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Comprehensive Psychiatry 55 (2014) 1442 – 1447
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Validation of a French version of the Pure Procrastination Scale (PPS)
Marie My Lien Rebetez a,⁎, Lucien Rochat a, b , Philippe Gay a, b, c , Martial Van der Linden a, b, d
a
Cognitive Psychopathology and Neuropsychology Unit, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
b
Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
c
Haute Ecole Pédagogique du Valais, St-Maurice, Switzerland
d
Cognitive Psychopathology Unit, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

Abstract

Procrastination is a widespread phenomenon that affects everyone's day-to-day life and interferes with the clinical treatment of several
psychopathological states. To assess this construct, Steel (2010) developed the Pure Procrastination Scale (PPS), a short scale intended to
capture the general notion of dysfunctional delay. The aim of the current study was to present a French version of this questionnaire. To this
end, the 12 items of the PPS were translated into French and data were collected from an online survey in a sample of 245 French-speaking
individuals from the general population. The results revealed that one item had problematic face validity; it was therefore removed.
Exploratory and confirmatory analyses performed on the resulting 11-item version of the French PPS indicated that the scale was composed
of two factors (“voluntary delay” and “observed delay”) depending on a common, higher-order construct (“general procrastination”). Good
internal consistency and test–retest reliability were found. External validity was supported by specific relationships with measures of
personality traits, impulsivity, and subjective well-being. The French PPS therefore presents satisfactory psychometric properties and may be
considered a reliable and valid instrument for research, teaching and clinical practice.
© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction this context, Steel [12] conducted an online survey including
three key procrastination scales (Adult Inventory of Procras-
Procrastination, or to “voluntarily delay an intended tination, AIP; Decisional Procrastination Questionnaire, DPQ;
course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the General Procrastination Scale, GPS) [13–15] to highlight the
delay” [1], is conceptualized as a self-regulatory failure core items of procrastination. Factor analyses (exploratory and
[1–6], representative of low consciousness and high impul- confirmatory) revealed one factor that consistently explained
siveness (more specifically, high lack of perseverance, that is, most of the variance in the three scales and that contained items
difficulties remaining focused on a task that may be boring or from all of them. On the basis of the top-loading items of this
difficult) [7]. A widespread phenomenon that affects every- factor, a 12-item scale called the Pure Procrastination Scale
one's day-to-day life, procrastination has been associated with (PPS) was developed. This short scale was intended to capture
negative consequences for performance, financial and career dysfunctional delay and showed high internal consistency
success [8], physical health [9], mood and self-esteem [10], (α = .92). In addition, it showed better convergent validity with
subjective well-being [11], and the therapeutic process in another measure of procrastination (Irrational Procrastination
several psychopathological states [4]. Scale, IPS) [16], a measure of impulsivity (Susceptibility to
However, there is still no clear consensus on how Temptation Scale, STS) [16], and a measure of subjective well-
procrastination should be measured, as reflected in the wide being (Satisfaction with Life Scale, SWLS) [17] than the scales
variety of self-report measures of procrastination that exist. In upon which it was based (i.e., AIP, DPQ, and GPS). However,
the PPS's factor structure was not evaluated further.
