A Meta-analytic and Conceptual Update on the Associations Between Procrastination and Multidimensional Perfectionism

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The equivocal and debated findings from a 2007 meta-analysis, which viewed perfectionism as a unidimensional construct, suggested that perfectionism was unrelated to procrastination. The present meta-analysis aimed to provide a conceptual update and reanalysis of the procrastination–perfectionism association guided by both a multidimensional view of perfectionism and self-regulation theory. The random-effects meta-analyses revealed a small to medium positive average effect size (r = .23; k = 43, N = 10 000; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) [0.19, 0.27]) for trait procrastination and perfectionistic concerns and a small to medium negative average effect size (r = −.22; k = 38, N = 9544; 95% CI [−0.26, −0.18]) for procrastination and perfectionistic strivings. The average correlations remained significant after statistically accounting for the joint variance between the two perfectionism dimensions via semi-partial correlations. For perfectionistic concerns, but not perfectionistic strivings, the effects depended on the perfectionism measure used. All effects did not vary by the trait procrastination measure used or the respondent's sex. Our findings confirm that from a multidimensional perspective, trait procrastination is both positively and negatively associated with higher-order perfectionism dimensions and further highlights the value of a self-regulation perspective for understanding the cognitive, affective and behavioural dynamics that characterise these traits.