OBJECTIVES In 2011, the tuberculosis (TB) incidence rate in Japan was 17.7 per 100,000 population, and TB still remains a public health issue in Japan. In addition to early and sufficient medical services for the TB patients, effective health communications with the public as well as with the high risk groups are needed to prevent new TB incidences. With an aim of advancing knowledge that supports effective and efficient strategies for TB prevention, the current study was designed to examine factors relevant to TB preventive intentions and behaviors, which have not been well explored in Japan. METHODS Questionnaire surveys were conducted for 1040 female study participants, involving the following two groups. The Women's Organization group consisted of 746 attendees of seminars held by the National Federation of Community Women's Organizations for TB Control and the Japan AntiTuberculosis Association; The female college students group consisted of 294 female students from two women's colleges in Tokyo. Surveys were carried out between February 2010 and February 2012. RESULTS The Women's Organization group scored significantly higher than the female college student group in average for five of the six measured variables: Subjective Health Status, Critical Thinking Disposition (Objectiveness), Self-Assessed Understanding of TB, Prevention Intention, and Prevention Behavior. There was no significant difference in one variable: Subjective Threat. Critical Thinking Disposition (Objectiveness) and Self-Assessed Understanding of TB were significantly and positively correlated with both Preventive Intention and Preventive Behavior for the both of the two groups. Multigroup analyses of the hypothesized model showed that Critical Thinking Disposition (Objectiveness), Subjective Threat, and Self-Assessed Understanding of TB explained 33 to 38 per cent of the variance in Preventive Behavior, mediated by Preventive Intention. DISCUSSION The results from the current survey revealed that enhancing the sense of understanding of TB and recognizing the appropriate level of threats of TB contribute to the promotion of TB preventive intentions and behaviors. The results suggest that TB preventive intentions and behaviors should be influenced by devising contents of TB information to enhance subjective threats and the sense of understanding of TB. It is also suggested that promoting objective thinking dispositions, such as making unbiased judgments, being open to different perspectives, and examining multiple perspectives, should be related to TB preventive behaviors. It may be useful to consider these suggestions for effective health communication on TB prevention.