There currently are no validated self-report measures of
⁎ Corresponding author at: Cognitive Psychopathology and Neuropsy- procrastination in French, although accurate measures are
chology Unit, FPSE, University of Geneva, Boulevard du Pont d'Arve, 40, strongly needed to further improve the understanding, preven-
CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland, Tel.: +41 22 379 93 44; fax: +41 22 379 93 59. tion and treatment of procrastination. The aim of the present
E-mail address: Marie.Rebetez@unige.ch (M.M.L. Rebetez). study was thus to present a French version of the PPS to
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2014.04.024
0010-440X/© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

We also evaluated the external validity of the French version of and conscientiousness. we also filled out the three supplementary questionnaires to decided to remove item 12. Answers are given on a Likert scale the PPS by examining its relationships with measures of ranging from 0 (“strongly disagree”) to 4 (“strongly agree”).79 years (SD = 3. 5.M. 4 = “often true of me”. range = 18–69) and the mean number of years of selection to allow two independent factor analysis techniques: education was 17. short UPPS-P) [19]. / Comprehensive Psychiatry 55 (2014) 1442–1447 1443 researchers. 3% unemployed. Factor structure population (154 females and 91 males) participated in an online survey.24 to . 2. All participants of this item revealed a floor effect (80% of participants (n = 245) provided informed. “I am continually saying I'll do it well as a parallel analysis [26]. Univariate normality was then participants. a French version of the Pure Procrastination Scale (PPS) French PPS ranged from . voluntary consent and filled out responding 1. facets of impulsivity and subjective well. lack of perseverance (one of the (lack of) perseverance. extraversion. A high level of procrastination was expected to be different facets of impulsivity (four items per dimension): specifically related to low conscientiousness (one of the negative urgency. (lack of) premeditation.50 and 1 and a English-French bilingual translated the French version back significant Bartlett's test of sphericity are considered appro- into English. as well as a link to the survey. indicating no strong deviation from normality (absolute values are considered to be extreme for 2.52. The results study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty showed that skewness ranged from −.65 and 1. which clearly suggested a two-factor structure. 5 = “very often true of true of me”). teachers and clinicians. SWLS) [17. item. “very seldom or not true of me” or 2. The mean age of the sample was 34. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measure of sampling adequacy The French version of the PPS [12] was developed as [22] and Bartlett's test of sphericity [23] indicated that the 11 follows: (a) The authors of this study translated the 12 items items were adequate for factor analysis (KMO = . 2 = “seldom true of me”.12]. of those 225 scale with better face validity. agreeableness.05 to . Consequently. positive urgency.2. 177 completed the French PPS twice (with an explored for the remaining 11 items of the French PPS by interval of one week) to establish test-retest stability. neuroticism. A subgroup of 225 participants true of me” to the 5-point scale for this item). Results A total of 245 French-speaking individuals from the general 3.1. suggesting that [18]. NEO-60) me money in the past”) was below the mean. Participants were recruited by email through personal exploratory factor analysis (EFA). and three supplementary questionnaires assessing person. (b) an χ 2 = 801. More specifically.g. personality traits. as given on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (“I agree strongly”) to 4 previously demonstrated in the literature [2. which also suggested a two- tomorrow”.86. an examination of the score distribution (Satisfaction with Life Scale. were situated true of me”.39 to . openness to experience. Moreover. The SWLS [20] assesses subjective well-being and is composed of five items rated on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (“strongly disagree”) to 7 (“strongly agree”).0001.11.1.L. analysis. and low subjective well-being.20. The UPPS-P [19] is a 20-item questionnaire that assesses five being.78. range = 9–26). dimensions of personality). M. and the back-translation were discussed between the authors In order to determine how many factors to retain in factor and the back-translator until a satisfactory solution was found. Answers are facets of impulsivity).20]. p b . “I delay making decisions until it's too late”) and are factor structure (the first two eigenvalues of a principal to be answered on a 5-point Likert scale (1 = “very seldom or not component analysis. a KMO between .44. (“I disagree strongly”).94 and kurtosis of Psychology of the University of Geneva. analyses (as there were few and only randomly missing The survey included personal information (socio-demographic data). Participants and procedure 3. were employed.7. internal consistency and test–retest reliability. The email contained information on the purpose of Pairwise deletion for missing data was used throughout the the study and the consent terms. 3 had one missing value.54. 16% students. Bartlett's of the original English version of the PPS into French.. Consequently. The item-total correlations for the 12 items of the data). The calculating the skewness and kurtosis of each item. with a mean of . and subjective well-being items. respectively. assuming that this would yield a determine the external validity of the scale. we The NEO-60 [18] is a 60-item questionnaire that assesses the five translated the 12 items of the PPS into French and evaluated its main dimensions of personality (12 items per dimension): factor structure. Rebetez et al.39 years The data set (n = 245) was first divided through random (SD = 9. as as a dysfunctional delay (e.08. the 12th (“Putting things off till the last minute has cost ality traits (short French version of the NEO-PI-R. Method 2.00. 78% exploratory and confirmatory. from −1. and (c) discrepancies between the original PPS priate for factor analysis) [24]. contacts. “seldom the French version of the PPS. the correlation matrix was analyzed with an . me”. One [12]. 3 = “sometimes true of above the eigenvalues extracted from random samples). Instruments skewness greater than 3 and kurtosis greater than 20) [21]. impulsivity (short French version of the UPPS-P Impulsive this item did not measure the same construct as the other Behavior Scale. and 3% Out of the first data set of 123 participants retained for the retired. we used Velicer's minimum average partial (MAP) The 12 items of the PPS evaluate procrastination conceptualized test [25]. and sensation seeking.

