Citation
Positive Youth-Development Outcomes among Florida 4-H Members

Material Information

Title:
Positive Youth-Development Outcomes among Florida 4-H Members
Creator:
THOMAS, SARAH ZETTIE
Copyright Date:
2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Assets ( jstor )
Attitude surveys ( jstor )
Boys clubs ( jstor )
Counties ( jstor )
Databases ( jstor )
Demography ( jstor )
Factor analysis ( jstor )
Life skills ( jstor )
Personal growth ( jstor )
School surveys ( jstor )
City of Gainesville ( local )

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Sarah Zettie Thomas. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Embargo Date:
12/18/2004
Resource Identifier:
57731767 ( OCLC )

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Full Text












POSITIVE YOUTH-DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES AMONG FLORIDA 4-H
MEMBERS















By

SARAH ZETTIE THOMAS


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2004

































Copyright 2004

by

Sarah Zettie Thomas

































To Florida 4-H members















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

My study would not have been possible without the support and guidance of

several individuals. I would first like to express my thanks to my parents, John and Ella

Thomas and my sister, Martha, for their continued love, and encouragement. I also thank

my husband-to-be, Cody Hensley, for his many hours typing and mailing surveys and

reminders, and more surveys, especially near the end, when things got really tough. I

would especially like to thank him for his constant love and support.

Special thanks go to my committee members (Drs. Nick Place (chair), Joy Jordan,

and Glenn Israel). I would like to thank them for all their guidance and support

throughout this learning process. Extra thanks go to Dr. Place for setting deadlines, for

dedicating countless hours to reading my many rough drafts, and for numerous words of

encouragement and support. I would also like to give special thanks to Dr. Joy Jordan for

the time she sacrificed helping me better understand the research process, and giving me

a place of employment. I thank Dr. Glenn Israel for helping me understand evaluation

and the statistical procedures necessary to complete a thesis.

I would also like to thank the Florida 4-H program for helping me to attain many

life skills, and for helping me to become a more productive member of society. I truly

believe in the power of 4-H, and feel that many youth have benefited from this

extraordinary program. Mostly, I thank Jesus for what no person on earth can provide:

the willpower to complete this thesis, and above all, a reason for living.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

L IST O F TA B LE S ............................ ....................... ........ .............. viii

LIST OF FIGURES ................................. ...... ... ................. .x

ABSTRACT .............. ......................................... xi

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..

B a c k g ro u n d ................................................................. .................................... 1
P problem ...................................................2
Programming in 4-H ............... ................. ................................7. 7
R research P problem ................................................................. ............ 8
P purpose ............................................................. . 9
O bj ectiv e s ................................................................... ................................. . 9
L im stations ...................................................................................................... ....... 10
Operational Definitions .............................................. ............ .... ........ 11

2 LITERA TURE REVIEW ........................................................................... 13

Theoretical Support of Social Organizations............................................ 13
Youth-developm ent Program s ............................................................... .. ........ 19
Positive Youth-developm ent Outcomes .......................................... ............... 20
Florida 4-H Program ................................................... .... .. ........ .... 25

3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ............................................................................ ................... 28

P u rp o se .............................................................................2 8
R e se arch D e sig n ................................................................................................... 2 8
U nit of A analysis ................................................................ ......29
Instrumentation ............... ......... .......................30
Data Collection ............... ........ .. ................31
Respondents versus Non-Respondents ................................... ..... ...............33
D em graphics of Sam ple ............... ......... ......................... ............... 34
D ata A n aly sis.......................................................................................... 3 5


v









R e la tio n sh ip s ................................................................................................. 3 9
Safe Environm ent .................................................................... 40
B elo n g in g ............................................................4 1
Service and Leadership....................... ........ ............................ 41
Self D evelopm ent ............................ ... ................... ..... .. ... ....... .... 42
Positive Identity .......................................... .................. .... .......... 44

4 R E SE A R C H R E SU L T S ..................................................................... ..................45

D em graphics of Sam ple ............................................................ ............... .45
4-H P participation ....................................................... ..... .............. 47
Non-4-H Time .............................................. 49
Positive Youth Developm ent Outcomes................................... ...................... 51

5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.......................................................................55

T h e S tu d y .........................................................................................5 5
L im stations ............................................................................................55
Conclusions and R ecom m endations................................... ...................................... 57
Demographics........................................... 57
Respondents versus Non-Respondents......................................................60
P articip ation in 4 -H .............................. ........................ .. ........ .... ............6 1
N o n 4 -H T im e ............... ........................................................6 1
Positive Youth Development Outcomes .................................. ...............61
Im plications for F lorida 4-H .......................................................................... ... ... 66
Recom m endations for Further R research ........................................ .....................68
Evaluation of R research .......................................................................... ............... 68

APPENDIX

A 40 DEVELOPM ENTAL ASSETS ........................................ ........................ 70

B TARGETING LIFE SKILLS MODEL ........................................... ............... 71

C CODE SH EET ................................................... .............. ............72

D IR B C O N SEN T FO R M ......... ................................................................. ............74

E PRE-N O TICE ................................................................. .. .... ......... .. 75

F INITIAL SURVEY COVER LETTER ..........................................................76

G PARENTAL CON SENT FORM .......................................... .......................... 77

H PARTICIPANT CONSENT FORM.................................... ......................... 78

I SU R V E Y IN STR U M EN T ............................................................... .....................79









J THANK YOU / REMINDER POST CARD .............................................................85

K FOLLOW -U P CO V ER LETTER ...............................................................................86

L SURVEY QUESTION MATRIX.......................................... ........................... 87

REFERENCES ......................... ........... ...... ........... ........ 95

BIOGRAPH ICAL SKETCH .............................................................. ............... 101
















LIST OF TABLES


Table p

3-1 County statistics of population (U.S.Census Bureau, 2000).............. .....................29

3-2 Statistics of county 4-H members (Blue Ribbon, 2002) .......................................30

3-3 Demographics of 4-H Survey Respondents and Non-Respondents....................35

3-4 4-H participation variables used in factor analysis ...............................................36

3-5 Positive relationship variables used in factor analysis. .................... ..............40

3-6 Safe environment variables used in factor analysis.......................................41

3-7 Belonging variables used in factor analysis .................................. ............... 41

3-8 Service and leadership variables used in factor analysis............... ............... 42

3-9 Service and leadership variables used in factor analysis............... ............... 42

3-10 Self-development variables used in factor analysis .............................................43

3-11 Self-development variables used in factor analysis ...........................................43

3-12 Variables of positive identity in factor analysis................................................... 44

4-1 A ge of survey respondents ............................................... ............................ 46

4-2 Demographics on survey respondents.......................................... ...............46

4-3 School attendance of survey respondents.............................................................. 46

4-4 Family living arrangements of survey respondents...............................................47

4-5 Degree of 4-H participation by county........ ................................. ...............48

4-6 4-H degree of participation by county................................................................... 48

4-7 Non-4-H time of survey respondents. ........................................... ............... 49

4-8 N on-4-H tim e by county ................................................ .............................. 50









4-9 Mean and standard deviation of dependent variable constructs..............................52

4-10 Correlations of outcomes with degree of 4-H participation................... .......... 52

4-11 Youth development outcome regression results...................................................53

C-1 Code Sheet.......................................................... ... ........ 72
















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure pge

2-1 Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory (Adapted from; Berk, 2000)...........16

3-1 R response R ates by C county .......................................................................... .... 34

4-1 The degree of participation of 4-H members surveyed.................... ........... 48

4-2 D egree of N on-4-H T im e .............................................................. .....................50














Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

POSITIVE YOUTH-DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES AMONG FLORIDA 4-H
MEMBERS

By

Sarah Zettie Thomas

December 2004

Chair: Nick Place
Major Department: Agricultural Education and Communication

Youth development was defined by the Minnesota Extension Service as "the

process of growing up and developing one's capacities in positive ways." Youth-

development organizations' primary task is to promote the socialization of youth by

providing challenges, experiences, and support, so that young people develop to their

fullest potential.

The main purpose of 4-H when it first began was "the development of boys and

girls so that they may become responsible and capable citizens." Florida 4-H creates

supportive environments for diverse youth to reach their fullest potential. Florida 4-H

provided programming to a total of 241,487 youth in the 2002-2003 program year

(September 1 to August 31).

The purpose of my study was to determine if Florida 4-H participants are attaining

positive youth-development outcomes through the 4-H club experience. Five counties

were intentionally selected to represent the state: Duval, Escambia, Glades, Miami-Dade,









and Sumter. The sample was youth between the ages of 13 and 18 years who were

enrolled in a 4-H club or members at large as listed in the Blue Ribbon database in the

five selected counties.

Independent variables measured were degree of 4-H participation, non-4-H time,

and participant demographics. Dependent variables for measuring positive youth-

development outcomes consisted of the following constructs that were determined by

using factor analysis: relationships, safe environment, belonging, service and leadership,

self development, and positive identity.

Surveys were sent to 621 youth, with 79 surveys returned because of an incorrect

address (making 542 participants eligible to be included in the population). There were

88 respondents, providing a response rate of 16.2% of the eligible population.

When correlated to the degree of 4-H participation, all constructs showed a positive

correlation (with belonging, service and leadership, self development, and positive

identity showing a significant correlation). Regression models were also examined,

which determined the independent variables of degree of 4-H participation, non-4-H

time, age, and gender (in relation to each of the constructs derived from factor analysis).

In conclusion my study provided a good picture of the Florida 4-H program. The results

also show that 4-H members who responded to this survey tend to agree that Florida 4-H

provides positive relationships, a sense of belonging, a safe environment, an opportunity

for service and leadership, for self-development, and creates a positive identity.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Background

Youth-development was defined as "the process of growing up and developing

one's capacities in positive ways" (Walker & Dunham, 1994). Youth-development

organizations' primary task is to promote the socialization of youth by providing

challenges, experiences, and support; and helping young people to reach their full

potential (Pittman, 1993). In the early 1990s a shift from a reactive to a proactive

approach to youth-development occurred. The proactive youth-development approach is

more focused on the basic needs and stages of a youth's development; while a reactive

approach focuses on fixing problems. The proactive approach concentrates on youth's

needs for "positive, ongoing relationships with both adults and other youth," for "active

involvement in community life," and for a "variety of positive choices in how they spend

their non-school time" (Pittman, 2004, p. 3). The purpose of this proactive approach is to

build on the strengths of the current program and to reduce its' weaknesses (Center for

4-H Youth-development, 2000).

One approach to proactive youth-development was based on the Search Institute's

developmental assets model. Developmental assets are defined as "the positive

relationships, opportunities, competencies, values, and self-perceptions that youth need to

succeed" (Scales & Leffert, 1999, p. 1). Forty developmental assets are grouped into

eight categories, representing the many influences on the lives of young people. These

developmental assets also are divided into the categories of external and internal assets.









External assets (relationships and opportunities that adults provide) includes: support,

empowerment, boundaries and expectations, and constructive use of time. Internal assets

(competencies and values that young people develop internally) includes: commitment to

learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity. Internal assets are

used to help youth become self-regulating adults (Scales & Leffert, 1999, p. 5). These 40

developmental assets (Appendix A) are the building blocks all youth need to become

healthy, caring, principled, and productive.

The Search Institute described the critical influences that developmental assets have

on youth-development. They showed that those youth with the most assets are less likely

to participate in various high-risk behaviors (Search Institute, 1996). Disturbing findings

showed that the average adolescent surveyed had "fewer than half of the 40 assets"

(Scales & Leffert, 1999, p. 7).

Youth provided with developmentally appropriate practices in programming are

more likely to have positive attitudes and behaviors (Targeting Life Skills, 2002B).

Research findings show that developmentally appropriate programs produce long-term

gains in children's "intellectual development, social and emotional skills, and life-coping

capabilities" (Kostenlnik, Soderman & Whiren, 1999, p. 26). Overall, youth who

participate in a youth-development program that uses holistic, age-appropriate

approaches are more likely to develop appropriately (Eccles & Barber, 1999). These

same youth are also more likely to become more productive members of society (Pittman,

Yohalem & Wilson-Ahstrom, 2002).

