Academic procrastination and self-efficacy among a group of dental undergraduate students in Malaysia

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Journal of Education and Health Promotion


BACKGROUND: Undergraduate dental students have to do multiple tasks as part of their extensive curriculum in order to achieve the proficiencies expected of them. During the course of their study, a tendency to procrastinate and question their self-efficacy is detrimental for the students. The aim of this study was to evaluate the level of procrastination and self-efficacy and its related factors among dental undergraduate students. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted among all (n = 361) consented dental undergraduate students of our dental school. A twenty-item Lay's Procrastination Scale for student population and a ten-item General Self-Efficacy Scale were used for the study after getting institutional ethical approval. The quantitative data were explained using descriptive statistics. Independent sample t-test and ANOVA were used to determine the association between self-efficacy, academic procrastination, and genders and academic years. Pearson correlation coefficient was used to determine the association between self-efficacy and procrastination. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to determine the related factors to academic procrastination. RESULTS: High procrastination (score ≥62) was seen among 28.5% of students. The mean self-efficacy score was 29.5. There was no significant difference between genders for procrastination scores (P = 0.835) and between academic years (P = 0.226). Males showed significantly more self-efficacy (P < 0.001), and self-efficacy did not show any significant difference (P = 0.204) between academic years though a tendency for year 5 students to have lower self-efficacy scores was observed. Academic procrastination was negatively correlated with self-efficacy (r = -0.238 and P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: For dental undergraduates who have cognitive load as well as work associated with patients, procrastination and self-efficacy are negatively correlated.



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