had intended to do days before 7 I am continually saying “I'll do it tomorrow” . Means. The com.52 10 I don't get things done on time −.07 have to do 4. This EFA explained 65% of the total variance well as a CFI equal to .30 are in bold.11 8 I generally delay before starting on work I . This model was chosen because subscale scores) are presented in Table 2.08 to 1. and factor 2 items SRMR = . higher-order construct standard deviations.15 waste time by doing other things French PPS (PPS-F2) and the external validity measures. 60.15 dimension of personality related to PPS-Tot and lack of 2 Even after I make a decision I delay acting . total score on the French PPS (PPS-Tot) and the external # Item Factor 1 Factor 2 validity measures.09.90). CFI = . with an RMSEA equal to .87 −.05 and . Test–retest reliability and construct validity delay”. r = . items loading on this factor relate to the observation of Among the 177 participants who completed the French PPS running out of time.80.77 to . Pearson correlations were computed between the and the standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) [29].28 and kurtosis had one missing value for the French PPS.40.10.70 PPS and thus provide French-speaking researchers.09 1. “Volun.90. Factor 2 was labeled “observed 3. “voluntary delay” and “observed value. above . scores for factors 1 and 2 were retained on the basis of the tions of the factor structure [30]. (RMSEA = . and clinicians with a self-report measure of procrastination. On the other get done for days hand. SRMR equal to .001) for PPS-F1. good. which does not value at time t +7 days. not getting things done on time.10 indicate an acceptable fit) [32]. p b . and 2 one missing being very good at meeting deadlines.07 significant correlation was found between UPPS-P lack of down and doing them.90. indicating no strong deviation from participant had two missing values and 7 participants one normality.89 −.81).17. Pearson correlations between the two necessarily imply the notion of voluntarily delaying. a commonly used fit index.06 .70 . There was no missing value for the SWLS. which emphasized strong test–retest reliability.65 . By contrast. teachers Values greater than . delay”) depended on a common. and the total score of bination of these indices indicated an acceptable fit for the the SWLS (Table 3). CFI = . model and a one-factor model. Based on a factor loading cutoff independent-factors model fits the data poorly (RMSEA = . / Comprehensive Psychiatry 55 (2014) 1442–1447 EFA computed with two factors. factor 1 included items 1–8. the results showed that the two- close to or greater than . Among the In the second data set of 122 participants retained for the 225 participants who filled out the three supplementary confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).08 perseverance the strongest facet of impulsivity. 3 values.08 and PPS-Tot. the subscale scores of the UPPS-P..001) for PPS-Tot.47.87 (p b .L. using the maximum higher-order factor model.M.80 .14. 3 had one missing value at time t.70 is tested two alternative factor models: a two-independent-factors acceptable.001).81 (p b . scores of the French PPS (the total score and the subscale two indices claimed to be less sensitive to small misspecifica. 7 participants had one missing which two factors (i.001) for PPS-F2.06 (an RMSEA between .22 to 1.94 (a value above . For the NEO-60.” We also consistency for these questionnaires (a value above . and internal consistency coefficients labeled “general procrastination. 1) in missing value. I find that they seldom premeditation and PPS-F1 but not with PPS-F2. We tested a higher-order factor model (Fig. excellent) [33]. of . Concerning the correlations between the Loadings of the exploratory factor analysis.08 and an and an oblique rotation (assuming that the factors were SRMR between .67 .2. or not twice. and above . 