Problem

Many negative circumstances put today's youth at a disadvantage in becoming a

productive adult. Many Americans have a negative view of young people; and often









have imbalanced and inaccurate views of what youth need, to be successful. Youth being

at-risk is seen as a "dilemma" by American society; and as a problem that needs to be

corrected (Astroth, 1993). America's children are at risk for a variety of problematic

outcomes, including high rates of substance use, delinquency, violence, school failure,

risky sexual involvement at a young age, and teenage pregnancy (Peterson, 1995). An

estimated "25% of our nation's youth engage in high-risk behaviors," such as substance

abuse, delinquency, violence, and risky sexual involvement (Boyd, Herring & Briers,

1992).

It may be assumed by the average individual that only poor children are at risk;

however, this may not be true. Adults are neglecting children across all economic levels

(Hechinger, 1992). Oftentimes, neglecting children can be more harmful to a child than

physical abuse, or undernourishment (Arnett, 1999). Even children whose parents are

well-off financially can be emotionally neglected. Those adolescents often get lost in

their own families, attend schools where their needs are ignored, and are lost in the

crowd. This same child then returns to an empty home when the parents are at work; and

unfortunately, no one was paying attention to what that child was doing.

A second assumption may be that only youth living in urban areas are at risk.

Again this may be an untrue assumption (Guthrie, Scott, Guthrie & Aronson, 1993 as

derived from Smith, Hill, Matranga & Good, 1995). Many youth who grow up in rural

areas are more economically poor than those in urban communities. As a result, youth in

rural areas often experience the same problems as youth in urban areas. However, these

rural communities do not have the programs or the resources needed to help at-risk youth

(Smith, Hill, Matranga & Good, 1995).









Deteriorating social conditions led Dryfoos (1990) to conclude that "25% of

children in the United States are at a high risk for becoming adults who will never be

effective parents, be productive employees, or participate effectively as citizen voters"

(Peterson, 1995). Many social factors (dual-earner families, single-parent homes,

poverty, unsafe neighborhoods, peer pressure, and media influence) present barriers that

adolescents must overcome (ChildStats, 2002). These barriers are "an increasingly

complex, technical, and multicultural world; and an extended length of adolescence

where pathways to adulthood are less clear and more numerous" (Eccles & Gootman,

2002, p. 2). Conditions under which children are at serious risk for behavior problems

include "less parental monitoring, self-care (having no parental or adult care provider in

the home) (McKenry & Price, 2000), residing in a high crime neighborhood, or living in

a low-income household" (Pittman, Yohalem, & Wilson-Ahlstrom, 2002, p. 3). The

Department of Education and Justice in 2000 estimated that 69% of married couple

families with children between the ages of 6 and 17 have both parents working outside

the home, and in 71% of single mother and 85% of single father families, the parent

works outside of the home (Marczak & Morequ, summer 2002). For youth to develop as

productive citizens they must overcome these barriers that lead to problematic outcomes

and be provided with the appropriate developmental outcomes that are necessary for

success (Haugaard, 2001).

Recent incidents of youth violence (American Psychological Association, n.d)

(such as the Columbine massacre in 1999) have increased community interest and

commitment to organizing and implementing a "positive youth-development approach

for young people" (Center for 4-H youth-development, 2000). The conclusions of many









researchers state that youth need access to high-quality community-based programs. This

need for quality community-based programming is promoted by the following

organizations leading youth-development research: National Research Council (NRC)/

Institute of Medicine (IOM), Forum for Youth Investment, The Center for 4-H Youth

Development and the Search Institute (Chapter 2). More programming that does not

meet quality standards will most likely not make a big difference.

To provide a high quality program, youth-development agencies must provide

research-based programming and include elements that promote positive development.

To promote positive development youth organizations should use several practices.

These criteria (Vandell, as derived from Pittman, Yohalem & Wilson-Ahlstrom, 2002)

are to give youth the following opportunities:

* Constructive use of time
* Learn skills and values
* Voluntarily participate
* Contribute to the community and world
* Challenging experiences
* Develop personal responsibility and purpose
* Fun experiences.

A second criteria for successful youth-development programs is that the programs

must be proactive not reactive. This means that programmers must address the problem

before it occurs and try to prevent a problem from occurring. In reaction to crime in

1999, the Federal, State, and local government spent over $146 billion in the United

States for civil and criminal justice, which was an eight percent increase from 1998 (US

Department of Justice, 1999). Reacting to criminal activity can be expensive, and

proactive measures are not as costly (American Psychological Association, 2002).

Proactive programming can be used in the 4-H organization, specifically by starting at the









county level and addressing the specific needs of youth in the community. This type of

programming also starts early and continues throughout development. In each county 4-

H program, extension 4-H agents utilize advisory committees that consist of members of

the community and youth. This committee determines specific needs for that county

upon which the 4-H agent builds his or her programs to address. Proactive programming

is planned in response to a foreseen need and occurs before a problem occurs. Reactive

programming, on the other hand, often happens after a problem has been declared, such

as the problem of crime among youth. As a result, the government has to then try and

correct these problems, in comparison to the problem not occurring.

The community has a responsibility to take care of its youth and to promote

positive development in order to ensure a productive future society (Benson, Galbraith &

Espeland, 1995). Adolescents are at a stage in their life where they are not

developmentally prepared to make, nor should they have to be responsible for all of the

decisions in their lives (Hechinger, 1992). Adolescents are not immune to circumstances

beyond their control such as low parental involvement, poverty, and other environmental

factors. Adolescents receive many diverse messages from society, the media, their peers

and other potentially misleading sources; consequently, communities need to stand up

and take responsibility for our future leaders.

The process of developing youth into productive citizens must include making

youth a part of the solution. Developing a partnership between youth and adults helps

youth have a voice in the programming efforts. This view was also expressed in the

research on youth and adult partnerships. Young people and adults must work together in

order for successful development of youth, their peers, families, and communities









(Pittman, May 2004). The adolescents of today are the future of tomorrow, and it is

critical to provide them with an opportunity for success. Consequently, quality

programming for young people is a must in today's society.

Programming in 4-H

The main purpose of 4-H when it first began was "the development of boys and

girls so that they may become responsible and capable citizens" (Kelsey & Hearne, 1963

as derived from Russell, 2001). All 67 counties in Florida offer 4-H programming, as

does every state in America. Florida 4-H provides programs through many diverse

methods. Programs are offered through community clubs, school enrichment, and after

school programs. Florida 4-H creates supportive environments for diverse youth in order

for them to reach their fullest potential (Norman, 2002, not retrievable).

The Cooperative Extension Service and 4-H is an equal opportunity organization.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 established the Equal Employment Opportunity

Commission (EEOC). "The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits

discrimination in its programs based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age,

disability, political beliefs, and marital or familial status" (Seevers, Graham, Gamon &

Conklin, 1997). This helps to ensure that 4-H is accessible to all youth. As a result, 4-H

is positioned in a way that it can be an ideal organization for making a difference in the

lives of children.

Florida 4-H provided programming to a total of 241,487 youth in the 2002-2003

program year which runs from September 1st to August 31st (UF/IFAS 4-H, 2003).

Florida 4-H serves children of all racial and ethnic backgrounds (Table 3-2). These youth

also are from all different economic backgrounds as well and have diverse interests that

the 4-H program strives to address (UF/IFAS 4-H, 2002). The Florida youth population,









or the potential audience (Table 3-1) provides a comparison between who 4-H serves and

who 4-H has the potential to serve. Curriculum and programming efforts in 4-H are

available in the following areas: citizenship and civic education, communications and

expressive arts, consumer and family sciences, environmental education and earth

science, healthy lifestyle education, personal development and leadership, plants and

animals, and science and technology (UF/IFAS 4-H, 2003).

Research Problem

The 4-H youth-development program strives to meet the developmental needs of

youth and foster positive youth-development and life skills. Based upon research done in

both Pennsylvania and Texas, the 4-H program prepares youth for adulthood by

promoting life skills (Heinsohn & Cantrell, 1986; and Boyd, Herring & Briers, 1992).

Other researchers have shown that 4-H provides youth with necessary life skills (Fox,

Schroeder & Lodi, 2003). As reported by Ladewig and Thomas (1987), skills and

attitudes such as goal setting, decision making, and communication are formed during

youth and are carried over into adulthood.

Florida 4-H needs to be able to show that not only are life skills being attained as a

result of the 4-H experience but that positive youth-development outcomes also are being

attained. Because of significant cuts in the IFAS budget in recent years (Martin, 2003,

non retrievable) county, state, and national governments need to see that 4-H youth-

development programming can be successful and taxpayer money is being well spent so

that they will continue to fund our programs. Extension 4-H agents currently report the

success in their individual county programs; however they often have a hard time

comparing 4-H outcomes with those of other youth-development programs, which are

measuring different outcomes.









A gap in youth-development research exists because of a lack of research

pertaining specifically to the attainment of positive youth-development outcomes as

derived from the Florida 4-H program. The 4-H program strives to meet many of the

components that are necessary in a youth-development program. Examples of several

practices currently implemented in the 4-H program are: developmentally appropriate

practices; a holistic teaching approach through the head, heart, health, and hands; and

promotion of family and community linkages. As previously stated, research has shown

that 4-H programming promotes the attainment of life skills. However, research showing

that the 4-H program promotes positive youth-development outcomes as compared to

other youth organizations is lacking. Research on youth-development has not closely

examined the impact of 4-H on society and youth. Therefore, the problem my research

addresses was the lack of research on the 4-H program within the criteria stated by

leading youth-development organizations. These leading youth-development

organizations include: Forum for Youth Investment, National Youth-development

Information Center (NYDIC), The Search Institute, and the Annie Casey Foundation.

Purpose

The purpose of my study was to determine if Florida 4-H participants are attaining

positive youth-development outcomes through the 4-H club experience based on their

degree of 4-H participation.

Objectives

The objectives of this research are:

1. To determine the demographic makeup of 4-H participants surveyed.

2. To determine the degree of 4-H participation among survey respondents.

3. To determine the degree of Non-4-H time among 4-H participants surveyed.









4. To determine if the 4-H experience meets the developmental outcomes that
promote positive development, which are:

a. Positive and Supportive Relationships between Adults and Peers

b. Emotional and Physical Safety

c. Belonging and Inclusive Environment

d. Contribute through Service and Leadership

e. Youth are Actively Engaged in Self-Development

f. Youth Develop a Positive Identity (self-efficacy, self-esteem, autonomy, and
empowerment).

Limitations

The limitations of my study are found within the methodology. A potential bias

exists among those youth who were selected to participate in the survey. Although a

census of the youth within each county was surveyed, as attained from the Blue Ribbon

enrollment database, the counties that were selected may not be entirely representative of

the State of Florida. To address this potential limitation the counties were selected to fit a

framework similar to the 4-H population in the state of Florida based on geographic

region, rural/urban, poverty, race, and age.

A second limitation was non-response. This non-response may be due to lack of

parental consent, a lack of interest, faulty mailing lists, and other unforeseen factors.

Because demographic data will be available on these youth through the Blue Ribbon

enrollment database, it can be determined if there was a difference between 4-H'ers who

returned surveys and those who did not.

A third limitation to my study regards the use of time data for both 4-H time and

non-4-H time spent. It may be difficult for youth to recall their use of time over the past









year. This limitation can be present in ant self-reported data and can only be noted as a

potential measurement error.

The fourth limitation of my study was that the Blue Ribbon database may not be

entirely accurate because of poor record keeping. Youth enroll in 4-H in September of

each new 4-H year. However, they are often not entered into the data base until mid

November. Those youth provided to the researcher may have been 4-H'ers who were

enrolled last year and not yet removed from enrollment records and other youth may not

have been entered into records. This error can only be acknowledged.

The fifth limitation was that my study was not based upon an experimental design,

i.e. there was no control or comparison group. Therefore, the findings of my study can

only be inferred to Florida 4-H participants in the counties surveyed and generalizations

are limited.

