Stages of change model has limited value in explaining the change in use of cannabis among adolescent participants in an efficacious motivational interviewing intervention

H.B. Dupont*, M.J.J.M. Candel, P. Lemmens, Charles Kaplan, Dike van de Mheen, N.K. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

223 Downloads (Pure)


Previously, a Dutch randomized controlled trial evaluating an intervention aimed at changing adolescents’ cannabis use, called Moti-4, has shown its efficacy. A secondary analysis of the Moti-4 data investigated the process of change specified by the Stage of Change (SOC) model in cannabis use during the trial. Seventy-one Moti-4 participants and 60 controls were recruited for the study with a pre-test, post-test (T1), and six-month follow-up (T2). All participants showed signs of problematic cannabis use. No contribution of the Moti-4 intervention to a change in SOC between T1 and T2 was found. Although motivation for treatment and motivation for change can be conceived as independent predictors of treatment outcome, the SOC a person is in does not mediate the effect of the intervention on change in cannabis use. However, a reduction in cannabis use was associated with a positive change in “action willingness,” in line with the SOC model. In contrast to model expectations, a higher score on “contemplation” is associated with a higher cannabis consumption. Results highlight both the limitations and usefulness of the SOC model. Future interventions may focus more on the stage of “action willingness,” as well as on perceived social norms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-372
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Cite this