Schemas Mediate the Link Between Procrastination and Depression: Results from the United States and Pakistan

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Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy





The current study extended the Procrastination-Health model by examining a multiple mediation model, with two cognitive schemas (defectiveness; insufficient self-control) serving as mediators. The models were as follows: procrastination → defectiveness → depression; procrastination → insufficient self-control → depression. Participants included 412 (271 women, 141 men) United States (US) and 240 (107 women, 133 men) Pakistani college students, who responded via self-report questionnaires. In the US sample, results revealed a non-significant direct effect between procrastination and depression after consideration for the two cognitive schemas, suggesting the schemas completely mediated the model. Both defectiveness and insufficient self-control schemas were significant individual mediators. In the Pakistani model, results revealed a significant direct effect and indirect effect through the two cognitive schemas, indicating partial mediation. Only the indirect path through defectiveness schemas was significant in the Pakistani model. Given slight differences in the two models, a moderated-mediation model was analyzed to determine if the strength of the direct and indirect effects varied by nationality. The strength of the direct and indirect effects was not moderated by nationality. Overall, this is the first study to identify cognitive mediators in the procrastination-depression relationship. Such findings represent a significant extension of the Procrastination-Health model and offer some unique cognitive insights into culturally sensitive conceptualizations and treatments for depression.


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