Procrastination, as a sporadic or chronic response to task engagement, is a pervasive problem for a large number of individuals in many societies. For example, researchers have estimated that in academic settings in North America, over 70% of students exhibit this behavior. Many of these individuals are highly vulnerable to negative consequences such as poor performance, decreased subjective well-being, negative affect, and reduced life achievements.

In Counseling the Procrastinator in Academic Settings, a number of recently designed practical counseling methods for use in academic settings are described with the aim of promoting new intervention that can lead to change. In doing so, the authors also present theories of procrastination and provide an overview of recent research. School counselors, psychologists, educators, and administrators will find this book invaluable as they look for ways to counsel others on procrastination, work habits, productivity, and self-regulation.

Table of Contents



I. Theoretical Background

  1. Procrastination in Academic Settings: General Introduction
    —Henri C. Schouwenburg
  2. Trait Procrastination in Academic Settings: An Overview of Students Who Engage in Task Delays
    —Joseph R. Ferrari
  3. Procrastination in Academic Settings and the Big Five Model of Personality: A Meta-Analysis
    —Wendelien van Eerde

II. Intervention Methods

  1. Some Basic Elements in Counseling Procrastinators
    —Clarry H. Lay
  2. A Student Course on Self-Management for Procrastinators
    —Tanja van Essen, Sary van de Heuvel, and Marjan Ossebaard
  3. Overcoming the Patterns of Powerlessness that Lead to Procrastination
    —Lilly J. Schubert Walker
  4. Behavioral Interventions for Conquering Procrastination Among University Students
    —Bruce W. Tuckman and Henri C. Schouwenburg
  5. A Cognitive–Behavioral Approach in Group Treatment of Procrastinators in an Academic Setting
    —Walter van Horebeek, Sofie Michielsen, Anne Neyskens, and Eric Depreeuw
  6. Constructive Confrontation: Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy with One Type of Procrastinating Underachiever
    —Harvey P. Mandel
  7. Digital Coaching of Procrastinators in an Academic Setting
    —Robert M. Topman, Dieta Kruise, and Sabina Beijne
  8. A Project-Analytic Perspective on Academic Procrastination and Intervention
    —Timothy A. Pychyl and Kelly Binder
  9. A Narrative Approach to Procrastination in Academic Settings
    —Jean O'Callaghan
  10. Description and Counseling of the Perfectionistic Procrastinator
    —Gordon L. Flett, Paul L. Hewitt, Richard A. Davis, and Simon B. Sherry

III. Epilogue

  1. On Counseling the Procrastinator in Academic Settings
    —Henri C. Schouwenburg


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editors

Editor Bios

Henri C. Schouwenburg, PhD, is a psychological counselor, trainer for students, and researcher in educational psychology at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He received his PhD from the University of Groningen and wrote his dissertation on academic procrastination. He is the cofounder of the Academic Assistance and Counseling Center at the University of Groningen and has been affiliated with that center since 1980. His research on study problems and learning styles served as a basis for developing supportive training programs for university students. He is the author of Dutch books on approaches to learning and study problems and cofounder of the Dutch National Study Skills Association; he is a nationwide active promoter of professional skills for the psychological counseling of students. He is Web master of the Internet sites of the Dutch Association of Psychological Student Counselors and of the Dutch National Study Skills Association. In cooperation with Dr. Clarry H. Lay, he founded the biennial international conferences on counseling the procrastinator in academic settings. He is presently living in Belgium.

Clarry H. Lay, PhD, recently retired as professor of psychology at York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, although he continues to teach, do research, and counsel student procrastinators. His research areas have included person perception, procrastination, and assessment of the Big Five personality factors with younger children, as well as acculturation, ethnic identity, and related matters. Along with Dr. Henri Schouwenburg, he founded the biennial international conferences on counseling the procrastinator in academic settings. On the basis of his own disposition, he maintains an unhealthy interest in procrastination.

Timothy A. Pychyl, PhD, is associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Centre for Initiatives in Education at Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The author of numerous publications and conference presentations on procrastination, he finds that his research complements his teaching very well, as both are focused on student learning and academic success. His scholarship of teaching and learning has been recognized with a number of awards, including a national 3M Teaching Fellowship from the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. He is the founder of facultydevelopment.ca, a Web-based resource for faculty development in higher education. With degrees in science, linguistics, and education, as well as a PhD in psychology, his academic interests and research have varied widely.

Joseph R. Ferrari, PhD, is professor and director of the community psychology doctoral program in the Department of Psychology at DePaul University in Chicago. He also is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community since 1994. The author of 100 scholarly journal articles, 7 books, and 230 conference presentations, he is internationally known in the field of social personality as the leading researcher on the study of chronic procrastination. He is a social community psychologist whose service and research interests include adult community service and volunteerism, undergraduate education in community psychology, sense of community, mutual support, addictions and recovery, and caregiver stress and satisfaction.