This paper presents an analysis of the DARE to be You multi-level prevention program for young children; the authors discuss their research methodology, outcomes, and policy implications.
DARE to be You is a multi-level prevention program aimed at two- to five-year olds in high-risk families. Program objectives focus on aspects of parenting that contribute to youths' resiliency to later substance use. These include improving parents' self-efficacy, effective child rearing, social support, and problem-solving skills as well as children's developmental attainments. Over a five-year period, successive cohorts of families were randomly assigned to either an experimental or a control group. The DTBY program was provided to children, families, preschool teachers, and community professionals who work with youth. Families received a minimum of 24 hours of programs with follow-up support. Program replicability was tested at four sites, which varied in population density (urban, town, rural) and ethnic composition (Ute Mountain Ute, Hispanic, Anglo). Evaluation data reveal significant, persistent increases in parental self-appraisals and democratic child-rearing practices, with a corresponding decrease in harsh discipline. Parent satisfaction with social support increased; target children's developmental levels were enhanced, and oppositional behavior declined. The authors also discuss implications for effective family intervention and self-efficacy as a key mechanism of change. Publisher Abstract Provided