The Precaution Adoption Process Model

  • The PAPM attempts to explain how a person comes to decisions to take action and how he or she translates that decision into action.
  • Adoption of a new precaution or cessation of a risky behavior requires deliberate steps unlikely to occur outside of conscious awareness.
  • The PAPM applies mainly to these types of actions, rather than to the gradual development of habitual patterns of behavior, such as exercise and diet, in which health considerations may play some role. However, the PAPM would apply to the initiation of a new exercise program or a new diet.
  • Proponents of the PAPM hypothesize that there are qualitative differences among people, and question whether changes in health behaviors can be described by a single prediction equation.

The PAPM describes a set of categories (stages), defined in terms of psychological processes within individuals. All stages are defined in terms of mental states, rather than factors external to the person, such as current or past behaviors.

Precaution Adoption Process Model