Operational Definitions

* At risk: A broad concept that describes youth who are more likely to participate in
negative behaviors. This concept avoids blaming the child and instead points toward
the environmental hazards that put a child in danger of becoming at-risk (Brendtro,
Brokenleg, & Van Bockern, 1992).

* Autonomy: For youth to learn to be independent and self-sufficient, while thinking
for themselves, and to take responsibility for their own behavior (Arnett, 2001, p.
194).

* Blue ribbon database: The national reporting database where 4-H enrollment,
participant demographics, and project achievement is documented.

* Developmental assets: The positive relationships, opportunities, competencies,
values, and self-perceptions that youth need to succeed (Scales, & Leffert, 1999).

* Life skills: The necessary skills for success in adulthood, for example, skills that
involve working with others, understanding self, communicating, making decisions,
and leadership (Boyd, Herring, & Briers, 1992).

* Outcomes: Benefits or changes for individuals or populations during or after
participating in program activities, they are influenced by a program's outputs









(United Way of America, 1996). For this research youth-development outcomes
include: adult and peer relationships, emotional and physical safety, belonging and
inclusive environment, contribution through service and leadership, active
engagement in own self-development, and youth develop within a positive identity
(self-esteem, autonomy, and empowerment).

* Risk behavior: These behaviors generally include risky sexual behavior, risky
driving behavior, substance use, and criminal acts (Arnett, 2001, p397).

* Self-concept: A collection of beliefs about one's own nature, unique qualities, and
typical behavior (Weiten, 1998).

* Self-efficacy: One's belief about one's ability to perform behaviors that should lead
to expected outcomes (Weiten, 1998).

* Self-esteem: A person's overall sense of worth and well-being (Arnett, 2001, p.
163).

* Social capital: The development of "relationships, networks, and organizations that
provide for community well-being, primarily composed of social institutions"
(Wilkinson, 1991)

* Social institution: Consists of "persistent, on-going activities that provide structure
and function for communities" which can be both informal and formal (Jacob, fall
2001, as derived from Wilkinson, 1991).

* Non-4-H time: The activities and ways in which an individual spends his or her
time, this variable was made up of school activities, non-4-H activities, and work
time. This was a score developed by the researcher for the purpose of my study.

* Youth-development: The process of growing up and developing one's capacities in
positive ways (Walker &Dunham 1994).














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Theoretical Support of Social Organizations

The process of youth-development is contingent upon biological influences, and

environmental influences. This argument, known as nature versus nurture, has long been

discussed. Although communities cannot impact the biology of a child they can

influence the environment. The environment affects the development of an individual in

many ways. Theories supporting this statement includes theories of youth-development

(Identity: Erickson, Social Learning: Bandura, Sociocultural: Vygotsky, Ecological

Systems: Broffenbrenner), theories of community derived from sociological research

(Status Attainment: Coleman), as well as more recent research on positive youth-

development (Reclaiming Youth: Brendtro, Developmental Assets: Search Institute, and

Targeting Life Skills: Iowa).

The development of a positive identity is one essential component of a successful

transition to adulthood. Identity includes issues of who you are, where your life is going,

what you believe in, and how your life fits into the world around you. (Arnett, 2001, p.

170). Erik Erickson's theory of human development stresses that during adolescence the

central issue facing youth is that of identity versus identity confusion. An identity is

attained through establishing a healthy path and creating a clear and definite sense of who

you are and how you fit into the world around you. This theory of human development

states that distinct periods in the life of a child are characterized by distinctive

developmental issues also known as a crisis (Arnett, 2001). A crisis describes the intense









period of struggle that adolescents may experience during the process of forming an

identity (Arnett, 2001). Erickson claimed that identity formation was established in the

relationships formed with others that the adolescent has accumulated during childhood.

Erickson was one of the first theorists to recognize the impact that social interaction has

on human development, and he notes that, "ego strengths develop from trusting

relationships" (Coughlan & Welsh-Breetzke, 2002). This makes a case for establishing

connections, which are maintained throughout childhood and into adolescence. Secondly

an identity is established through experimenting with various possible life options.

Providing youth with a safe place to experiment with and an opportunity to practice

making decisions enables youth to establish a secure identity versus being confused about

the choices that are available and being unable to decide. Erickson (1950) suggests that

society plays a role in the development of a child. Having a secure identity provided a

basis upon which decisions in early adulthood can be made (p. 173). This, along with

other theories presented, shows the importance of the interactions that are provided

through the 4-H program.

Society can affect a young person's life in many ways, both positively and

negatively. According to the Ecological Systems Theory, a child's environment is

composed of four layers: the microsystem, the mesosystem, the exosystem and the

macrosystem (Berk, 2000, p27) (Figure.2-1). Bronfenbrenner (1979) views the child as

developing within a complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the

surrounding environment. The microsystem is the central most layer containing relations

between the developing child and their immediate environment and this is the primary

environment in which a child interacts. For example, this may include parents, siblings,









or other immediate family with which the child interacts on a daily basis. The

mesosystem was defined as the "interrelationships between two or more settings in which

the developing person should be an active participant" (Campbell, & Muncer, 1998). The

mesosystem was comprised of the school, neighborhood, child-care centers, and any

organization that fosters child development. Organizations, such as 4-H, are considered

part of the mesosytem, as are day care centers, friends, schools, and neighborhoods. The

exosystem was composed of the social settings that do not contain the child but do affect

their experiences in immediate settings. For example, the parent's workplace, the county

government, extended family members, parent's friends, and other social institutions that

exist in the community which affect the family. The macrosystem was composed of the

social norms, values, customs, culture, and laws that exist in a state and country, which

indirectly affect the life of the child and influence experiences and interactions at inner

levels of the environment. The interactions between these different levels are discussed

in Vygostskys sociocultural theory. Increased interaction leads to increased

development. The interactions between these different layers of the ecosystem were what

Vygotsky stressed as promoting positive development. The 4-H organization also can be

a channel through which interactions between these levels occurs.

A social institution consists of persistent, on-going activities that provide structure

and function for communities, and these activities meet important human needs. Social

institutions can be formal or informal (Wilkinson, 1991). Formal organizations are those

such as the public school system where the environment is structured. Informal learning,

such as that in 4-H, is where there is planned learning objectives. These different levels

of the Ecological Systems Theory discussed above contain social institutions. A report









on at-risk adolescents proposes that social institutions are "overstressed and

deteriorating" (Adams, 1999, p. 1). However, Extension, specifically 4-H, can be an

ideal social institution for addressing the needs of youth (Seevers, et al, 1997).


Figure 2-1. Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory (Adapted from; Berk, 2000)

The Sociocultural Theory focuses on how culture is transferred from one

generation to the next. Vygotsky states that this transfer of culture was made through the

interactions of children with expert members of society. Culture is the values, beliefs,

customs, and skills of a social group (Berk, 2000). This theory ties in with the Ecological

Systems Theory in that these interactions between adults and peers are made through the

different levels discussed above. In the 4-H organization, adult mentors such as 4-H

agents, leaders, and volunteers all interact directly with and influence the lives of youth

with which they work. Youth involved in 4-H also interact with community leaders,









politicians, and leaders in different industries that relate to the members projects.

Vygotsky also mentions the importance of peer influence helping children to learn

culture. In the 4-H organization, teens are often asked to volunteer as leaders by being

camp counselors, club and council officers, and to mentor their younger 4-H peers.

The Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1986) was a social-cognitive approach that

states that children's behaviors are often developed by "modeling, imitation, or

observational learning" (Berk, 2000, p 20). This theory states that as children become

more mature they cognitively perceive how another's behavior is reinforced either

positively or negatively. Children cognitively process these situations and in turn their

own behavior is influenced. The theory also suggests that upon reflection of the

observation, adolescents will imitate or modify his or her own behavior (Birkenholz,

1999). In the 4-H organization, participants have many opportunities to experience

negative or positive reinforcement of behavior. More importantly, participants also

experience positive modeling by their peers and by adults.

Research presented by Brendtro, Brokenleg, & Van Bockern (1992) focuses on

reclaiming youth at risk. The reclaiming environment was "one that creates changes that

meet the needs of both the young person and the society" (p. 3). The purpose of

reclaiming is to recover and redeem, to restore value to something that has been

devalued. Many youth who are at risk need the following components (Brendtro,

Brokenleg, and Van Bockem, 1992, p. 4) offered in a reclaiming environment:

1. Experiencing belonging in a supportive community, rather than being lost in a
depersonalized bureaucracy.

2. Meeting one's needs for mastery, rather than enduring inflexible systems designed
for the convenience of adults.









3. Involving youth in determining their own future, while recognizing society's need
to control harmful behavior; and.

4. Expecting youth to be caregivers, not just helpless recipients overly dependent on
the care of adults.

This research also states four ecological hazards in the lives of children who are at

risk. These are factors or transitions that are present in the environment. These

transitions can also be compared to the crisis that Erickson discussed as part of the

process of forming an identity (Arnett, 2001). According to the "ecological hazards"

idea, destructive relationships occur when a child's most basic needs go unmet. Children

learn to mistrust adults and become resistant to relationships to avoid further rejection.

Second, climates of futility are the negative environments and expectations that lead to

feelings of failure and uselessness in young people. Third, learned irresponsibility is

when adults train children to escape authority and only follow the direction of others.

These practices do not teach youth how to be responsible but only how to try and please

others. Fourth, a loss of purpose, youth need to feel a sense of value and need

opportunities to be of value to others. These are environmental factors that are present to

some degree in all youth and need to be recognized (Brendtro, Brokenleg, and Van

Bockem, 1992).

The status attainment theory (Wilkinson, 1991) places the community as a factor in

social capital gain, and specifically mentions social capital as an input in the development

of an individual's overall human capital value. Coleman (1988) presented the idea that

social resources such as school values, networks and trust constitute influential social

capital gain (derived from Dyer & Preston, 2003). Social capital is the development of

"relationships, networks, and organizations that provide for community well-being,

primarily composed of social institutions, human resources base, and social networks"









(Jacob, fall 2001 as derived from Wilkinson, 1991). This idea relates to the attainment of

external assets that youth need to gain in order to succeed.

Youth-development Programs

The theories and research shown in the above section documents the influence of

societal interactions on youth-development. This section describes the importance of

youth-development programming and explains youth-development programming.

Youth-development has become popular over the last decade. There are several

ways of looking at and defining youth-development. For the purpose of this research,

positive youth-development will be defined as the "process in which all young people are

engaged to meet their needs, build skills and find ways for opportunities to make a

difference in all areas of their lives personal/ cultural, social/ emotional, moral/

spiritual, vocational, cognitive and civic" (Forum for youth investment, 2003). Research

regarding youth-development refers to the processes, tasks and expectations that youth

face during adolescence and the institutions and practices that are designed to support

youth.

Youth may be referred to as young people, adolescents or teenagers. These youth

face many struggles during adolescence that they must overcome in order to successfully

reach adulthood. Adolescence is the time when young people need to develop the

attitudes, competencies, values, and social skills that will prepare them for a successful

adulthood (Eccles & Gootman, 2002). Development is an ongoing, complex, and uneven

process that all youth must move throughout on their life journey. Although programs

that try to prevent problems from occurring are positive, many have come to believe that

"being problem-free is not fully prepared (for adulthood)" (Eccles & Gootman, 2002, p.

3). Therefore, the idea that more youth-development programming may be helpful was









not as supported as the idea that those programs offered should be of high quality and

supported within society. However, several programs with the potential to be of high

quality do exist because of current programming practices.

The 4-H program is a social institution that provides opportunities for youth-

development programming. The 4-H program consists of many different delivery modes

such as: after-school programs, club activities and community programs. For the purpose

of this my study, literature in all areas of programming will be discussed. All 4-H

programs offered may not be of equal quality; however, because of the teaching methods

utilized and the ideas behind 4-H programming positive outcome attainment is possible.

Research has documented a correlation between participation in youth-development

organizations and an adolescent's adult education, occupation, and even income.

