Assessing decisional balance for smoking cessation among Southeast Asian males in the US

Carolyn Kramer Lafferty, Catherine A. Heaney, Moon S Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This study examines the relationship of positive and negative perceptions of smoking to self-reported readiness to quit smoking among Southeast (SE) Asian males of Cambodian, Laotian or Vietnamese descent. In order to investigate this relationship, measures of decisional balance constructs (i.e. the pros and cons of smoking) appropriate for these ethnic groups were developed. Decisional balance was calculated by subtracting the cons from the pros. Following the criteria established by Prochaska and DiClemente, subjects were categorized into four levels of readiness to quit smoking (precontemplation, contemplation, preparation/action and maintenance). The expected pattern of relationship between decisional balance and stages of change included: (1) the cons of smoking being of less importance than the pros of smoking for those smokers in the precontemplation stage, (2) the pros and cons intersecting at the contemplation stage, and (3) the cons being of greater importance than the pros in the later stages of change. The SE Asian men in this study did not exhibit these decisional balance patterns, although mean decisional balance scores for precontemplators and contemplators were significantly more positive than mean scores for those in the preparation/action and maintenance stages. Decisional balance patterns differed across the three ethnic groups included in the sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Education


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