Being a victim of gang violence is not easy, but suffering through the stigma and the negative attitudes of people to one’s self because he is a member of a gang is also difficult. Gangs had been associated with violence; they have now become synonymous with drugs, battery, robberies, illegal activities and the like. Sad to say, most of those who get into gangs are minors who have not yet developed the moral compass to think what is right from wrong, fortunately there had been instances where youth gang members had broken away from the gangs and tried to resume normality in their lives. But due to the feelings of affiliation and strict adherence to gang rules, those who break away from the gangs have tremendous difficulty in living their lives in the right way and staying away from gangs or even in controlling their anger and violent impulses. There had been many attempts to provide this group with intervention programs aiming to change their behavior.
But either it died out of funding, it was not able to reach its objectives. One theory that could be of immense help to the project in mind is the self-efficacy theory.According to Bandura (1995) self-efficacy is the belief that a person has for himself in his ability to plan and act out his desires to effect positive change in his life. Self-efficacy therefore is a personal belief in one’s abilities to follow through a course of action in order to change one’s self. Self-efficacy is crucial to change behaviors of gang members because it gives them the opportunity to decide for their own lives and to actually follow their decisions and accept its consequences. Our sense of self-efficacy dictates how we do things, how much effort we put in accomplishing the tasks that would lead to the ultimate goal and how we feel about what we are doing (Hawkins, 1995). Personally, self-efficacy means that I have the knowledge of what I am capable of and how I am able to do the things that I want to do. If I wanted to effect change in behavior for my final project, then I must also believe that I could actually do that (Bandura, 1995), I must draw up a detailed action plan and stick to it faithfully and intelligently.
I can motivate other people to change if I could give them an example of what it takes to change other people, if for example I could help a small group of people, and then my example would mirror those who also desire to do something more meaningful in their lives.Hope is an act of reassurance, that there is something better at the end of the road and that we only need to hope that we could achieve things and it will definitely be ours. I can inspire hope in others by believing in the ability and willingness of ex-gang members to change. If I communicate to them that I believe and care for them, that I could work and I am ready to help them become better persons, then I believe that I would also inspire them to do the same (Pintrich & Schunk, 2002). Self-efficacy theory says that we persist in behaviors or situations where we find meaning and purpose, where it is important to us because we believe in it (Bandura, 1995). Thus, I would be able to make people hope that there are more individuals like me who really believes and respects the capabilities of other people without making them feel small and inadequate.