Participation also predicts a decline in engaging in delinquent activities and shows that

those adolescents who participate in 4-H have high positive outcomes including: "high

academic achievement and low rates of involvement in risky behaviors" (Eccles &

Barber, 1999, p. 3). Eccles and Barber clearly state that a link between an individual's

self-identity, the activities that the individual participates in, their social networks, and

their friends do exist. Pitman, Yohalem, and Ahlstrom (as derived from Forum for Youth

Investment, 2001, p. 1) state that participating in "out-of-school time programs are

associated with positive cognitive, physical, social and civic development." They also

state that these types of programs can "prevent or reduce" risky behavior (Forum for

Youth Investment, 2001, p. 1).

Positive Youth-development Outcomes

There are several key criteria that a youth-development program must incorporate

in order to be successful and to foster positive outcomes among participants. This section









will describe the necessary criteria and the outcomes that when provided by a youth

organization can lead a child through adolescence and into productive adulthood.

Programs must be initiated at early ages before the onset of risky behaviors, and

they must be sustained across a child's life span at multiple levels in order to enhance the

future health of children and adolescents (Ethier & Lawrence, 2002). This provides a

continuous and ongoing stable relationship, which is a crucial step that some

organizations overlook. A continuous relationship leads to the ability of building a

relationship between the youth and adults as well as other peers. Successful youth-

development programs include: quality curriculum, staff development, peer resources,

parent and parent-surrogate educational programs, school-community linkages, and

interventions at the parent, school and community levels (Ethier & Lawrence, 2002).

Along with these preliminary criteria other important criteria are equally important.

It is also important for youth-development programs to offer opportunities that

foster positive development. Essential criteria that a youth-development program should

have are: physical and psychological safety, appropriate structure, supportive

relationships, opportunities to belong, positive social norms, support for efficacy and

mattering (or feeling that the are important and are a part of the group), opportunities for

skill building, and integration of family, school and community efforts (Eccles &

Gootman, 2001). It is also important to engage young people in their own development,

so that they feel a sense of inclusiveness and belonging (Pittman, 2003). These outcomes

are provided in further detail below.

Appropriate structure ensures that youth are both physically and emotionally safe.

This includes making sure that the adults and peers that youth interact with are neither









bullies nor condescending and do not unduly criticize. Having a safe place to meet is

also important so that youth feel they have an opportunity to learn. Supportive

relationships include both peer and adult relationships. As mentioned above, these

relationships need to be continuous and sustained over a long period of time to become

meaningful. Youth need to interact with and be supported by adults where they can have

an opportunity to observe and model in order to learn from them (Vygotsky as derived

from Berk, 2000). Youth also need opportunities to form relationships with peers.

Friends often take the place of parents during adolescence in regards to communication

(Damon, 1977). However, this again needs to be in a safe environment where youth do

not feel criticized and cannot be harmed in anyway.

An opportunity to feel a sense of belonging and inclusiveness is when youth are

encouraged and excited about being a part of an organization. When youth are valued

and feel needed then they feel like they belong and are more likely to stay involved

(MES, 1996). Youth also feel like they belong when they are rewarded for their

accomplishments, specifically when recognized by leaders of the program and adults and

peers who matter (National 4-H Impact Assessment, n.d). Positive social norms provide

a comfortable environment and youth develop a positive outlook on life. An example of

a positive practice is for staff working with youth to have high expectations and

encourage and model positive behaviors. The program must provide support for efficacy

and mattering. For example, the program must be challenging based upon input and

interest of youth, and their progress is individually assessed. Programs and staff must

provide opportunities for skill building including beneficial skills over an extended

period of time (Eccles & Gootman, 2002). Family, school, and community efforts with









adequate communication between the three are important to form and maintain a working

relationship.

The Search Institute has also done considerable research on youth-development

programs, and it has developed 40 developmental assets that children must have in order

to succeed. The fundamental premise was that, the more of these assets that youth are

provided with, the less likely they are to be involved in risky behavior (Search Institute,

1996). These 40 developmental assets are grouped into eight categories and represent the

many influences on the lives of young people. External assets are the relationships and

opportunities that adults provide and are divided into the categories of: support,

empowerment, boundaries and expectations, and constructive use of time. Internal assets

are competencies and values that young people develop internally and that are used to

help them become self-regulating adults, these are divided into the categories of:

commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity

(Scales & Leffert, 1999, p. 5). These categories represent the breakdown of the 40

developmental assets that are the building blocks all youth need to become healthy,

caring, principled, and productive (Appendix A) (Search Institute, 2004).

Five major categories for enhancing positive youth-development were identified by

4-H members as part of the National Youth Conversation. The National Youth

Conversation was started at the local county level, leading to a state level and ultimately a

national level conversation. These conversations provided youth an opportunity to voice

their views on how to develop a positive future for youth in our communities (National

4-H Council, 2000). These strategies that were identified are to:

1. Enhance the power of youth
2. Enhance access, equity and opportunity









3. Create extraordinary places to live and learn
4. Bring exceptional people and innovative practices to youth-development
5. Create effective organizations for positive youth-development

Young people specifically ask for programs that offer time to spend with caring

adults, opportunities to enhance peer relationships, having time that is not overly

structured, as well as, organized activities and age-based programs (Saito &

Roehkepartain, 1995). There are also barriers of resistance that are identified by Saito

and Roehkepartain (1995). These are barriers of not having an interesting and diverse

program, youth not having knowledge about the program, which includes inadequate

advertisement and poor availability regarding location and time. Lower income families

specifically noted lack of transportation and high cost, while higher income families

mentioned a lack of interest and time (Saito & Roehlkepartain, 1995).

The last outcome that my study has attempted to measure was that of two important

life skills, which are communication and decision-making. Florida 4-H life skills are

based on the Targeting Life Skills model (2002A). Life skills are "abilities individuals

can learn that will help them to be successful in living a productive and satisfying life."

In the Targeting Life Skills (TLS) Model, categories of life skills are identified and

divided into categories representing the four H's from the 4-H Clover that represent Head,

Heart, Hands, and Health (Appendix B) (Targeting Life Skills, 2002B). The goal of

youth programming is for youth-development organizations to provide developmentally

appropriate opportunities for youth to experience life skills, to practice these life skills

until they are learned, and be able to use them as necessary throughout a lifetime.

Through the experiential learning process, youth internalize the knowledge and gain the

ability to apply the skills appropriately to their own lives (Barkman, 2003).









The following youth-development outcomes are criteria found in quality youth-

development programs. These outcomes are derived from the research presented in the

field of youth-development. The outcomes studied in this research were:

* Supportive Relationships between Adults and Peers
* Emotional and Physical Safety
* Belonging and Inclusive Environment
* Contribute through Service and Leadership
* Youth are Actively Engaged in Own Self Development
* Youth develop a Positive Identity (self-esteem, autonomy, and empowerment).

Florida 4-H Program

The 4-H youth-development program is a non-profit youth-development

organization, and it is a branch of the Cooperative Extension System. Cooperative

Extension exists in every land-grant institution in every state in the nation. The

beginning history of extension can be traced back to the Morrill Act of 1862 (Morril Act,

1862). The Morrill Act of 1862 provided a donation of federal land to each state and

territory to establish one college in each state. The primary subject taught being

agriculture, the mechanic arts and military tactics. Although, during the initial stages of

establishing these colleges, the idea of having a college for common people to teach

vocational subject matter proved to be a struggle (Seevers, et al, 1997).

During the beginning history of extension, Boys' and Girls' clubs were created,

now known as 4-H clubs, to teach the latest practices in agriculture to youth. The

original purpose behind teaching new practices to youth was that they would, in turn,

pass along their newfound knowledge to their parents. Finally, the Smith-Lever Act was

passed in 1914, and this provided federal funding for the Cooperative Extension Service

in order to disseminate research-based information to the public. Today, both extension

and 4-H provides education in more than just agricultural practices (Seevers et al, 1997).









The 4-H program strives to help youth help themselves in becoming productive

citizens or self-directing, contributing members of society (National 4-H council, 2000).

The national 4-H mission aims to provide a "supportive environment for culturally

diverse youth and adults to reach their fullest potential" (Seevers, et al, 1997, p. 79).

Extension also focuses on youth at risk through initiatives that focus on prevention and

intervention rather than treatment after the problem has occurred. Educational 4-H

programs are designed to specifically meet the developmental stages that youth go

through before becoming adults (Seevers, et al 1997).

As mentioned previously, there are 40 developmental assets that youth must have

to succeed (Search Institute, 2000). Based on these stated developmental assets, 4-H

programming currently provides the following assets: committed to learning, carefully

planned curriculum, occurs anywhere in a community, based on interests and needs of

youth, trained professionals and volunteers who are screened to ensure safety, and

recognition of accomplishments. Youth 4-H programs also encourage family, and school

linkages with the 4-H program (Russell, 2001).

The 4-H program is designed to meet eight critical elements necessary for positive

youth-development. They are: "positive relationships with caring adults, opportunities

for self-determination, an accepting and inclusive environment, opportunities to

contribute through community service, a safe environment, opportunities to develop and

master skills, engagement in learning, and opportunities to be an active participant in

life" (Astroth, 2001).

Outcomes that result from youth-development programs are both short-term and

long-term. Short-term changes that occur are behavior changes, work and study habits,









and grade achievement (Forum for youth investment, 2003). Long-term outcomes such

as development of life-skills and more positive development are often more difficult to

measure. Based on a study by Kirk Astroth (2001) in Montana, findings noted that the

youth who "participated in 4-H for more than a year are significantly better off than

youth who did not participate in the program," because they were more likely to "give

money or time to a charity, help the poor or sick, get more A's in school, become more

involved as leaders in school and community, and talk to parents about serious issues

(Bozeman, 2001).

Outcomes in general, more specifically long-term outcomes can be difficult to

measure. Without proper follow-up, it is often hard to determine if a life changing

behavior has occurred. Therefore, long-term and continuous evaluations must be

conducted in 4-H programs across the state.














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Purpose

My study was applied research that was used to further develop 4-H programming.

This was a quantitative study which assessed the views of youth participating in Florida

4-H. The purpose of my study was to determine if Florida 4-H participants are attaining

positive youth development outcomes through the 4-H experience. Research findings

were correlated with demographic and self-reported degree of 4-H participation and

degree of non-4-H time data. Non-4-H time refers to other activities that the individual

participates in other than 4-H including work, homework, and school activities. By using

the non-4-H time score it was determined if outcome attainment was also influenced by

other non-4-H interactions and experiences.

Research Design

The design of this research was an exploratory study that examined if positive

youth development outcomes are derived as a result of Florida 4-H participation. My

study was a quantitative evaluation of 4-H participants in the state of Florida that

represented the Florida 4-H population.

Five counties were intentionally selected to represent the state of Florida within the

parameters of geography, rural/urban character, poverty, race, and age. The data

provided on the counties was the most recent available from the US Census Bureau

(Table 3-1). The summarized demographic data available from the 2001-2002 4-H year

as presented through Blue Ribbon enrollment database (Table 3-2). The five counties









that met the selected criteria providing a cross-section of Florida 4-H were: Duval,

Escambia, Glades, Miami/Dade, and Sumter.

Unit of Analysis

The population used in my study was Florida 4-H participants between the ages of

13 and 18 as of September 1st of the current 4-H year who was enrolled in a 4-H club or

members at large as listed in the Blue Ribbon database. Members at-large are those

youth who participate in the program at the county level and complete project books;

however, they are not enrolled in a 4-H club. This sample does not include youth who

are reported under group enrollment, such as those youth who participate in the school

enrichment program, and are not individually enrolled in 4-H. My study was designed to

provide a picture of enrolled Florida 4-H'ers within the counties selected.

