Stages of Change for Parenting

This questionnaire is designed to help practitioners improve services. Each statement describes how a person might feel when starting therapy or approaching problems in their lives. The scale is designed to be a continuous measure. Thus, subjects can score high on more than one of the four stages.


Number of Questions
Creator(s) of Tool
McConnaughy, E.N., Prochaska, J.O., & Velicer, W.F. (1983). Stages of change in psychotherapy: Measurement and sample profiles. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 20, 368-375.

Prochaska JO, DiClemente CC, Norcross JC. In search of how people change. Am Psychol 1992;47:1102–4, and Miller WR, Rollnick S. Motivational interviewing: preparing people to change addictive behavior. New York: Guilford, 1991:191–202.

Breshears, E.M., Yeh, S. & Young, N.K. 2004. Understanding substance abuse and facilitating recovery: A guide for child welfare workers. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Scoring / Benchmarking
There are FIVE possible responses to each of the items in the questionnaire: 1 = Strongly Disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Undecided, 4 = Agree, 5 = Strongly Agree

Precontemplation items 1, 5, 11, 13, 23, 26, 29, 31
Contemplation items 2, 4, 8, 12, 15, 19, 21, 24
Action items 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 20, 25, 30
Maintenance items 6, 9, 16, 18, 22, 27, 28, 32

The scales can be translated as follows:

Precontemplation: Not thinking about change; No perception of having a problem or need to change

Contemplation: Initial recognition that behavior may be a problem and
ambivalence about change; Weighing benefits and costs of behavior, proposed change

Preparation/Decision to Change: Makes a conscious determination to change; some motivation for change identified; Experimenting with small changes

Action: Takes steps to change; Taking a definitive action to change

Maintenance: Actively works on sustaining change strategies and maintaining long-term change; Maintaining new behavior over time

Lapse or Relapse: Slips (lapses) from a change strategy or returns to previous problem behavior patterns (relapse); Experiencing normal part of process of change; Usually feels demoralized
Background / Quality
The scale is still being validated. Therefore, to date there have been no cut-off norms established to determine what constitutes high, medium or low on a particular stage. The stages are considered to be continuous and not discreet.
Is there a cost associated with this tool?
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