This study sought to describe the colorectal cancer (CRC)-screening behavior of a population of two lower income communities near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The transtheoretical model was used to characterize individuals according to their stage of readiness to engage in one of two recommended CRC screening tests-the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) or Flexible Sigmoidoscopy (FSG) test. A telephone survey was conducted of 50- to 79-year-old men and women in Aliquippa and Clairton in the spring of 1999. Analyses based on 414 survey respondents showed associations between FOBT or FSG behavioral stage and factors including gender, age, recent doctor checkup, chronic need for prescription medications, history of cervical Pap smear testing, history of prostate-specific antigen blood testing, and prior doctor recommendation in favor of FOBT or FSG testing. This study appears to be one of the first applications of this theory to understanding CRC screening behavior in a community intervention.