Previous research studies indicate that procrastination is often related to higher negative emotions and overall distress. Self-forgiveness, on the other hand, has been shown to be associated with lower distress and improved mental health. Therefore, the primary goal of our study was to test the relationship between self-forgiveness and procrastination and the potential mediating effect of emotions. Participants were 217 university students who completed an online survey assessing their level of procrastination, self-forgiveness for procrastination, shame-proneness and guilt-proneness, and positive and negative emotions. Higher self-forgiveness for procrastination was found to be associated with lower procrastination. The relationship between self-forgiveness and procrastination was mediated through the presence of higher positive emotions. Our second goal was to test the relationships between emotional components of self-forgiveness - shame-proneness and guilt-proneness - with procrastination. The correlational analyses showed a positive relationship between procrastination with shame-proneness, but no relationship between procrastination with guilt-proneness. In addition, the relationship between shame-proneness and procrastination was fully mediated through the presence of negative emotions. Overall, we propose that an individual who forgives himself/herself for his/her procrastination might be more motivated to accept responsibility, less motivated to avoid this behavior in the future, and therefore procrastinate less. We highlight the potential benefits of self-forgiveness for increasing positive emotions and thereby for reducing procrastination. Interventions that promote self-forgiveness could be beneficial for students who procrastinate.
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Martinčeková, L., Enright, R.D. The effects of self-forgiveness and shame-proneness on procrastination: exploring the mediating role of affect. Curr Psychol 39, 428–437 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-018-9926-3