DARE to be You Theoretical Base

The DARE to be You (DTBY) family training programs strive to include multiple members of a family system. This is based on Bronfenbrenner's(1) Ecological Systems Model, which emphasizes the necessity of working with multiple members of a person's support system.

A primary goal of the program is to motivate parents and children to be persistent even when issues or tasks are difficult (i.e., as in being a parent of a child transitioning into school).(2)

In applying this theory to families, self-efficacy is a primary building block to build the "I can" belief, an essential component of motivation. Therefore, the first components of the workshop are designed to strengthen self-efficacy as well as selected components of self-esteem. The program's success was tested, based on a model that used self-esteem and self-efficacy components first.

The second component, self-responsibility, is based on Bandura's Social Cognitive Developmental theory. People must believe they can be successful and that their efforts will make a difference (i.e., if they use a new way of setting limits, their children will begin to manage their own behavior better). However, if they believe that nothing they do will make a difference, they are not likely to pursue a new strategy.

When participants have completed these foundation workshops, they are more likely to use the skills and knowledge they will learn later in the 11- to 12-week series in the areas of family management, communication, problem solving, and developmental issues.

A change in the order of the main components of the curriculum would undermine the theoretical base.

See publications and theoretical bases for each component.

(1) Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.
Bronfenbrenner, U. & Morris, P.S. (1998). The ecology of developmental processes. In W. Damon (Series Ed.) and R.M. Lerner (Vol Ed.), Handbook of child psychology, 5th ed., Vol. I. Theoretical models of human development (pp 3-1028). New York: Wiley.

(2) Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.