Relationships between Stages of Change and Self-Efficacy for Effective Stress Management in Chinese College Students

  •  Ke Deng    
  •  Akira Tsuda    
  •  Aki Tsuchiyagaito    
  •  Janice Prochaska    
  •  Tingzhong Yang    
  •  Satoshi Horiuchi    


The Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM) has the potential to explain how Chinese college
students can initiate and maintain effective stress management (any form of healthy activity, which is practiced
to manage stress for at least 20 minutes per day). The TTM regards the process as progression through the
following five stages of change: precontemplation (not ready), contemplation (getting ready), preparation (ready),
action, and maintenance. Self-efficacy (confidence to manage stress effectively even under tempting situations)
is assumed to increase with stage progression. Previous studies have found such relationships, but no study has
examined these relationships with Chinese college students. The purpose of this study was to examine the
relationship between stages of change and self-efficacy for effective stress management. The participants
included 366 male and 505 female Chinese college students. The Chinese language version of Pro-Change’s
self-efficacy measure was developed based on item response theory. A single scale of 10 items was replicated.
Self-efficacy was significantly higher in action and maintenance than in precontemplation and contemplation.
Self-efficacy was also significantly higher in men than in women. These results provide initial evidence that the
self-efficacy measure can be applied to stress management with Chinese college students.

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