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4-H Club Study Does participation make a difference in the lives of youth? Cathann A. Kress, Ph.D. Black Hills Seminars 2001 Rapid City, South Dakota What difference does 4-H Club participation make? Two year study To what extent and in what ways do

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4 h club study

4-H Club Study

Does participation make a difference in the lives of youth?

Cathann A. Kress, Ph.D.

Black Hills Seminars 2001

Rapid City, South Dakota

what difference does 4 h club participation make
What difference does 4-H Club participation make?
  • Two year study
  • To what extent and in what ways do

4-H Clubs influence and contribute to the “context” for positive youth development?

youth development defined
Youth Development defined…
  • In this study, youth development was understood as a process of growing up and developing one’s capacities in positive ways

-Walker & Dunham, 1994

slide4
Is success related to active participation and involvement in public demonstrations, community service projects, and events?
  • Is success due to the relationships developed and the long-term membership?
study design
Study Design
  • Focus Groups
  • Profile of 4-H Clubs
  • Electronic Survey of 4-H Staff
  • 4-H Members Only Survey
  • Secondary Analysis of Search Institute Profiles
study design6
Study Design

Compared with

findings focus groups
Findings – Focus Groups

Participants were 4-H members, program leaders, volunteers, and parents of 4-H members.

Themes:

  • Emphasis in 4-H is on life skills
  • Key elements include relationships with other adults, active participation in program efforts, and community service.
  • Success of 4-H is attributed to dedication of leaders who are “youth-centered”
findings 4 h club profiles
Findings – 4-H Club Profiles
  • 4-H Club Profiles

Nearly half (27 counties) have 26-50 active clubs.

Over half (31 counties) have a total club enrollment between 251-550 members.

findings staff electronic survey
Findings – Staff Electronic Survey
  • 4-H as a transformative experience

Story themes:

  • Acceptance and belonging
  • Safe place to take risks and increase self-esteem; how life skills learned gave 4-H members a “leg up”
  • How 4-H members channeled negative attitudes into positive action and transferred leadership skills to other settings
  • learning the value of helping others and the meaning of service.
findings members only survey
Findings- Members Only Survey
  • 4-H Club youth in New York scored higher than both the Search Institute’s youth with club participation and without club participation on all developmental assets tested.
  • The type of club was not important.
  • There was a difference for youth who remain in 4-H for one year or more.
findings members only survey11
Findings- Members Only Survey

What do you feel you have gained?

  • 4-H changes lives
  • Fun & Friendships
  • Teamwork
  • Opportunities for Leadership
  • Multiple Skills
  • The Value of Community Service
slide12

4-H experiences become TRANSFORMATIONAL when we provide opportunities for young people to

  • Belong
  • Master Skills
  • Lead
  • Learn the meaning of service
slide13
I feel that the experience I’ve gained from being a 4-H member puts me “a notch above the rest.”
slide14
Without 4-H I don’t know where I would be right now. I have benefited greatly from this program. It helped me grow from a shy girl into a productive young woman. I have learned how to be a leader and take on challenging tasks.
results
Results?
  • The results show that the process of youth development is positively influenced in multiple ways by 4-H Club membership.
  • When membership includes some key essential elements…