Table 3-1: County statistics of population (U.S.Census Bureau, 2000)
Florida Duval Escambia Glades Miami/Dade Sumter
Population 15,982,378 778,879 294,410 10,576 2,253,362 53,345
% Race-White 78.0% 65.8% 72.4% 77.0% 69.7% 82.6%
% Race-Black 14.6% 27.8% 21.4% 10.5% 20.3% 13.8%
% Race-
Hispanic 16.8% 4.1% 2.7% 15.1% 57.3% 6.3%
Persons below
Poverty 12.5% 11.9% 15.4% 15.2% 18.0% 13.7%
Rural/ Urban Urban Mix Rural Urban Rural
High School
Graduates 79.9% 82.7% 82.1% 69.8% 67.9% 77.3%










Table 3-2: Statistics of county 4-H members (Blue Ribbon, 2002)
Florida Duval Escambia Glades Miami/Dade Sumter
Number of 4-H 271,077 1,222 284 110 1,195 189
members
Number of Clubs 23,244 68 22 2 53 18
% Race-White 67% 47% 54% 98% 20% 78%
% Race-Black 21% 48% 41% 0% 31% 19%
% Race-Hispanic 10.5% 3% 1% 2% 48% 2%
Percent male 49% 49% 30% 39% 33% 38%
% 4-H'ers living
in rural area 28% 4.6% 12% 100% 0% 100%

Instrumentation

The instrument used for my study was a modified replication of a survey developed

by Kirk Astroth of Montana State (Astroth, 2001). The researcher cross-indexed the

following surveys in order to ensure that the instrument was both valid and reliable: The

National Impact Assessment, the Program and Activity Assessment Tool (Zeldin &

Matysik, 2001), North Carolina State University 4-H, New York life skills, NELS 88,

Cornell Member's Only, University of Illinois Eight Critical Elements, Iowa State Life

Skills, Montana State University life skills, Pennsylvania State University life skills,

Texas A & M life skills, and the Search Institute. An initial list of questions was

developed which showed different questions asked in the above survey instruments. This

list of questions was categorized according to the outcome that the question represented.

The researcher then compared questions in the Montana survey to determine if those

questions were asked in other studies as well. If a question was not used in more than

one study, the researcher did not use the question unless it was not measured at all in the

different surveys. A list of questions used and their sources are provided in Appendix L.

The process of cross-indexing these surveys helped to ensure that all outcomes have valid

and reliable measures. Other researchers might have chosen different questions based on









their perspectives. Therefore, to minimize measurement error by the researcher, factor

analysis was also used to establish the internal consistency and unidimentionality of each

construct. The results of factor analysis are shown later in Chapter 3.

A panel of experts consisting of four graduate students and four faculty members in

the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Florida reviewed the

survey and provided feedback. Feedback regarding formatting of the survey and

questions asked were proposed and the researcher revised the survey accordingly.

Both the expert panel review and the cross-indexing of several leading research

studies used in the field of youth development and 4-H programming helped in ensuring

the reliability and validity of this survey instrument. Utilizing the survey administration

methods presented by the Tailored Design Method (Dillman, 2000) helped to ensure that

an appropriate sample was selected and also increased the reliability of my study.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval was sought and attained (Appendix D).

IRB approved the consent letters for the 4-H member and their parent, the research

protocol as well as the survey instrument.

Data Collection

The first step of data collection involved the selecting of selecting the five counties

of Duval, Escambia, Glades, Miami-Dade, and Sumter was reviewed in the research

design section of this chapter. Permission and support was then obtained from the 4-H

Agent from each of these five counties. The Blue Ribbon database provided the names,

address, ages, and other demographic information about the 4-H members from each of

these counties. A census of the enrolled members between the ages of 13 and 18 was

selected to use as the sample for my study.









The Tailored Design Method (Dillman, 2000) was used to conduct the survey

administration portion of my study. The first contact consisted of a pre-notification

(Appendix E) that a survey would be forthcoming for members between the ages of 13

and 18. This contact was inserted in the 4-H newsletters by the agents in each of the five

counties. Although this contact was made in a recognizable format, which was in a

newsletter which was sent to all youth, it may have been overlooked. A separate letter

might have had a larger impact on the response rate. The second contact consisted of a

packet of information that was sent to the 4-H'ers in each county. This packet consisted

of a cover letter (Appendix F), a parental consent form (Appendix G), a participant

consent form (Appendix H), two plain white envelopes (one for each consent letter), a

survey (Appendix I), and a pre-paid addressed envelope to be returned to the researcher.

A third contact was sent to non-respondents two weeks later which consisted of a

reminder postcard (Appendix J). The fourth and final contact to non-respondents came

three weeks later and consisted of a new cover letter (Appendix K), a new survey, and

new consent letter. As data was collected it was entered into an Excel database by county

and identification number in order to maintain the demographic material provided by the

county. The identification number was then removed and the database was imported into

SPSS for data analysis (SPSS, 2002).

A census count of each of the five counties included 621 eligible youth who

received survey packets. Of those surveys, 79 were returned with the wrong address

making 542 participants eligible to be included in my study. These wrong addresses

were a result of faulty mailing lists as reported through the blue ribbon database. This

may be because some counties do not keep accurate reporting of their 4-H members after









they enter them at the beginning of the 4-H year, September 1st. The request for database

records was made in mid October; however, several counties did not respond until the

beginning of December. There were 88 survey respondents, providing a response rate of

16.2% of the eligible population.

Due to a low response rate, these results should not be generalized to the population

of Florida 4-H'ers. Additionally, the results might not be representative of the counties

in which the 4-H'er was enrolled due to non-response bias. For each individual county,

the response rates were as follows: Duval county: 6.7%, Escambia county: 22.8%,

Glades county: 35.9%, Miami-Dade: 10.5%, and Sumter county: 37.8%.

Respondents versus Non-Respondents

As presented previously in Chapter 3, permission and data were obtained from

County 4-H agents prior to the onset of this research being conducted. All 4-H agents

were to send their Blue Ribbon data sets from the 2001-2002 4-H year since this data had

already been collected by the state 4-H office. This was done to provide convenience to

agents with already busy schedules and keep them from having to re-create reports.

Agents were asked to send their reports with the following information: age, race, and

sex, place of residence, name, and mailing address. Although all counties did respond to

this request for information, not all counties provided the full information on the 4-H

members, nor were all mailing addresses correct.














700
600
500
m Surveys





Duval Glades Sumter TOTAL
200e Surveys



Escambia Miami/Dade





Figure 3-1: Response Rates by County

Demographics of Sample

Because a complete set of data was received only from Glades and Sumter counties

there was missing data on race and place of residence for Escambia, Duval, and

Miami/Dade. For race, 458 cases are missing, and for place of residence 163 cases are

missing. As reported in Table 3-2 all three counties have a very low percentage of rural

4-H members and varied degrees of race. This data was missing as a result of the

selected counties not sending the proper blue ribbon report to the researcher. This

provides a limitation in the demographic data of both respondents and non-respondents

and prohibits comparison in regards to race, and place of residence.

By viewing the names of non-respondents it can be determined that a large portion

of the Hispanic sample in Miami-Dade did not respond. Therefore, there was a

possibility of non-response bias in regards to race. Because only age and sex are

available in the database received from each county for all youth who are part of the

actual sample, it can be determined if a non-response bias does exist in regards to these

demographic traits.









It can be shown if a difference in regards to sex does exist. First, overall there were

more female youth who received surveys. Thirty-eight more females returned their

survey than did males. Twenty percent of females responded but only 11% of males did

so. Also as suggested regarding race, the majority of respondents were white. By

comparing the mailing list to identification number very few Hispanic youth returned

their surveys. For residence, more youth who resided in rural areas returned their survey

(35%) than did urban youth (14%).

Table 3-3. Demographics of 4-H Survey Respondents and Non-Respondents.
Survey Respondents
Sample Frequency Percent
RACE*
White 81 30 37
Other 3 1 33
Total 84 31 37
GENDER
Male 229 25 11
Female 313 63 20
Total 542 88 16
RESIDENCE*
Urban 271 39 14
Rural 108 38 35
Total 379 77 20
* there are missing cases for these variables

Data Analysis

Data analysis for my study consisted of descriptive statistics on the data collected.

Factor analysis was used to ensure the reliability of the dependent variable constructs.

Correlations were then made between positive youth development outcomes, and the

degree of 4-H participation, non-4-H time, gender, and age among respondents.

The independent variables measured are the degree of 4-H participation, Non-4-H

time, and participant demographics. For the independent variables a composite score was

calculated to determine both a degree of 4-H participation score and Non-4-H time score.









The degree of 4-Hparticipation was determined by combining the time spent in

4-H and the degree of involvement in 4-H. This score was created by averaging the time

spent in 4-H, (variables UT5-UT8) and the Participation in 4-H (P1-P6). These two

scores were then averaged to create an overall degree of 4-H participation score (Table 3-

4).

Table 3-4. 4-H participation variables used in factor analysis
Variable Factor
loading
UT5: Weekly time spent doing 4-H activities. .406
UT6: Years enrolled in 4-H. .495
UT7: Projects completed during the past year. .534
UT8: Offices held in the past year in 4-H. .889
P1: Attend club meetings. .441
P2: Attend county council meetings. .819
P3: Attend district council meetings. .818
P4: Attend state executive board meetings .855
P5: Serve on special committees. .829
P6: Serve as chair or co-chair on special committees. .715
The factor analysis yielded an Eigenvalue of 4.95, which explained 49.5% of
the model variation. Alpha index reliability = .875. Mean participation score
of the model = 19.8, SD = 8.6.

The degree of Non-4-H Time score was calculated in very much the same way. The

variables used to measure Non-4-H time are: out-of-school time, school activity, and

work. Both the out-of-school time and school activities variables questions were binary

with a yes = 1, and no = 0, except the homework variable which asked for how many

hours. The number of hours reported are coded as follows: zero hours = zero, one to

three hours = one, four to six hours = two, seven to nine hours = three, ten to twelve

hours = four, and 13 hours plus = five. In regards to the work variables, one variable was

a binary response item and the other was number of hours worked. Number of hours

worked was coded as follows: zero hours = zero, one to five = one, six to ten = two,

eleven to fifteen = three, sixteen to twenty = four, and twenty-one plus hours = five. The









complete code sheet (Appendix C) shows how each variable was composed to determine

these scores. These variables were also averaged to show the degree of time spent in

non-4-H activities.

The following variables were binary response variables and measure school

activities:

* Band, orchestra, chorus, choir, or other musical group

* School play or musical

* Student government

* National Honor Society or academic honor society

* School yearbook, newspaper

* Service clubs (AFS, KEY)

* Academic clubs

* Hobby clubs (photography, chess, etc.)

* FFA chapter

* Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Fellowship of Christian Athletes
(FCA), Future Teachers Association (FTA), Future Homemakers Association
(FHA), or other vocation education clubs

The following variables measured out of school time and are binary response items:

* Boy or girl scouts
* Religious youth group
* Hobby clubs
* Neighborhood club or program
* Boys' club or Girls' club
* Non-school athletic team
* YMCA/YWCA
* Other

The following were fill in the blank questions which measured use of time:

* In a typical week, about how many hours do you spend doing homework?
* Do you work?









* If you work, in a typical week, about how many hours do you work?
* In a typical week, how much total time do you spend in out of school activities?

For the above questions, codes were developed to measure the time spent that

respondents self reported (Appendix C).

The third set of independent variables are demographics which consist of age, sex,

race, place of residence, type of school attended, grade level, and parent/ guardian. The

above demographic variables can be found in the code sheet in Appendix C. The

demographic information collected prior to the survey consisted of age, sex, race, and

place of residence. However, as discussed, race and place of residence data was missing

due to errors with the initial database. The other demographic data that was self-reported

by survey respondents was asked by the following questions.

* What type of school do you attend? Public, Private, Home School or Not in
School.

* What grade of school are you in?

* Which statement best describes your family? I live with my two parents, I live with
only my mother, I live with only my father, I live with one natural parent and one
stepparent, Sometimes I live with my mother and sometimes I live with my father, I
live with my grandparents, I live with a guardian, relative, or other person, and
Other.

The dependent variable being measured was the evidence of possessing positive

youth development outcomes. The constructs that make up the positive youth

development outcomes that were measured are: relationships, safe environment,

belonging, service and leadership, self development, positive identity, and skills needed

for success in work and family life. These variables are fully explained in Chapter 2.

