The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of Behavior Change was developed by Dr. James Prochaska and his colleagues at the University of Rhode Island Cancer Prevention Research Center. It has been operationalized and used extensively to promote optimal heath by promoting behavioral change in the areas such as smoking, diet, alcohol and substance, eating disorders, panic disorders and others. One of the model’s major contributions is the recognition that behavioral change unfolds through a series of stages. That is, individual progress through a series of stages in recognizing the need to change, contemplating a change, making a change, and finally sustaining the new behavior. Most important, they have learned that it is critical to understand and identify the stage an individual is in before a successful change intervention can be designed and applied.
Stages of Change
Precontemplation is the stage at which there is no intention to change behavior in the foreseeable future. Many individuals in this stage are unaware of problems or that there is a need for change.
Contemplation is the stage in which individuals have identified a problem. In this stage, they are deciding whether or not there is a need to take action to correct the problem. Do the pro & cons of change outweigh the pro & cons of maintaining present behavioral pattern?
Preparation is a stage entered into once the individual decides there is a need to take some action. Specific plans of action are developed in this stage as the individual chooses among alternative potential solutions.
Action is the stage in which individuals put their plans into action and change their behavioral patterns.
Maintenance is the stage in which people work to prevent relapse and consolidate the gains attained during action.