Procrastination is a prevalent self-regulatory failure associated with stress and anxiety, decreased well-being, and poorer performance in school as well as work. One-fifth of the adult population and half of the student population describe themselves as chronic and severe procrastinators. However, despite the fact that it can become a debilitating condition, valid and reliable self-report measures for assessing the occurrence and severity of procrastination are lacking, particularly for use in a clinical context. The current study explored the usefulness of the Swedish version of three Internet-administered self-report measures for evaluating procrastination; the Pure Procrastination Scale, the Irrational Procrastination Scale, and the Susceptibility to Temptation Scale, all having good psychometric properties in English.
In total, 710 participants were recruited for a clinical trial of Internet-based cognitive behavior therapy for procrastination. All of the participants completed the scales as well as self-report measures of depression, anxiety, and quality of life. Principal Component Analysis was performed to assess the factor validity of the scales, and internal consistency and correlations between the scales were also determined. Intraclass Correlation Coefficient, Minimal Detectable Change, and Standard Error of Measurement were calculated for the Irrational Procrastination Scale.
The Swedish version of the scales have a similar factor structure as the English version, generated good internal consistencies, with Cronbach’s α ranging between .76 to .87, and were moderately to highly intercorrelated. The Irrational Procrastination Scale had an Intraclass Correlation Coefficient of .83, indicating excellent reliability. Furthermore, Standard Error of Measurement was 1.61, and Minimal Detectable Change was 4.47, suggesting that a change of almost five points on the scale is necessary to determine a reliable change in self-reported procrastination severity.
The current study revealed that the Pure Procrastination Scale, the Irrational Procrastination Scale, and the Susceptibility to Temptation Scale are both valid and reliable from a psychometric perspective, and that they might be used for assessing the occurrence and severity of procrastination via the Internet.
The current study is part of a clinical trial assessing the efficacy of Internet-based cognitive behavior therapy for procrastination, and was registered 04/22/2013 on ClinicalTrials.gov (