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Self-efficacy for self-regulation and fear of failure as mediators between self-esteem and academic procrastination among undergraduates in health professions

Abstract

Academic procrastination has been a widespread problem behavior among undergraduates. This study aimed to examine the prevalence of academic procrastination among undergraduates in health professions, and explore the mediation effects of self-efficacy for self-regulation and fear of failure in the relationship between self-esteem and academic procrastination. A cross-sectional design was used to study 1184 undergraduates in health professions from China. Participants completed measures of academic procrastination, self-esteem, self-efficacy for self-regulation and fear of failure. We used Pearson product-moment correlation to examine the bivariate correlations between study variables, and path analysis to examine mediation. Among the 1184 undergraduates, 877 (74.1%) procrastinated on at least one type of academic task. The total score for academic procrastination was negatively correlated with scores for self-esteem and self-efficacy for self-regulation, and positively correlated with the score for fear of failure. Moreover, the relationship between self-esteem and academic procrastination was fully mediated by self-efficacy for self-regulation (indirect effect: β = − .15, 95% bootstrap CI − .19 to − .11) and fear of failure (indirect effect: β = − .06, 95% bootstrap CI − .09 to − .04). These findings suggest that interventions targeting the enhancement of self-efficacy for self-regulation and the conquest of fear of failure may prevent or reduce academic procrastination among undergraduates in health professions, especially for those with lower self-esteem.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province [No. ZR2013CM039], and the comprehensive education and teaching reform program of Shandong University 2015.

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Correspondence to Xiuzhen Fan.

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The Medical Ethics Committee of Shandong University approved the study.

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Zhang, Y., Dong, S., Fang, W. et al. Self-efficacy for self-regulation and fear of failure as mediators between self-esteem and academic procrastination among undergraduates in health professions. Adv in Health Sci Educ 23, 817–830 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-018-9832-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-018-9832-3

Keywords

  • Academic procrastination
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-efficacy for self-regulation
  • Fear of failure
  • Undergraduates
  • Health professions