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Behavior and Transtheoretical Model of Change Essay

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Updated: Jun 20th, 2020


Problem behavior is a common phenomenon in people’s lives. It is usually characterized by nonconformity to simple rules. A number of factors are deemed responsible for its development. They are categorized into predisposing, precipitating, perpetuating, and protective factors. Deviant practices can result from social, psychological, and/or biological influence. Emotional swings and egocentric behaviors, especially in childhood, can pose a big challenge to the society or certain social institutions. This paper provides an insight into transformation reflection by applying the transtheoretical model (TTM) to control problem behavior.

Description of a Personal Case Behavior

During my childhood, out bursting to other pupils was my greatest weakness. I did not give someone a chance to apologize. This situation escalated to a level that caused most of the pupils to avoid associating with me. My relationship with Antonio began to fade after I shouted at him one day at the playground. His reactions to my weird behavior plunged him into utter shock. In another instance, I almost broke his ribs as I tried to obtain a ball from him forcefully. At some point, I had no friend to play with at school because other pupils failed to understand my wanting behavior. This situation put me in a world of isolation. However, an application of the transtheoretical model of change enabled me to overcome outbursts.

Application of My Behavior Change to Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM)

The transtheoretical model is a framework of intentional change that is based on the ability of an individual to make decisions without biological or sociological influence (Hanna, Hanna, & Keys, 1999; Walker, Hoyt, & Long, 2006). This model operates on various key assumptions namely processes and stages of change, self-efficacy, and balance of rational ability. Lenio (2006) posits that the premise of this model is that transformation takes place over time. Five stages of change are discussed in this paper.

The first stage of the transtheoretical model is pre-contemplation. In this phase, people show no intentions of actions in the near future, normally taken as the next six months (Lenio, 2006; Hanna et al., 1999). Individuals do not realize the effects of their deeds on other people and the immediate environment. In my case, it was not until I found myself isolated that I realized that my outbursts affected my relationships negatively. This behavior happened unknowingly. I had never thought of sustaining relationships.

The second stage encompasses contemplation. In this phase, people become aware of their problem. According to Walker et al. (2006), knowledge about their predicament compels them to seek feasible solutions. Individuals remain in the contemplation stage if they fail to change behavior. Their deviant actions are persistent regardless of showing relentless efforts to execute corrective measures. This phenomenon is referred to as chronic contemplation (Lenio, 2006). Individuals in this phase are incapable of determining the root causes of their strange traits (Freado, 2007). However, I was aware of my temperament problem. However, the difficulty of changing the behavior prevailed. Although I was motivated to transform in a bid to regain my lost friendship with Antonio, weighing the pros and cons of the consequences was the biggest challenge.

The next stage of the transtheoretical model is preparation. In this phase, people try to make behavioral change decisions in a month (Lenio, 2006). My priority was to rectify my behavior to re-establish my dead friendship with Antonio and other playmates. Some change can be visible regardless of the fact that it is a transition stage. However, I had no idea of how to proceed with this plan. Eventually some strategy came up and I was ready to indulge in behavioral change. This plan led me to the action level (Henderson & Thompson, 2010; Walker et al., 2006).

In the action stage, individuals have attempted to transform their behaviors within the last six months (Lenio, 2006). During this phase, I gained a lot of recognition from the rest of the pupils. There is a need for concerted efforts to implement corrective measures in an attempt to change behavior. The final stage is referred to as maintenance. Efforts are geared towards preventing relapse by safeguarding the achievements that are made in the action stage. The ability to maintain positive behavior change without relapse for more than six months is enough to enter the maintenance stage. My sole goal at this level was to remain peaceful and resist any activities that were likely to cause conflict. There was also a need to acknowledge the mistakes of other people through formulation of apt solutions to avoid further disagreements (Winters, Hanson, & Stoyanova, 2007).


This essay evidences that people with behavioral problems undergo a process of change. It involves transition from unawareness of the problem behavior to a level self-consciousness. The process of transformation begins with self-evaluation and acknowledgement of the possession of a problem behavior. Through self-liberation, people choose to change the behavior on their own. Those who manage to change completely embark on actions that aim at maintaining the positive change.

Reference List

Freado, M. (2007). I Can’t Holt it in Forever: Connecting with a Youth in Pain. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 15(4), 229-33.

Hanna, F., Hanna, C., & Keys, S. (1999). Fifty Strategies for Counseling Defiant, Aggressive Adolescents: Reaching, Accepting, and Relating. Journal of Counselling and Development, 77(1), 395-403.

Henderson, D., & Thompson, C. (2010). Counselling Children. Brooks/Cole, United States: Cengage Learning.

Lenio, J. (2006). Analysis of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change. Journal of Student Research, 5(1), 73-87.

Walker, B., Hoyt, L., & Long, N. (2006). How Do We Get There From Here? Nine Strategies on the Reclaiming Journey. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 15(1), 52-9.

Winters, N., Hanson, G., & Stoyanova, V. (2007). The Case Formulation in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 16(2007), 111-32.


Table 1: Formulation Grid

Domain Biologic Psychological Social
Factors Genetic,
developmental, medical, toxicity, temperamental factors
Cognitive style, intra-psychic
conflicts and defense
mechanisms, self-image,
Social relationships
Social –Environment
Culture/ethnicity, social risk factors, systems issues
Developmental disorders, regulatory disturbances Insecure attachment, poor cognitive development Outbursts to fellow children, intolerance of others, temperament mismatch, mood swings Low socio-economic status, poor access to health care, mental care
Increasing drug abuse, Serial conflicts among age mates, exaggerated self-esteem, Superiority complex. Isolation from peers, Loss of friendships,
Interpersonal trauma
Immigration, loss of supportive care, school dropout and educational loss
Learning impairment Help-rejecting
Personality style
Lack of parental empathy
Inappropriate expectations
Hostile neighborhood
Lack of cultural value transmission
Protective (strengths) Above average intelligence
Easy temperament
Positive sense of self, adoptive coping strategies Positive parent-child relationship
Supportive family
Supportive neighborhood, Enhanced family team functionality
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