Stages of Change Model

The stages of change model was developed by James Prochaska, PhD, director of the Cancer Prevention Research center and professor of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, and Carlo DiClemente, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. The stages are based on the idea that people progress through different stages at their own rate before successful behavior change. The stages include:

• Precontemplation: There is no intention to change behavior in the foreseeable future. Often people in this stage are unaware or not fully aware of the problem.

• Contemplation: People are aware that a problem exists and are seriously thinking about overcoming it but have not yet made a commitment to take action.

• Preparation: People have made a commitment to change and are trying to determine how. Often this is a time of research.

• Action: A time when individuals take steps to change their behavior or overcome a problem.

• Maintenance: Successfully avoiding any temptations to return to the bad habit.