Dependent variables were reported through a 6-point Likert response, a binary response,

and a ranking response for time spent in service and leadership. The codes for all

variables are shown in the Code Sheet (Appendix C).









Factor analysis was used to develop constructs and ensure that the questions asked

appropriately measured the intended constructs (Santos & Clegg, 1999). Using factor

analysis ensured that constructs were appropriately measured. Reliability also was

determined by calculating Chronbach's Alpha on items (Norusis, 2000). The following

sections report the results of factor analysis by construct. (The variables that were

reverse coded are noted in the tables by "REV").

Relationships

A construct for youth to have both positive and supportive relationships with adults

and peers proved to be the most difficult to measure. The researcher previously

discussed the process of cross-indexing many survey instruments to attain the questions

asked in this survey. The construct of positive relationships was initially divided into

five constructs (Table 3-5). After removing one variable and re-running factor analysis

only three constructs were derived with the first having an Eigenvalue of 5.722 which

explained 44% of the variation within the model. The Cronbach's Alpha reliability for

this index was .88. The summated mean for positive relationships was nearly 4 (3.76)

with a standard deviation of 8.0, which means that for the 13 items, respondents tended to

agree with each item.










Table 3-5. Positive relationship variables used in factor analysis.
Variable Factor
loading
R1: I trust the adults in the 4-H program. .703
R2: I trust other 4-H members. .610
R3: I have "good friends" in 4-H. .595
R4: If I had an important concern about drugs, alcohol, sex, or another serious628
issue I would talk to an adult in 4-H about it.
R5: Adults in 4-H listen to what I say. .803
R6: Adults in my community make me feel important. .399
R7: Adults in 4-H expect too much from me. "REV" .596
R8: Adults in 4-H make me feel good about myself. .705
R10: Youth participate equally with adults in planning club activities. .732
R11: Youth participate equally with adults in implementing or carrying out club .727
activities.
R12: Youth participate equally with adults in evaluating or determining the 731
success of 4-H activities.
R13: In 4-H I get to know everyone. .543
R14: In 4-H I often feel "put down" by adult leaders and agents. "REV" .746
The factor analysis yielded an Eigenvalue of 5.72, which explained 44 % of the model
variation. Alpha index reliability = .888. Mean relationship score of the reduced model =
3.76, SD = 8.04

Safe Environment

Providing youth with a safe environment both physically and emotionally is an

important component of any youth development organization. This construct measured

five variables that make up a safe environment which are shown along with their factor

loadings (Table 3-6). In the factor analysis of safe environment, only one component was

removed with an Eigenvalue of 2.38, and it explained 46.74% of the variance within the

model. An overall mean of 4.13 was determined with a standard deviation of 2.80.










Table 3-6: Safe environment variables used in factor analysis.
Variable Factor
loading
SE1: 4-H provides a safe place for learning and growing. .729
SE2: In 4-H I often feel embarrassed or put-down. "REV" .718
SE3: I don't feel safe at 4-H activities. "REV" .737
SE4: In 4-H I can try new things without worrying about making mistakes. .559
SE5: I feel safe when I attend 4-H activities. .660
The factor analysis yielded an Eigenvalue of 2.337, which explained 46.74% of the
model variation. Alpha index reliability = .81. Mean relationship score of the model =
4.13, SD = 2.8

Belonging

Having a sense of belonging and an inclusive environment in a youth development

organization was a construct that was measured with the use of four variables. The initial

factor analysis derived one component with an Eigenvalue of 2.38 and explained 59.5%

of the variation in the model. The component had an average mean of 4.18 with a

standard deviation of 2.36. The Chronbach's alpha measured the reliability of the index

at .80. Table 3-7 shows the variables used to make up the construct of belonging.

Table 3-7. Belonging variables used in factor analysis
Variable Factor
loading
B 1: 4-H clubs are supportive environments where I feel accepted for who I am. .860
B2: All kinds of kids are welcome in 4-H. .641
B3: In 4-H I have learned to treat people who are different from me with respect. .730
B4: I feel like I belong in 4-H. .835
The factor analysis yielded an Eigenvalue of 2.38, which explained 59.54 % of the model
variation. Alpha index reliability = .80. Mean relationship score of the model = 4.18,
SD= 2.36

Service and Leadership

Providing youth with an opportunity to contribute to their own life and that of

others and to be a leader for younger peers falls into the construct of service and

leadership. This construct was somewhat different from the others in that the survey









items were mixed response items. This proved to be an unforeseen limitation of the

research results. However, the response item in question still measured the construct

intended. In factor analysis, (and 3-9) two components were derived from the set of

seven variables. The first variable was a binary response item; this variable was pulled

out and alone explained 20.32% of the variation in the model (Table 3-8). The first

component with the other six variables explained 46.45% of the variation. The first

variable was removed to determine reliability of the index and the summated mean and

standard deviation.

Table 3-8. Service and leadership variables used in factor analysis
Variable Factor
loading
SL1: 4-H teaches me to help other people. .620*
The factor analysis yielded an Eigenvalue of 1.422, which explained 20.317% of the
model variation. Mean relationship score of the variable = .93, SD = .254
*this factor loading represents the second component created by factor analysis.

Table 3-9. Service and leadership variables used in factor analysis
Variable Factor
loading
SL2: During the last 12 months how many times have you...been involved to .753
make life better for other people?
SL3: During the last 12 months how many times have you...given money or .618
time to charity or organization that helps people?
SL4: During the last 12 months how many times have you... spent time helping .587
people who were poor, hungry, sick, or unable to care for themselves?
SL5: I feel other kids look up to me and follow my example. .793
SL6: I do my share to make my school and community better. .820
SL7: I enjoy volunteering in class to lead activities. .753
The factor analysis yielded an Eigenvalue of 3.25, which explained 46.44 % of the model
variation. Alpha index reliability = .806. Mean relationship score of the model = 2.89,
SD = 5.06.

Self Development

Youth being actively engaged in their own development and being able to provide

input and feel that their opinion matters are all a part of the component of self-









development. Self-development questions were asked regarding critical thinking, goal

setting, communication, and decision making since these are assets that youth have

control over. Two components were derived from factor analysis to represent the

construct of self development. Both of these components will be presented because of

the uniqueness of the variable that alone makes up the second component. Component

one has an Eigenvalue of 3.46 and explains 43.3% of the variance in the model (Table 3-

10). Component two has an Eigenvalue of 1.078 and explains 13.47% of the model (3-

11).

Table 3-10. Self-development variables used in factor analysis
Variable Factor
loading
SD1: I am good at planning ahead. .766
SD2: I think through all of the good and bad results of different decisions .705
before acting.
SD4: I set goals. .705
SD5: I am responsible for my own actions. .700
SD6: 4-H teaches me to do things on my own. .588
SD7: I listen carefully to what others say. .746
SD8: I can clearly state my thoughts, feelings, and ideas to others. .589
Component one: The factor analysis yielded an Eigenvalue of 3.464, which explained
43.295% of the model variation. Alpha index reliability = .804. Mean relationship score
of the model (excluding SD3) = 4.01, SD = 3.87


Table 3-11: Self-development variables used in factor analysis
Variable Factor
loading
SD3: I know how to say "no" when someone wants me to do things I know are .813
wrong and dangerous.
Component two: The factor analysis yielded an Eigenvalue of 1.08, which explained
13.47% of the model variation. Mean relationship score of the variable = 4.44, SD = .69


The variable SD3 was significant because of what the question asked. This

component alone explained 13.47% of the self-development construct with a mean

response of 4.44. The other variables all had negative loadings in this component. Fifty-









two percent of respondents responded that they strongly agreed with the statement.

Meaning that the majority of respondents tended to agree that they were able to withstand

peer pressure.

Positive Identity

The construct of positive identity measures the feelings of oneself, for example self

efficacy, self-esteem, autonomy, and empowerment. After running factor analysis on this

set of variables one component was derived. The component had an Eigenvalue of 3.696,

and it represented 41.1% of the variation within the model (Table 3-12).

Table 3-12. Variables of positive identity in factor analysis
Variable Factor
loading
PI1: 4-H rewards me for being successful. .578
PI2: At times, I think I am no good at all. "REV" .651
PI3: All in all, I am glad I am me. .736
PI4: I feel I do not have much to be proud of. "REV" .675
PI5: When things don't go well for me, I am good at finding a way to make .611
things better.
PI6: I don't have enough control over the direction my life is taking. "REV" .582
PI7: 4-H has helped me expect good things from myself. .822
PI8: I feel very happy when I am successful at something. .430
PI9: My participation in 4-H has been critical to my success in life. .606
The factor analysis yielded an Eigenvalue of 3.464, which explained 43.295% of the model
variation. Alpha index reliability = .804. Mean relationship score of the model = 4.01,
SD= 3.87

The final steps of data analysis included conducting a Pearson R correlation and a

regression model for each construct including degree of 4-H participation, non-4-H time,

age, and gender for the independent variables. The regression model was used to double

check the correlation model and determines if a significant correlation existed. All

correlation and significance levels are presented in Chapter 4.














CHAPTER 4
RESEARCH RESULTS

Demographics of Sample

Objective one was to determine the demographic makeup of survey respondents.

As stated previously age, race, sex, and place of residence demographics were collected

by youth prior to survey distribution the demographics of survey respondents (Table 4-2).

Other demographic information was collected via self-reporting only on survey

respondents to provide the researcher with a better picture of the sample. The questions

that they were asked are listed in Chapter 3.

The ages of survey respondents tend to be skewed to the right with the majority of

respondents being at the younger ages targeted (Table 4-1). The average age of survey

respondents was nearly 15 (14.6).

School attendance was determined for survey respondents (Table 4-3). The

majority of survey respondents attended public school, followed by home school. The

grade in school was self reported by respondents and the mean grade of survey

respondents was 10th grade (9.8). For the grade attending responses ranged from no

grade to grade 14. These respondents noted that they were attending college classes.










Table 4-1. Age of survey respondents


Age Frequency Percent
13 28 31.8
14 19 21.6
15 19 21.6
16 9 10.2
17 11 12.5
18 2 2.3
TOTAL n=88 100.00
Mean = 14.6 Standard Deviation = 1.5

Table 4-2. Demographics on survey respondents
Survey Respondents n=88 Frequency Percent
RACE*
White 30 96.8
Other 1 3.2
Total 31 100.0
GENDER
Male 25 28.4
Female 63 71.6
Total 88 100.0
RESIDENCE*
Urban 39 50.6
Rural 38 49.4
Total 77 100.0
* Missing cases

Table 4-3. School attendance of survey respondents
School Attendance Frequency Percent
Public 70 79.5
Private 4 4.5
Home school 13 14.8
Not in School 1 1.1
TOTAL 88 99.9

The third demographic variable was family living arrangements. The majority of

survey respondents (63.6%) reported living with two parents, and this was somewhat

higher than the overall population which was at about half. The second most reported

living arrangement was living with only the mother closely followed by living with one

natural and one step parent.









Table 4-4. Family living arrangements of survey respondents
Family Living Arrangement Frequency Percent
2 parents 56 63.6
Mother only 15 17.0
1 natural parent, 1 step parent 11 12.5
Split living arrangement between mother and father 3 3.4
Grandparents 0 0.0
Other guardian 1 1.1
Other 2 2.3
TOTAL 88 99.9

4-H Participation

This section presents the results to answer objective two: To determine the degree

of 4-H participation among survey respondents. The degree of 4-H participation was

determined by examining the time spent in 4-H, followed by examining the level of

involvement in 4-H. The variables are listed in Chapter 3 and a code sheet showing how

these responses are scored was provided in Appendix C. An overall degree of 4-H

participation score was determined. There was a minimum score of two and a maximum

score of 44 (Figure 4-1). The mean degree of 4-H participation score was 19.8 with a

standard deviation of 8.6.

The degree of participation was also shown by county (Table 4-5). By observing

the degree of participation score for each county one can see that the range of 16-20 was

common among the five counties. Table 4-6 shows the mean, median and standard

deviation of the degree of participation for each county. All counties showed similar

degrees of participation with Glades being the lowest and Duval being the highest.


















