The objective of this study was to assess relationships of the stages of smoking acquisition with self-efficacy and decisional balance in young Taiwanese adolescents. A random sample of 401 students was recruited. Students who were at the precontemplation stage had higher self-efficacy to resist smoking initiation than those who were at the decision-making or maintenance stages. Ratings of benefits of smoking were significantly higher for those in the maintenance stage than in the precontemplation or decision-making stages. In a discriminant function analysis, self-efficacy and decisional balance correctly predicted 77.4% of membership in the three stages. Health educators could use stage-specific skills and strategies based on self-efficacy and decision balance constructs to develop smoking prevention programs.
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