Title

In search of how people change: Applications to addictive behaviors

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1-1-1992

Abstract

How people intentionally change addictive behaviors with and without treatment is not well understood by behavioral scientists. This article summarizes research on self-initiated and professionally facilitated change of addictive behaviors using the key transtheoretical constructs of stages and processes of change. Modification of addictive behaviors involves progression through five stages - precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance - and individuals typically recycle through these stages several times before termination of the addiction. Multiple studies provide strong support for these stages as well as for a finite and common set of change processes used to progress through the stages. Research to date supports a transtheoretical model of change that systematically integrates the stages with processes of change from diverse theories of psychotherapy.

Publication Title

American Psychologist

Volume

47

Issue

9

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