1 from −1. The Cronbach's α its structure was able to account for the moderate relationship ranged from . sessions were r = .36 .1444 M. Discussion 9 I find myself running out of time . . Skewness ranged from −. For the UPPS-P.05 and . SRMR = .17 .04 The aim of this study was to validate a French version of the 11 I am not very good at meeting deadlines .30 [27]. A significant upon it correlation was also found between subjective well-being 3 I waste a lot of time on trivial matters before . a 5 Even jobs that require little else except sitting . the subscale scores of the NEO- fit index (CFI) [31]. I often . conscientiousness was the strongest 1 I delay making decisions until it's too late . items loading on this factor relate to the notion of voluntarily putting off things or decisions. a significant correlation was found between UPPS-P 6 I often find myself performing tasks that I . and r = . (r = .18. Rebetez et al.10 sensation seeking and PPS-F2 but not with PPS-F1. We also report the comparative higher-order factor model).86 tary delay” and “observed delay” were moderately related (p b .” with a CFA using the (Cronbach's α) of the various questionnaires (total and/or maximum likelihood method.85 −. indicating acceptable to good internal between “voluntary delay” and “observed delay. Factor 1 was labeled “voluntary delay”. Model fits were evaluated with To evaluate the external validity of the French version of the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) [28] the PPS. We also computed the true score correlation (rtrue) by taking the reliability of the scales into Table 1 account (Table 3). as does the one-factor model 9–11 (Table 1). Concerning the correlations computed be- getting to the final decisions tween the subscale scores of factors 1 (PPS-F1) and 2 of the 4 In preparation for some deadlines. as correlated).08 and an likelihood method (as the data were normally distributed).90 corresponds to an (factor 1 = 51% and factor 2 = 14%) and all loadings were acceptable fit) [27].e. there were no missing questionnaires in addition to the French version of the PPS.

85 external validity.81 measures.L.69 .75 .81 ance and low subjective well-being were closely related to a Openness to experience 2.. These results suggest that the measurement of procrasti- EFA indicated that the resulting 11-item version of the nation should focus on the distinction between two pro- French PPS was two-dimensional.e. crastination dimensions rather than one dimension. UPPS-P = short French version of the UPPS-P Impulsive “observed delay” (i..50 . 1. higher-order construct. / Comprehensive Psychiatry 55 (2014) 1442–1447 1445 Fig. test–retest procrastination-related factors (“voluntary delay” and reliability and external validity were examined. manifest variables. factor loadings.77 .e.55 .86 premeditation (i.90 tive well-being. Higher-order factor model in which factors 1 and 2 depend on a common. Indeed. M. as Agreeableness 2. statement that the PPS (although he did not strictly evaluate its factor structure) reflects a general procrastination factor Mean SD α consistent with the notion of dysfunctional delay [12].82 high level of “general procrastination” (i.e.89 Factor 2 2.77 .84 Sensation seeking 2. while items 1–11 delay” (i. PPS The internal consistency of the various scales and test– Total 2.12].60 . factor 1) relates to the notion of has cost me money in the past”) did not measure the same voluntarily putting off actions or decisions and “observed construct as the other items. whereas a two-independent.7. relevant links emerged between Positive urgency 2. item 12 not getting things done on time.54 . lack of persever- Extraversion 2.e.e.e. accordance with some earlier authors who conceptualized factors model and a one-factor model did not..79 were highlighted between the total score on the French PPS NEO-60 and measures of personality traits. “voluntary delay” (i.78 Conscientiousness 2.89 retest reliability indices were good.51 . sample. impulsivity. This is in order factor model fit the data. arrows. tendency to enjoy and pursue activities .66 .58 .82 .001. SWLS = Satisfaction With Life Scale. evaluate the general notion of dysfunctional delay. Rebetez et al. indicated that item 12 (“Putting things off till the last minute “Voluntary delay” (i..e. these results also suggest that the two procrastination dimensions are moder- ately related to each other and depend on a more general construct of procrastination. higher- Item-level analysis of the 12 translated items of the PPS order construct of procrastination (“general procrastination”).16 .84 previously demonstrated in the literature [2. factor 2) to the observation of running out of time.85 score of factor 1) was specifically related to greater lack of SWLS 5.. All factor loadings are statistically significant at p b . This implies that procrastination as a multidimensional rather than a one- the 11-item version of the French PPS is composed of two dimensional construct [34]. “observed delay”). In addition.M. This item was therefore removed. These UPPS-P relationships indicate that the French PPS possesses good Negative urgency 2.04 1. CFA showed that a higher..48 .67 .11.88 . More specifically. the financial meeting deadlines.96 .75 . internal consistency. tendency not to take into account the PPS = Pure Procrastination Scale.49 . Item level. NEO-60 = short French version of the consequences of an act before engaging in that act) and NEO-PI-R. However. standard deviations. Specific relationships Factor 1 2.e. and Cronbach's α of questionnaires.36 . subscale score of factor 2) to higher Behavior Scale. and subjec- Neuroticism 1. which depend on a common. which does not necessarily imply the consequences of the delay) and was under-represented in our notion of voluntarily delaying.56 . or not being very good at seems to capture something more specific (i.64 .29 . total score). This is in line with Steel's Table 2 Means.48 . sensation seeking (i.77 the subscale scores of the French PPS and the external validity Lack of premeditation 1.58 .05 .. squares. Low conscientiousness.94 .. Circles reflect latent variables. subscale Lack of perseverance 1. factor structure.

24) .34⁎ (.17⁎ (−.26⁎ .L.21⁎ (.21⁎ (. Radford M.48:926-34.25) . ⁎ 0 not included in the 95% confidence interval (CI).33) . possess satisfactory psychometric properties and may [14] Mann L.30) . J Ration Emo Cogn Behav Ther should be noted here that the relationship between sensation 2012.30:237-48.43) .28⁎ Extraversion −. and health: the costs and benefits of dawdling.25⁎ . of education rather high (m = 17. SD = 9. editors.07) −. the adapted French PPS has been shown to the American Psychological Association. voluntarily putting off actions or decisions may [1] Steel P. other hand.45⁎ . "I'll look after my health. On the [2] Costa PT.8:454-8. Eur J Pers 1997. Psychol Bull 2007.45) .00).23⁎ SWLS −.68 −. Nonetheless.20⁎ (.24⁎ Agreeableness −. Johnson J.22⁎ −.06 (−.48) . settings.09 .21⁎ (.33) . The French [11] Sirois FM. Lay CH.11) −.19⁎ Lack of premeditation .35:1401-18.23⁎ (−.07) −. gender ratio was imbalanced (37% men).35 −. This suggests that [4] Pychyl TA.35) . and incentives: between the use of the total score or the more specific factor the struggle between the present and the future in procrastinators and the scores. & Ferrari JR. [13] McCown W. mindfulness. DC: American Psychological Association. nation [12. Rebetez et al.61⁎ (−. the procrastination-health model with community-dwelling adults. later": a replication and extension of of impulsivity).08 . and research.07 −.11 .43⁎ (−. Washington.08 . Flett GL. application (e. Beyond IQ: broad-based measurement of individual or on more specific procrastination-related aspects such as success potential or “emotional intelligence”.12 (−.20⁎ (−. different demographic characteristics.48) . Schouwenburg HC.36].02 .19 . and the specificity dilemma.34 −.16 Lack of perseverance . or not being very good at meeting deadlines may rather [3] Lay CH. temptations.33) .08 . . Arousal.35 −.34) .29 −. as suggested by Ferrari [35]. sensation seeking is not central to the construct of procrasti. 