The Influence of Personal Motivational Beliefs and Classroom Climate Dimensions on Academic Procrastination in College Mathematics Courses



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Academic procrastination can be defined as the irrational delay of doing work on academic-related tasks that should be completed within a specific timeframe (Steel, 2010). Estimates suggest anywhere between 50 to 95 percent of college students procrastinate on their coursework (see Steel, 2007). Because of the prevalence of this behavior, a plethora of research has focused on determining the personality traits that may influence procrastination, but not as much work has been devoted to examining the contextual cues that may elicit this behavior. Moreover, research on which aspects of the classroom climate may promote procrastination is scant. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop and test a conceptual model where the effects of various dimensions of the college classroom climate (instructor support, course organization, academic press, and course situational interest) on academic procrastination were hypothesized to be direct and indirect through students’ personal motivational beliefs (self-efficacy and task value). The second aim of this study was to examine whether motivational regulatory strategies and time management moderated the relation between procrastination and students’ perceptions of how interesting they found the presentation of the course material, an aspect of the course environment predicted to influence procrastination. The final study sample consisted of 248 students enrolled across 16 undergraduate mathematics courses. Three path analytic models were tested, but all had inadequate fit with the observed data. This may have resulted from including two bi-directionally related, highly correlated motivational beliefs as endogenous variables in the model. A follow-up hierarchical linear regression analysis revealed that among the classroom climate dimensions, course situational interest was the only negative predictor of procrastination. However, after accounting for motivational beliefs, course situational interest was no longer a predictor; whereas, self-efficacy and task value emerged as negative predictors of procrastination.
Results of the hierarchical linear regression analysis testing the moderating effects of motivational regulation strategies and time management indicated that three types of motivational regulation strategies significantly moderated the relation between course situational interest and procrastination. However, the nature of these effects varied by strategy. Implications of these findings for college instructors, students, and future research concluded this study.



Academic Procrastination, Classroom climate, Achievement motivation, Self-regulated learning, Motivational Regulation Strategies