S4-

LL. 3-

2-




1 T T I I I I I I IT TI I TT I

Degree of 4-H Participation Score

Figure 4-1: The degree of participation of 4-H members surveyed

*The degree of 4-H participation was the average of each individual's time spent in 4-H activities
and level of involvement in the 4-H program.

Table 4-5. Degree of 4-H participation by county
Degree of 4-H Participation Duval Escambia Glades Miami-Dade Sumter
2-5 1 1 0 0 0
6-10 0 3 1 4 0
11-15 2 7 4 2 4
16-20 2 6 6 6 6
21-25 2 4 2 3 4
26-30 0 4 0 2 0
31-35 3 2 1 0 1
36-40 1 1 0 0 1
41-44 0 0 1 1 0

Table 4-6: 4-H degree of participation by county.
County N Mean Median Std. Dev.
Duval 11 22.0 21.0 11.1
Escambia 28 19.8 18.0 8.9
Glades 14 17.3 16.5 5.2
Miami-Dade 18 18.9 18.5 8.5
Sumter 17 21.5 19.0 21.5
TOTAL 88 19.8 18.0 8.6









Non-4-H Time

This section reports the results from objective three: To determine the degree of

non-4-H time among participants surveyed. The non-4-H time among 4-H participants

was measured by examining the activities and ways in which an individual spends his or

her time, this variable was made up of school activities, non-4-H activities, and work

time. The variables which made up this measurement are explained in Chapter 3. This

was a score developed by the researcher for the purpose of the study. This was an

important measurement because it shows if the findings in objective four are related to

the 4-H experience or if other extraneous factors are affecting attainment of the

dependent variables.

The degree of non-4-H time score has a minimum of zero and a maximum of 23

with a mean of 9.53 and a standard deviation of 4.9. Table 4-7 shows the breakdown of

the non-4-H time among survey respondents, the range of non-4-H time was shown in

Figure 4-2. The highest percentage of survey respondents fell between the ranges of 7

and 9 on non-4-H time. The overall mean for non-4-H time was 9.5.

Table 4-7. Non-4-H time of survey respondents.
Non-4-H Time Score Frequency Percent
0 2 2.3
1-3 10 11.0
4-6 13 14.8
7-9 21 23.9
10-12 17 19.3
13-15 14 15.9
16-18 7 8.0
19-21 3 3.4
22-23 1 1.1











10-



8-



06-


LL.
4--



2-
0-




0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 20 23
Non 4-H Time Score
Figure 4-2 Degree of Non-4-H Time

* Non-4-H time was the activities and ways in which an individual spends his or her
time, this variable was made up of school activities, non-4-H activities, and work time.
This was a score developed by the researcher for the purpose of the study.

The degree of non-4-H time was also divided by county for survey participants

(Table 4-8). By observing the mean for the different counties one can see that the lowest

non-4-H time was from Glades County and the highest mean reported was from Miami-

Dade County (Table 4-8).

Table 4-8. Non-4-H time by county
County N Mean Median Std. Dev.
Duval 11 10.0 9.0 4.1
Escambia 28 9.3 9.0 5.4
Glades 14 7.6 8.5 5.2
Miami-Dade 18 10.7 11.5 3.7
Sumter 17 10.0 10.0 3.7
TOTAL 88 9.5 9.0 4.9









Positive Youth Development Outcomes

This section of the results sets forth to answer objective four: To determine if the

4-H club experience meets the developmental outcomes that promotes positive

development:

1. Positive and Supportive Relationships between Adults and Peers;

2. Emotional and Physical Safety;

3. Belonging and Inclusive Environment;

4. Contribute through Service and Leadership;

5. Youth are Actively Engaged in Self-Development; and,

6. Youth Develop a Positive Identity (self-efficacy, self-esteem, autonomy, and
empowerment).


The following constructs were measured in my study: Relationships, Safe

Environment, Belonging, Service and Leadership, Self Development, and Positive

Identity. The above constructs were presented in Chapter 3 and proved both reliable and

valid. As shown, (Table 4-9) the majority of the constructs have a mean of

approximately four, meaning that respondents tended to agree with the statements making

up each construct. This, of course, was excluding both Service and Leadership

constructs. Service and Leadership 1 was a binary response item with 1 = yes and 0 = no,

and the mean for this item was nearly 1 (.93). Therefore, it can be said that self-

assessment of service and leadership qualities was answered yes most frequently. For

Service and Leadership construct 2 the variables consisted of an interval scale, and this

meant that the higher the mean the more likely respondents self-reported participating in

service and leadership activities.









Each construct was derived as a result of factor analysis: Relationship, Belonging,

Safe Environment, Service and Leadership 1, and 2, Self Development 1 and 2, and

Positive Identity. Each construct was averaged for each individual to determine an

overall score. These overall scores were then correlated with degree of 4-H participation

and non-4-H time. The following sections will present the correlation and regression

results for each construct measured. Table 4-10 presents the Pearson R correlation and

significance level for each construct compared to Degree of 4-H Participation.

Table 4-9. Mean and standard deviation of dependent variable constructs
Construct Mean Std. Dev.
Relationships 3.8 8.0
Safe Environment 4.1 2.8
Belonging 4.2 2.4
Service & Leadership 1 .93 .25
Service & Leadership 2 2.9 5.1
Self Development 1 4.0 3.8
Self Development 2 4.4 .69
Positive Identity 4.0 3.9



Table 4-10. Correlations of outcomes with degree of 4-H participation
Correlation Pearson R Significance
Relationship to 4-H Participation .144 .180
Safe Environment Score to 4-H Participation .115 .285
Belonging to 4-H participation .286 .007*
Service and Leadership 1 to 4-H Participation .232 .030*
Service and Leadership 2 to 4-H Participation .505 .000*
Self Development 1 to 4-H Participation .230 .031"
Self Development 2 to 4-H Participation .192 .072
Positive Identity to 4-H Participation .225 .035*
* shows these correlations were significant at a p-value <.05.

The correlations that are significantly correlated with the degree of 4-H

participation are: Belonging, Service and Leadership 1 and 2, Self Development 1, and

Positive Identity. Self Development 1 consists of variable SD3 which created its own

construct in factor analysis. The results of the correlations show that no negative









relationships existed between any of the constructs and the degree of 4-H participation.

However, a negative correlation of -.031 did exist between the construct of Safe

Environment and non-4-H time. Showing that when non-4-H time was compared to the

degree of 4-H participation survey respondents felt safer in 4-H.

A regression model was also created in order to ensure that the correlations were

significant and not impacted by age or gender. The regression model included degree of

4-H participation, non-4-H time, age, and gender along with the mean score for each

construct as derived from factor analysis.

Table 4-11. Youth development outcome regression results
Beta
Y-intercept Degree of 4-H Non-4-H Age Gender
Participation Time
Relationships 2.5 0.004 0.008 0.04 0.12
Safe Environment 2.9 0.006 -0.008 0.008 -0.04
Belonging 2.7 0.02 0.002 0.08 0.02
Service & Leadership 1 0.725 0.008 -0.003 0.007 -0.02
Service & Leadership 2 -0.393 0.04 0.07 0.13 0.23
Self Development 1 4.9 0.01 0.04 -0.07 -0.06
Self Development 2 2.6 0.006 0.02 0.08 -0.11
Positive Identity 2.4 0.02 0.01 0.03 -0.12
*for gender a negative slope means that males scored lower and a positive slope means
that males scored higher.

Sense of belonging was the first construct which showed a significant correlation

with Degree of 4-H Participation. This was a highly significant correlation at the .05

level. The Regression model shows that the slope for Degree of 4-H Participation was

2.7 (p < .001). This shows that an increase in degree of 4-H participation leads 4-H

members to feel a sense of belonging and inclusiveness.

The constructs of Service and Leadership were also significantly correlated to

Degree of 4-H Participation. Service and Leadership 1 reported a Pearson R of .232 at a

significance level of .030. The y-intercept for Service and Leadership 1 was .725 at .012.









Service and Leadership 2 also reported a positive correlation with a Pearson R correlation

of .505 at a significance level of .000. Therefore, as degree of 4-H participation increases

so does the opportunity to contribute through Service and Leadership. The regression

model reported a negative slope for the construct of Service and Leadership 1 when

related to non-4-H time at -.003.

The construct of Self Development 1 was positively correlated with a Pearson R of

.32 at significance level of .031; Self Development 2 was also positively correlated at

.192 with a significance level of .072 at the .05 level. Even though Self Development 2

was not highly significant it was still a positive correlation that shows as the degree of

4-H participation increases so does the outcome of self development.

The final construct showing a positive correlation was that of Positive Identity

which reported a Pearson R of .225 and a significance level at .035. The regression

model showed the y-intercept at 2.35 at a significance level of .010. These results show

that as degree of 4-H participation increases so does the attainment of a positive identity.

The overall conclusions were that as the degree of 4-H participation increases so

does the attainment of positive youth development outcomes. Further conclusions and

recommendations will be presented in Chapter 5.














CHAPTER 5
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

The Study

The purpose of my research study was to determine if Florida 4-H participants were

attaining positive youth development outcomes through the 4-H experience. This

quantitative study assessed the views of youth participating in Florida 4-H. The unit of

analysis was youth between the ages of 13 and 18 who were enrolled in a 4-H club or

members at large as listed in the Blue Ribbon database. Surveys were sent to 621 youth,

with 79 surveys returned with the wrong address making 542 participants eligible to be

included in the population. There were 88 respondents, providing a response rate of

16.2% of the eligible population. Due to a low response rate, the results cannot be

generalized to the population of Florida 4-H'ers, only to the counties in which the 4-H'er

participated. However, this was also somewhat limited due to the potential of non-

response bias.

The independent variables measured were the degree of 4-H participation, non

4-H time, and participant demographics. The dependent variables measured were

evidence of possessing positive youth development outcomes. Data collection

procedures were followed precisely as stated in Chapter 3.

Limitations

Several limitations existed within the methodology of the research and the data

collected. A potential bias may have existed among those youth who were selected to

participate in the survey. Although an effort was made to select counties that would be









representative of the state, the larger more urban counties did not provide an impressive

response rate. This leaves room for improvement in the methodology of my study.

Perhaps agents in their own county can use the survey since they have more of a

relationship with the youth and can better encourage them to participate in the survey.

The researcher also could have asked for more direct involvement of the agents during

the whole process and not just in attaining mailing lists. This assumption was based on

the actions of the agent in Sumter County who contacted 4-H'ers to make sure that they

received and filled out their surveys.

A second limitation was the low response rate of youth. This low response rate

may be due to lack of parental consent, a lack of interest, faulty mailing lists, and other

unforeseen factors. This limitation may also have been a result of a lack of support from

agents in some counties. In Sumter County, the agent made an extended effort to

encourage 4-H members to return their surveys through personal calls. This effort paid

off in receiving a 37.8% response rate. A recommendation for correcting this limitation

was to enlist the help of 4-H club leaders who may have more of a continuous contact

with the members.

A third limitation to my study was in regards to use of time data for both degree of

4-H participation and non 4-H time spent. It may be difficult for youth to recall

their use of time. To account for this potential error it has been noted that this was self-

report data and needs to be considered as such.

The fourth limitation of my study was that the Blue Ribbon database may not be

entirely accurate and may not have shown all the youth who are impacted by the 4-H

program. Many youth re-enroll each year in September, however at the time the mailing









lists were collected these youth may not have been re-entered into the database. Also,

some youth may have provided the wrong address or changed their address after the

beginning of the previous year. The impact on those youth who did not receive surveys

due to faulty mailing lists was an unforeseen limitation to my study. Therefore, the 4-H

program may have impacted these youth but were not surveyed. In the same regards

many minority youth were listed as having wrong mailing addresses which prevented

them from receiving a survey.

