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Dare To Be You


Jan Miller-Heyl, M.S.
DARE to be You Program (DTBY)
Colorado State University Cooperative Extension
Fort Collins, CO 81321

(970) 491-2666         Fax: (970) 491-5108

Family Skills Training Speciality
2-5 years Target
Model Rating

The DARE to be You Program (DTBY) began in 1979 and is designed to reduce poor outcomes among youth, especially ATD use, by increasing resiliency factors and reducing risk factors in families with young children. The target population is 2-5 year old children and their family, including parents and other extended family who fill caregiving roles and siblings who have a variable number of risk factors. DARE to be You was originally developed and tested with four diverse populations and has been subsequently replicated with many more populations. The program has shown to be effective in rural and urban settings, with families with a wide range of risk indicators, with communities from two Native American tribes, six Asian and Pacific Islander populations, Hispanic, African-American and mixed cultures. Part of the program process outlines that it is appropriate and desirable to adapt at least 10% of the curriculum to culturally specific issues.

DTBY is a multilevel intervention because children's developmental trajectories, including avoidance of experimentation with illicit substances, are influenced by nested systems that include individual traits, family functioning, the school and community contexts. Therefore, the intervention focuses on the following four domains: 1) The Individual Child: DTBY works to increase intermediate protective factors of developmental level, self-worth, empathy, competence, problem solving, social skills, and self management. These resiliency factors are linked to success in school, good peer relations, and assertiveness, 2) The Family Environment: DTBY works to improve parents self-efficacy, self-esteem, internal locus of control, decision-making and reasoning skills, stress management skills, and child-rearing practices, 3) The School Environment: DTBY includes training components for caregivers in the children's program as well as the caregivers of the children who work in the community. DTBY targets teacher's efficacy and sense of self-worth as well as effecting methods of teaching children, and 4) The Community: DTBY also trains teams of community workers who work with the target families. Awareness of negative messages and skills to alter these messages are vital to changing the community environment.

The Intervention Components for the Family and Individual include simultaneous parent and child workshops of at least 20 hours provided over a minimum of 12 weeks. These are followed by periodic After-DARE support groups or community events and yearly reinforcing workshops of at least eight hours. The weekly workshops include a social meal (30 minutes), a parent-child activity (15 minutes), and simultaneous classes for the parents, preschool youth, and siblings (2 hours). Usually at least three concurrent age groups are in the session. Incentives of meals, children's program and $200 honorarium for each completing adult family member were used for recruitment and high retention (consistent dosage).

The Intervention Components for the School include a minimum of 15 hours of training for preschool, Head Start, or day care providers. Teachers of the youth in the program are the primary targets for this training. The Intervention Component for the community includes a 15 hour training for a team of community members who work with the families in the intervention.

In the original model, over a five year period, successive cohorts of families were randomly assigned to an experimental (n = 472) or control (n = 272) groups and were followed for up to three years. In the subsequent self replication, 263 experimental and 163 controls participated and were followed for up to three years. Participants completed baseline, 12, 24 and 36 month surveys. Experimental parents also completed a post test after the series of workshops. Statistically significant changes occurred in most of the targeted constructs in the original model in all four sites: 1) Parents increased their self-efficacy (self-worth and competence), sense of positive relationships with their children, and satisfaction in the parenting role, 2) Parents decreased their external locus of control, sense of being stressed, their child blaming attributions and their use of harsh punishments, 3) Parents increased their nurturing and inductive family management styles and ability to set limits and provide autonomy, 4) Children increased their developmental level (6% higher than control peers), and 5) Children were reported to decrease their aggressive and hostile behaviors by parents. Similar trends and findings were reported in the self-replication with the addition of a statistically significant decrease in use of alcohol and other drugs in the families in the experimental groups.


Implementation Costs:

In addition to the initial implementation training, replication sites have suggested that a minimum of one technical assistance visit from the DARE to be You training staff is built into program planning. This would occur 3-6 months into the implementation. Training staff are also available to provide teacher or community components or to assist staff in offering these components. We will provide links to other replication programs for mutual support networks.

Training Costs:

On-site training is recommended for staff and administrators in the agency or agencies that will be replicating the program. We also will do regional training with teams of replicators from different communities. A team to be trained should not be less than five participants. The facility would be provided by the agency sponsoring the training. We do have facilities to hold training at our local training center however we recommend on-site training. The recommended implementation training is 20 hours over three days. The charge for one trainer is $4,000 plus travel and per diem. This cost includes materials for the workshops and a video tape, and the protocol manuals for program and evaluation replication for the site coordinators.It also includes a complete 8 volume set of materials (worth $400).


Revised 11/10/2002

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