“I’ll Worry About It Tomorrow” – Fostering Emotion Regulation Skills to Overcome Procrastination

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Procrastination remains an omnipresent phenomenon impeding especially students’ academic performance and well-being. Preliminary findings suggest that procrastination emerges due to dysfunctional emotion regulation efforts to regulate aversive emotions. This study’s objective was to clarify whether the enhancement of general adaptive emotion regulation skills reduces subsequent procrastination. For the purpose of this study, data from a two-armed randomized controlled trial (RCT) with (N = 148) university students, comprising an active intervention (IG) and a passive wait-list control (WLC) group, was collected. Participants of the intervention group were provided with an online emotion regulation training over a period of 9 weeks. The results showed that the enhancement of general emotion regulation skills significantly reduced subsequent procrastination behavior within the IG as compared to the untreated WLC. Moreover, subsequent mediation analyses revealed that the reduction of procrastination was significantly mediated by the increase in general ER skills. The present results suggest that trainings which enhance general ER skills are an appropriate measure to reduce procrastination behavior among university students. The practical value of ER training interventions, particularly for student populations, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number780675
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 22.03.2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022 Schuenemann, Scherenberg, von Salisch and Eckert.

    Research areas

  • Psychology - overcoming, procrastination, emotion regulation, emotion regulation skills training, e-mental health intervention, Procrastination, stress intervention