Relationships between Stages and Processes of Change for Effective Stress Management in Japanese College Students


With a primary prevention focus, it would be important to help populations engage in stress management. The Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change is one of potentially useful models to formulate interventions. The model describes behavior change as progression through five stages: precontemplation (not ready), contemplation (getting ready), preparation (ready), action, and maintenance. Processes of change (strategies and techniques to enhance the progression) facilitate stage transition. Their use is hypothesized to depend on stage of change. The processes tend to be used the least at the precontemplation stage. Use of experiential processes (affective and/or cognitive strategies such as seeking information) increase over time and tend to peak at the contemplation or preparation stage and then decease. In contrast, behavioral processes (behavioral strategies such as seeking social support) tend to be used most at the action and/or maintenance stage. This study examined relationships between stages and processes of change for effective stress management. Effective stress management is defined as any form of healthy activity such as exercising, meditating, relaxing, and seeking social support, which is practiced for at least 20 minutes. Four hundred and five Japanese college students participated in this study. A paper-pencil survey was conducted at colleges in Japan. The process use was least in precontemplation. Experiential processes peaked in preparation. Except for one experiential process, no significant difference was found between preparation and maintenance. Behavioral processes peaked in preparation, action, or maintenance. Most of these inter-stage differences of processes are in line with the prediction from the model. This study represented an initial but important test of validity of applying processes of change to stress management. The results partially supported its application.

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Horiuchi, S. , Tsuda, A. , M. Prochaska, J. , Kobayashi, H. & Mihara, K. (2012). Relationships between Stages and Processes of Change for Effective Stress Management in Japanese College Students. Psychology, 3, 494-499. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.36070.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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