Background: The prevalence of smoking among adolescents has remained stable and has increased in the past few years. Longitudinal results from a multitude of efforts to reduce adolescent smoking have been mostly disappointing.
Methods: This paper discusses, in light of the theoretical knowledge obtained among adults and the empirical data collected among adults and adolescents, the applicability of the central concepts of the Trantheoretical Model of Change to the adolescent smoking problem.
Results: According to the stage of change distributions, adolescent smokers appeared to be somewhat less prepared to quit than adults. Both adults and adolescents utilize identical cognitive and behavioral activities to change their smoking although teens' process use appears to differ from that of adults at each stage of change. According to the decisional balance measure, the pros of smoking among adults and teens exceeded the cons in early stages of change and then reversed once smokers took action to quit. The levels of temptations to smoke among adults and adolescents were almost identical at each stage.
Conclusions: Both age groups turned out to be remarkably similar in the Transtheoretical measures, and, except for the processes of change, both groups exhibited similar behavior at different stages of the smoking cessation process.
Copyright 1998 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.