3-17.21⁎ (. The NEO personality inventory-Revised.M. including clinical populations. disregarding the longer-term consequences of delaying.22 .27⁎ .42⁎ . Procrastination and self-regulatory failure: an each PPS subscale refers to a specific.20) .09 −.37) .21⁎ (.01 . in which the Pers Individ Differ 2007. Psychol Sci 1997.79. seeking and “observed delay” indicates that at least some [5] Schouwenburg HC. stress. Burnett P.33) .38⁎ (. Tosti N.41⁎ .11 (−.32) −.28 −. the French PPS allows a choice [7] Dewitte S.26 .22 . J Ration Emo Cogn Behav PPS should therefore be used cautiously in populations with Ther 2012. In References other words. SWLS = Satisfaction With Life Scale. SD = 3.34) .11) −.20⁎ Conscientiousness −.07 . performance. not getting things done on Odessa. 1989.26⁎ .32) .11:267-78. J Behav Decis Making 1997.52) −.30⁎ .04) −. UPPS-P = short French version of the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale.08 . Lost in the moment? An investigation of procrastination. It introduction to the special issue. the mean age rather [10] Van Eerde W.59⁎ (−. LA.65⁎ −.02 .10 (−. The Melbourne Decision therefore be a valuable screening instrument for researchers. and well-being.02) −. Making Questionnaire: an instrument for measuring patterns for coping teachers and clinicians in a French-speaking context. instead of accomplishing the task at hand. for example.g. Counseling the procrastinator in academic personality traits. depending on the goal of the research or clinical punctual.15⁎ (−.1446 M. that are exciting and openness to trying new experiences).09) −.39.38⁎ (.26 .23⁎ (.05) −.31⁎ (. Validation of the Adult Inventory of Procrastination. The nature of procrastination: a meta-analytic and theoretical review reflect a preference to act on the spur of the moment. avoidant and decisional procrastinators: do they should examine the validity of this questionnaire in different exist? Pers Individ Differ 2010. Baumeister RF.25⁎ .23⁎ (−. samples. A meta-analytically derived nomological network of young (m = 34.15⁎ (. 2004.48) .30:203-12.43:15-26.67 −. / Comprehensive Psychiatry 55 (2014) 1442–1447 Table 3 Observed and true score correlations between external validity measures and PPS scores.12 . focus on the core construct of procrastination [8] Mehrabian A. rtrue = correlation corrected for measurement error.22⁎ (.08 . the absence of any relationship with the other scores p. However. with decisional conflict.10 .08 (−.24⁎ . Pychyl TA.22⁎ (−.18⁎ (..04) −. 1992. aspects of procrastination are related to arousal-based measurement.26⁎ .14 .37⁎ (.08 .05 . Genet Soc Gen Psychol mechanisms associated with the sensation seeking dimension 2000.40⁎ Sensation seeking . PPS-Tot PPS-F1 PPS-F2 r (95% CI) rtrue r (95% CI) rtrue r (95% CI) rtrue NEO-60 Neuroticism . distinct content.24⁎ −.21⁎ (.18⁎ PPS = Pure Procrastination Scale.33) .19 .51⁎ UPPS-P Negative urgency . FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.11 Openness to experience . Longitudinal study of procrastination.49) −.27⁎ Positive urgency .06 . Explaining lower-order traits through higher-order factors: the arise out of a preference to pursue stimulating experiences case of trait procrastination. and further research [12] Steel P. A limitation on the study might be our sample.36) .27⁎ −. In: Schouwenburg HC. [9] Sirois F.25 . and the mean number of years procrastination. running out of time.16:469-89.126:133-239.11 .42⁎ 24⁎ (. conscientiousness. Ford S. McCrae RR.25⁎ (. Academic procrastination: theoretical notions.133:65-94. Procrastination.07 (−. Pers Individ Differ 2003.21 .54).32 −.27⁎ −. Paper presented at: The 97th Annual Convention of In conclusion.10:1-19.28) . on the French PPS also supports some studies indicating that [6] Tice DM. time.68⁎ −. Eur J Pers 2002.53 −. NEO-60 = short French version of the NEO-PI-R. of quintessential self-regulatory failure. New Orleans.

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