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Procrastination is prevalent among students and is associated with negative outcomes, including poor academic performance and psychological distress. Research also suggests that anxiety and depression can exacerbate procrastination; however, the mechanisms associated with the development of procrastination are less understood. The current study aimed to clarify the role of negative repetitive thought (i.e., rumination and worry) in the links between anxiety and procrastination, and depression and procrastination. Ninety-one undergraduate students completed self-report measures of anxiety, depression, worry, brooding rumination, and procrastination, and two multiple mediator models were tested. Procrastination was positively correlated with the study variables, including medium effects for anxiety and depression, a large effect for rumination, and a small effect for worry. Rumination independently mediated the relationships between anxiety and procrastination, and depression and procrastination. Worry did not independently mediate these relationships. The current findings suggest rumination plays a larger role in the links between anxiety, depression, and procrastination than worry. Thus, students with higher levels of anxiety and depression engage in more negative repetitive thought, which may contribute to procrastinatory behavior as a result of a preoccupation with depressing or painful thoughts about the past.
Research indicates that mindfulness is linked to higher-order neurocognitive control processes, and the associated executive functions and self-regulation capacities needed in daily life. The current study examines the roles of executive function and self-regulation in the link between dispositional mindfulness and well-being using a multi-method, two-phase longitudinal design. Two multiple mediator models were tested in a sample of 77 undergraduate students. Self-regulation independently mediated the relationship between mindfulness and positive affect; however, both executive function and self-regulation independently mediated the relationship between mindfulness and negative affect. The mindfulness facets of acting with awareness and non-judgment were most strongly related to executive function and well-being outcomes, while describing and acting with awareness were most strongly related to self-regulation. Performance-based neurocognitive control was related to self-regulation and positive affect, and a test of inhibition/shifting was related to executive function in daily life. Thus, students who are more dispositionally mindful than their peers tend to be non-judgmental and act with awareness, rather than on automatic pilot, which may engage executive functions and self-regulation.