Study goals and procrastination tendencies at different stages of the undergraduate degree

Martyn Stewart, Tim Stott, Anne-Marie Nuttall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Study goals and effective management of study time are both linked to academic
    success for undergraduates. Mastery goals in particular are associated with study
    enjoyment and positive educational outcomes such as conceptual change.
    Conversely, poor self-regulation, in the form of procrastination, is linked to a
    range of negative study behaviours. Many researchers have treated goal
    orientations and procrastination tendency as stable traits and few have examined
    differences across academic levels. This study reports a cross-sectional measure
    of study goal orientation and procrastination tendency profiles at different
    academic levels on two undergraduate programmes. Findings concur with other
    studies in revealing a significant decline in mastery goals, particularly between
    the first and second years of study. Procrastination tendency is significantly
    higher in the second year. Potential causes of these differences and their
    implications are discussed, alongside considerations for positive learning
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-16
    Number of pages16
    JournalStudies in Higher Education
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2015


    • education
    • motivation
    • study orientation
    • learning environment


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