The Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM) is characterized by six ‘stages of change’ (precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination) that individuals move through when attempting to change problematic health behavior, such as smoking (Shumaker, Ockene, & Riekert, 2009).
Individuals reach the ‘maintenance’ phase of the TTM when the positive health behavior, for example, complete abstinence from smoking, is sustained for a period of 6 months or longer (Glanz, Rimer, & Viswanath, 2008). Self-efficacy (or situation-specific confidence) plays an integral role in this stage. As an individual’s ability to abstain from the risky health behavior increases, so too does their ability to avoid relapse. The risk of relapse is eliminated once an individual reaches the final ‘termination’ stage of the TTM, in which the positive health behavior has become automatic (Shumaker et al., 2009).