James Prochaska developed Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change; Janice Prochaska disseminated the model.

Posted by the University on on October 10, 2017

A University of Rhode Island psychology professor internationally renowned for his pioneering work in behavior change, along with his wife and research partner, will receive the Institute of Coaching Vision of Scientific Excellence in Coaching award. The Institute presents the award annually to those who contribute lasting and pioneering work in developing a scientific foundation to coaching.

James O. Prochaska, director of the Cancer Prevention Research Center at URI and professor of clinical and health psychology in the College of Health Sciences, and Janice M. Prochaska, former president and chief executive officer of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. and an adjunct professor at URI, are being recognized for their significant contributions to the field of health-related behavior change, notably the development of the transformative Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, also known as the Stages of Change Model.

This model integrates stages, principles, processes and levels of change and can be applied to understand how people change health related behaviors such as smoking, diet, exercise and safe sex practices as well as behaviors related to alcohol and drug abuse, stress and distress. Interventions based on this model can accelerate changes in problem behaviors.

“The Prochaskas’ groundbreaking work has greatly advanced the field of behavior change, enhanced the education of behavior health practitioners, and had a positive impact on countless individuals around the world. I congratulate Jim and Janice Prochaska on their well-deserved recognition from the Institute of Coaching,” said Gary Liguori, dean of the College of Health Sciences.

The Prochaskas will receive the award at the Institute of Coaching’s Leadership and Healthcare Conference in Boston Oct. 13-14. The Institute, a Mclean Hospital and Harvard Medical School affiliate, works to empower practitioners to have a positive impact on the field of coaching as a vehicle for positive change in the world through advancing best practices rooted in a scientific foundation.

James Prochaska is the author of more than 400 publications, including the books, “Changing to Thrive,” (co-authored with his wife Janice); “Changing for Good,” “Systems of Psychotherapy” and “The Transtheoretical Approach.” He has been the principal investigator on more than $80 million dollars in research grants for the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases and is the founder of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.

Jim has won numerous awards including the Top Five Most Cited Authors in Psychology from the American Psychology Society, an Innovator’s Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is the first psychologist to win a Medal of Honor for Clinical Research from the American Cancer Society. He has been recognized as one of the top three preeminent clinical psychologists.

“This award honors the mission of ourselves and our collaborators to enhance the health and well-being of as many people as possible,” Jim Prochaska said.

Janice Prochaska is one of the most published authors in the field of social work and has led research and development teams for health behavior and organizational change programs as CEO at Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. from 1997 – 2015. Over 35 Small Businesses Innovation Research (SBIR) grants were received under her tenure. And over 20 evidence based digital programs based on the Transtheoretical Model were developed and licensed. The programs have won Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recognition, the URAC gold Award in Health Management, National Committee for Quality Assurance certification and the Tibbetts Award to exemplify the best in SBIR achievement. These programs were developed with six women staff with doctorates, all from URI.

Janice’s collaborations include applying the Transtheoretical Model to simultaneously reduce multiple risk behaviors and enhance well-being, to promote healthy weight management in children and adults, to prevent bullying, to reduce offender recidivism and to advance the careers of women in science. In 2013, Providence Business News presented her with an Achievement Award as one of the Outstanding Leaders in New England.

“I am honored that the Institute recommends “Changing to Thrive” to coaches preparing for their certification,” Janice Prochaska said.