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Transtheoretical Model

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Alcohol: Decisional Balance

How important to you are the following statements in your decisions about how much to drink or if not to drink at all.

1 = Not at all Important
2 = Not Very Important
3 = Somewhat Important
4 = Very Important
5 = Extremely Important

Pros of Drinking

1. Drinking gives me a thrilling feeling.
2. Drinking gives me more courage.
3. I feel happier when I drink.
4. I can talk with someone I am attracted to better after a few drinks. box
5. Drinking makes me feel more relaxed and less tense. box
6. Drinking helps me have fun with friends.
7. Events with alcohol are more fun.
8. I am more sure of myself when I am drinking. box

Cons of Drinking

1. I might end up hurting somebody.
2. Drinking could get me addicted to alcohol.
3. Drinking could land me in trouble with the law.
4. I can hurt people close to me when I drink too much. box
5. Some people close to me are disappointed in me because of my drinking. box
6. I could accidentally hurt someone because of my drinking.
7. I am setting a bad example for others with my drinking.
8. Drinking causes me to fail to do what is normally expected of me. box


Scoring for this instrument entails summing the pros and cons items separately to obtain two scale scores.

Note: This instrument has been developed on non-dependent drinkers and should not be used with dependent populations until further psychometric validations have been conducted. Information regarding the reliability and validity of this instrument can be obtained from Dr. Maddock.


Maddock, J. E. (1997). Development and Validation of Decisional Balance and Processes of Change Inventories for Heavy, Episodic Drinking. University of Rhode Island. Unpublished Master’s Thesis.

Laforge, R. G., Maddock, J. E., & Rossi, J. S. (1999). Replication of the temptations and decisional balance instruments for heavy, episodic drinking on an adult sample. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 21, S67 (Abstract).

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