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Background: The transtheoretical model is an influential theoretical model in health psychology, particularly in its application to smoking cessation research. Decisional Balance (DB) and Temptations are key constructs within this framework.

Purpose: This study examines the psychometric properties of the DB and Temptations scales for smoking in a predominantly African-American sample of urban adolescent girls.

Methods: We used confirmatory factor analysis to compare the fit of previously published factor structures in smokers (n = 233) and nonsmokers (n = 598). External validity was tested by examining stages of change differences in the retained subscales.

Results: Results supported the internal and external validity of the DB scale for smokers and nonsmokers. Notably, previously published three-factor (Social Pros, Coping Pros, Cons) and four-factor (Cons split into “Aesthetic Cons” and “Health Cons”) models fit equally well, with Cons subscales correlating highly. For Temptations, a previously published three-factor (Negative Affect, Social, Weight Control) hierarchical model fit well in nonsmokers. In smokers, previously published subscales were reliably measured, but their structural relationship remained unclear. Stage difference tests showed medium to large effect sizes of DB and Temptation subscales in smokers and nonsmokers.

Conclusions: The use of DB was validated for both smokers and nonsmokers in this sample of primarily African-American adolescent females, where Cons can be combined or separated into “Aesthetic Cons” and “Health Cons” based on practical utility and preference. For Temptations, more research is needed but large stage differences in Temptations subscales underscore the importance of this concept in smoking acquisition and cessation.



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