Mario Souza


The Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM) and its Stages of Change component has become an influential model helping clinicians understand the process of change in various kinds of treatment. Progression through the stages of change is theorized to be determined by several factors, including social support. Perceived social support has also been related to positive outcomes with clients experiencing psychiatric issues. This study was the first to link these concepts together by investigating whether perceived social support, measured by the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS; Zimet, Dahlem, Zimet, & Farley, 1988) was associated with presenting Stage of Change, measured by the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment Scale (URICA; McConnaughy, DiClemente, Prochaska, & Velicer, 1983), in a sample of psychotherapy clients who endorsed experiencing a potentially traumatic event (N=77) as compared with a sample that did not report experiencing a potentially traumatic event (N=47). Mean perceived social support scores for both the history of trauma group and non-trauma group were both in the moderate range. Additionally, the majority of the participants in both groups fell primarily in the Contemplation and Action stages. Perceived social support was not found to be associated with presenting stage of change in either of the samples and there were no significant differences found between perceived social support scores and presenting stage of change between the samples. Limitations related to the operationalization of trauma and construct measurement may have affected null findings. Recommendations for future directions are discussed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Traumatic neuroses -- Treatment; Social networks -- Psychological aspects

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Hall, Susan;