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The Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change was examined for its applicability to contraceptive and condom use adoption and maintenance using N = 248 heterosexually active college-age men and women. The model posits that individuals do not go directly from old behaviors to new behaviors, but progress through a sequence of stages: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. The stages of change offer a temporal dimension that provides information regarding when a particular shift in attitudes, intentions, and behavior may occur. The model also postulates a set of constructs that act as sensitive intervening or outcome variables—the pros and cons of change and self-efficacy. The results demonstrated that individuals were furthest along in the stages of change for general contraceptive use, followed closely by condom use with other (e.g., casual) partners, and then condom use with main partners. Although no sex differences were found for the stages for the three separate contraceptive behaviors, males and females differed on the pros and cons and levels of self-efficacy when engaging in intercourse with the two types of partners. MANOVA/ANOVA results indicated that the relationship between stages and other constructs follows predicted patterns suggesting that the transtheoretical model may provide a useful framework or paradigm for understanding contraceptive and condom use behavior.



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