Existing theories that support the MOT philosophy:
Ecological systems theory
The individual and its surroundings affect and interact with each other. All forms of interaction happen as integrated processes in four different systems:
- Microsystem (e.g. family, school, friends, immediate surroundings)
- Mesosystem (e.g. relationship between family and school)
- Exosystem (e.g. parents’ workplace)
- Macrosystem (e.g. values, traditions, politics, legislation etc. in society)
Social learning theory
Learning by observation and social reinforcement. When youth observe that a desired behaviour leads to positive social reinforcement, it is more likely that they, too, will act that way. Youth make decisions based on social pressure and influence by:
- Internal pressure
Belief in one’s abilities to complete the actions required to handle future situations and challenges. Can be strengthened in four ways:
- Experience. Experiencing mastery is important as it leads to a greater belief in one’s abilities.
- Role models/modelling. Watching others succeed, it is easier to believe that one can succeed too.
- Social persuasion. Young people will have more faith in themselves if people who are important to them express their belief in them.
- Physiological and emotional factors. One’s inner voice affects one’s belief in mastery.