The transtheoretical model of smoking: Comparison of pregnant and nonpregnant smokers

Laurie Ruggiero, Janice Y. Tsoh, Kevin Everett, Joseph L. Fava, Barrie J. Guise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Pregnant smokers represent a special population of women smokers. Since smoking affects both the mother and the unborn child, it might be hypothesized that pregnant women should be highly motivated to quit smoking during pregnancy. Results from both naturalistic studies and intervention studies have generally shown only modest changes in smoking during pregnancy. To help design more effective interventions tailored for this special population of smokers, more information is needed on how they differ from other smokers. The current study was designed to examine patterns and differences on constructs of the Transtheoretical Model between low-income culturally diverse pregnant and nonpregnant female smokers. Groups were compared on the distribution of the stages of change. In addition, stage and group comparisons were conducted for the pros and cons of smoking, situational temptations to smoke, and the processes of change. The sample included 103 economically disadvantaged, culturally diverse pregnant women and a matched group of 103 nonpregnant women smokers. Pregnant smokers as a group were similar to their nonpregnant peers on their readiness for quitting. In general, the patterns observed across the stages of change were consistent with those seen in other populations of smokers. The primary difference found between the groups were on the cons of smoking, habit-related temptations to smoke, and experiential processes of change. Specifically, pregnant women perceived a less negative attitude toward their smoking, were more tempted in habit-related situations, and made less use of important experiential processes of change. The implications of these findings for designing interventions tailored for this special group of smokers are discussed. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-251
Number of pages13
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Pregnant smokers
  • Smoking
  • Stages of change
  • Transtheoretical Model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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