing problems, these strategies also create emotional distance between themselves and the task at hand. To counteract the negative effects of procrastination, students often try to use humor to justify their lack of productivity. Another common strategy involves distracting themselves with a task that may not be the most pressing.

Some students turn to drugs and alcohol as coping strategies for procrastination. These activities are not only ineffective for the individual who procrastinates, but they can also cause health problems. For this reason, procrastination can be an indication of a bigger health problem than it seems. While a person may seem to have no problem focusing on a project in general, they may be suffering from chronic stress or depression.

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Researchers have noted that striving behaviors are an early indicator of a lack of self-control. This is a classic symptom of procrastination. People who engage in this behavior tend to be more likely to feel inferior to those who do not feel the same way about themselves. They may be unaware that they are engaging in unhealthy behavior that damages their self-esteem. The consequences of a failure to comply with deadlines and expectations are often accompanied by other negative consequences.

While procrastination may feel uncontrollable and debilitating, it is normal human behavior. College and university students face challenges every day. The good news is that procrastination is not a character flaw or a sign of laziness. It can be a coping mechanism that helps students overcome procrastination. However, it is important to recognize the causes of procrastination so that they can learn how to overcome them more constructively.

Effects on Health

Research has shown that procrastination is associated with a wide range of physical and mental health problems. Although the research did not directly measure the severity of procrastination, it does suggest that procrastination may cause significant negative impacts on the overall health of college students. Those who do not complete tasks on time are more likely to suffer from mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. Further, the study suggests ways to identify students who require professional help.

Although the study focused on university students, its results apply to other settings as well. If the approach can be replicated, this type of research could reveal the causal relationship between procrastination and various psychological symptoms. Moreover, a longitudinal study design would allow the researcher to assess the long-term effects of procrastination and its impact on college students’ health.


The research on procrastination among college students shows that the practice is associated with an elevated risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and hypertension. The correlation between procrastination and these conditions is even stronger. It also shows a correlation between self-blame and maladaptive coping strategies, which further supports the current theory. This study provides a solid foundation for further research.

Psychological flexibility is also important in improving procrastination, and the ability to control one’s actions in stressful situations is likely a key component of psychological flexibility. It may be a central construct in procrastination, and more attention should be placed on encouraging students to pursue values-based, committed actions. Additionally, they should be supported in their ability to deal with negative thoughts while studying.

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