The fifth limitation was recognized during data analyses. In regards to the survey

instrument one section, Service and Leadership had mixed response questions, which

caused difficulties during analyses. It was recommended that all questions should be

asked in the same format. The other part of the limitation recognized during data

analyses was the researcher not asking race, sex, and age on the survey. It was assumed

that the correct database would be received from county 4-H agents. A possibility may

be to obtain this information from the State 4-H office from the previous year or to wait

until mid-year when all data should be input in the Blue Ribbon database.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Conclusions regarding the objectives are presented followed by recommendations

derived from these results by the researcher.

Demographics

Objective one: To determine the demographic makeup of 4-H participants

surveyed. This objective set forth to tell us more about the 4-H members who were being

surveyed.

Among those participants whose race was available, 96.8% of respondents were

white. However, the more urban counties ofDuval, Escambia, and Miami-Dade did not









provide the race in their data sets, which according to the state report from 2002 these

counties do serve a large African-American and Hispanic population. Therefore, it can

be assumed that these counties are reaching these youth. Another conclusion regarding

race was that in Miami-Dade county the majority of wrong mailing addresses returned

had names of Hispanic descent. This provided the researcher with the opportunity to

make the assumption that those youth may change location frequently or did not provide

the correct mailing address at the beginning of the year. This should educate 4-H agents

that 4-H members need to be contacted in multiple ways to ensure that the line of

communication is not broken, specifically with minority youth.

Regarding gender among survey respondents 71.6% were female and 28.4% male.

Overall, the 4-H program tends to attract more female participants than male. As shown

above substantially more females responded to the survey than did male 4-H'ers. This

may be due to preconceived notions about the population that 4-H serves or that boys

tend to participate more in sports and other extracurricular activities, especially as they

get older. This was only an assumption based on trends viewed within the 4-H program

both as a 4-H'er and as a 4-H agent.

Regarding place of residence 50.6% of survey respondents lived in an urban area

and 49.4% lived in a rural area. Within the state of Florida only 28% of 4-H members

live in a rural area. Also according to this same data a very small percentages of Duval,

Escambia, and Miami-Dade counties serve rural members.

Regarding the age of survey respondents and the population of 4-H members,

younger youth tend to out-number older youth. Among survey respondents 31.8% were

age 13. The percentage of respondents decreased as members got older. The









recommendation of targeting older youth and encouraging their responses to future

research regarding 4-H is crucial to understanding if 4-H makes a difference. Among

non-respondents the trend was exactly the opposite with the percentage of youth not

responding increasing steadily. This shows that although older members are enrolled

they did not respond to the survey; however, the trend still shows that as youth get older

they drop out of 4-H. In 4-H, older youth need to be targeted to participate and remain in

the 4-H program. Because involvement in a youth development organization needs to be

sustained over a continuous and extended period of time youth need to stay enrolled in

order for them to be impacted.

Because of changing trends in school enrollment the researcher was interested to

see where the respondents to this survey attended school. Most survey respondents

attended public school. Though 79.5% of survey respondents attended public school, a

significant number, 14.8% were home schooled. Home schooling, according to the

results of this data among 4-H members is increasing and, therefore, needs to be

recognized by 4-H agents and volunteers when planning 4-H programs. In the same

respect, 4-H agents cannot forget that the majority of youth still attend public school and

cannot attend functions during school hours.

The mean grade reported by survey respondents was 9.8, showing that the average

respondent was in the 10th grade. This was a little higher than the average age reported,

however some youth who are home schooled may be in the ninth grade at a younger age.

This information also shows the need to provide curriculum and age appropriate

programs for youth. Since 4-H serves teenage youth, agents and club leaders need to

make sure to maintain their interest and provide age-appropriate programming.









The last question asked of survey participants was about their family living

arrangements. It is always important for 4-H agents to be aware of their population and

to know those whom they are serving. However, because of today's quickly changing

environment and the importance of the role of family, it is even more crucial to

understand the changes among the population with which 4-H agents are working.

Although a little over half the 4-H youth surveyed live with both parents (63.6%), the

remaining youth do not live in a traditional family. Seventeen (17) percent of youth live

with only their mother and 12.5% live with one natural parent and one stepparent. This

data supports the growing trend that more and more youth are in need of strong adult

relationships that may be found outside of the home. This data also provides

reaffirmation that not all youth are able to attend all 4-H functions and providing alternate

meeting times and transportation will help that 17% of youth who only live with a single

parent.

According to demographic information on the 4-H population in Florida, it was

clear that further efforts need to be made to obtain responses from a more diverse

population, specifically in regards to race, and sex and also to ensure that demographic

and family trends be taken into consideration to provide equal access for all youth.

Respondents versus Non-Respondents

Although this was not a stated objective, after data was collected, a need to

determine if a difference between respondents and non-respondents arose. Because age

was provided for the whole population a statistical test was possible. A one-way

ANOVA was conducted to determine if there was a difference between respondents and

non-respondents in regards to age. The F-test of 1.895 and a significance level of .08

showed little statistical significance that a difference did exist between the two groups.









In regards to race there was a greater percentage of white youth (96.8%) who

responded. Unfortunately, the counties that have greater potential to serve a more diverse

audience did not provide data on the race of their 4-H members. In regards to place of

residence among respondents the two groups were nearly even. For urban residents

50.6% of youth returned their survey and 49.4% of rural youth returned their survey,

which was a balanced response.

Participation in 4-H

This section presents the results for the degree of 4-H participation among survey

respondents. There was a minimum participation score of two and a maximum score of

44 with a mean score of 19.8 with a standard deviation of 8.6. For those unfamiliar with

the 4-H program, they can look at the varying degree of participation levels: club, county,

district, and state and see that members have many available options. The highest degree

of participation was in Duval County followed by Sumter County. The mean degree of

4-H participation was fairly balanced across counties showing similar participation

patterns.

Non 4-H Time

This section reports the results for the degree of non 4-H time among 4-H

participants surveyed. This score was measured by looking at school activities, out of

school activities, and time spent working. The degree of non 4-H score had a minimum

of zero and a maximum of 23 with a mean of 9.53. This score shows the average non

4-H time as being relatively low compared to the maximum score.

Positive Youth Development Outcomes

The results are reviewed for determining if the 4-H experience meets the

developmental outcomes that promote positive development, which are:









1. Positive and Supportive Relationships between Adults and Peers

2. Emotional and Physical Safety

3. Belonging and Inclusive Environment

4. Contribute through Service and Leadership

5. Youth are Actively Engaged in Self-Development,

6. Youth Develop a Positive Identity (self-efficacy, self-esteem, autonomy, and
empowerment).

This objective was divided into different constructs: Relationships, Safe

Environment, Belonging, Service and Leadership 1, and 2, Self Development 1 and 2,

and Positive Identity. Factor analysis was conducted on these constructs to ensure the

reliability of the survey instrument and to determine if the items actually did compose a

true construct. The factor analysis data was presented in the data analysis section of

Chapter 3.

The overall conclusion made regarding the data attained in my research study was

that as the degree of 4-H participation increases so does the attainment of positive youth

development outcomes. By having all positive correlations it was safe to assume that 4-

H members who responded to the survey are attaining the above outcomes.

As presented in Chapter 4 all correlations were positive, with the constructs of

Belonging, Service and Leadership 1 and 2, Self Development 1 and Positive Identity

having significant correlations.

Positive relationships had an overall mean of nearly four (3.8) and a standard

deviation of 8.0. This means that the average respondent tended to agree that they had a

positive relationship with adults and youth. This construct however did not report a

significant positive correlation with Degree of 4-H participation.









Providing and ensuring that youth are provided with a physically and emotionally

safe environment is a particularly important component of an effective youth

development agency. An overall mean of 4.13 with a standard deviation of 2.80 was

reported for the construct of safe environment. This means that the average youth who

participated in the survey tended to agree that 4-H provided them with a safe

environment. This component also failed to be significantly correlated with the Degree

of 4-H participation; however the construct of safe environment had a negative

correlation with degree of non-4-H time. Meaning that survey respondents felt safer in

4-H that non-4-H activities.

Having a sense of belonging and an inclusive environment in a youth development

organization was a construct that was measured with the use of four variables. The

construct of belonging had an overall mean of 4.18 with a standard deviation of 2.36.

The average respondent tended to agree that 4-H in their county provided them with a

sense of belonging and inclusiveness. Providing youth with an environment where they

feel that they are part of the program and welcome to attend is crucial to developing

positive outcomes among youth. Even though youth reported that they tend to agree with

this construct, 4-H agents and volunteers still need to be observant at club and county

activities to ensure that all youth are included and participate. This correlation did prove

to be highly significant in relation to Degree of 4-H participation. Belonging was also

significantly correlated to the construct of positive relationships and safe environment

showing that as sense of belonging increased so did feeling safe at 4-H activities and

building positive relationships among peers and adults.









Providing youth with an opportunity to contribute to their own life and that of

others and to be a leader for younger peers falls into the construct of service and

leadership. Giving youth an opportunity to show their worth and to help others is not

only an important part of 4-H, but it also gives youth a sense of accomplishment. As

discussed in Chapter 3 this construct was divided into two components. The mean

response for the first variable "4-H teaches me to help other people" had a mean of .93

and a standard deviation of .25. This was a binary response item explaining 20.3% of the

variance. The second component explaining 46.44% of the variation had an overall mean

of 2.9 at standard deviation of 5.1. This implies that respondents reported that they were

either neutral or did not know if 4-H gave them the opportunity to provide service and

leadership in their community. However, both Service and Leadership constructs showed

a significant positive correlation to Degree of 4-H participation. The limitation of this

component was that responses were mixed type.

Youth being actively engaged in their own development and being able to provide

input and feel that their opinion matters are all a part of self-development. To measure

the component of self-development, questions regarding critical thinking, goal setting,

communication, and decision-making were asked because these are criteria youth have

control over. Two components were derived from factor analysis to represent the

construct of self-development. For component one, the overall mean was 4.0 with a

standard deviation of 3.9. This means that the average respondent tended to agree that

4-H provided them with an opportunity for self-development. This construct had a

significant positive correlation to degree of 4-H participation. The second component

was significant because of the variable that made up the component. This variable asked









"I know how to say no when someone wants me to do things I know are wrong and

dangerous." This variable had a mean of 4.4 with a standard deviation of .69. Fifty-two

(52) percent of respondents responded that they strongly agreed with the statement. This

means that the majority of youth agreed that, they can resist peer pressure. This finding

alone was significant because it showed that youth perceive themselves as having good

self-development. The second construct also proved to be positively correlated with the

Degree of 4-H participation. The construct of self-development was important because

youth learn many skills that ensure they have a productive adulthood.

The construct of positive identity measures the feelings of oneself, for example

self-efficacy, self-esteem, autonomy, and empowerment. After running factor analysis on

this set of variables one component was derived. The mean score of the model was 4.0

with a standard deviation of 3.9. Survey respondents tended to agree that they had

developed a positive identity. This construct also had a significant positive correlation to

degree of 4-H participation. Meaning as youth increase their degree of 4-H participation

they also increase in their perceived positive identity. For youth to perceive themselves

as having a positive identity means that not only do they have confidence in their ability

to succeed, they also believed that they have control over where their life was heading.

The recommendation as a result of this conclusion was that 4-H has been able to help

bring about positive self-identity through implementing practices that bring about this

positive outcome. This was a key finding because of the importance of this outcome to

the positive development of youth.

These findings presented led the researcher to make the recommendation that

further research of this type should be carried out among Florida 4-H members. It was









suggested that this research instrument, because of the reliability and theoretically

derived constructs, be used by county 4-H agents who are interested in determining how

their 4-H members and their 4-H programs are performing.

It was also recommended to implement strategies that will gain a better response

rate so as to receive input from more 4-H members, which will make my study more

reliable and give the ability to increase the confidence level upon which these findings

are based.

Implications for Florida 4-H

The low response rate attained in the completion of this research cannot allow the

researcher to generalize the findings to the Florida 4-H program, only to the counties

specifically involved. This however, was limited because of the possibility of a non-

response bias. However, this research does provide a good picture of Florida 4-H. All

constructs measured, not including service and leadership, showed that members tended

to agree that they perceived the statements to be true. Also all constructs were positively

correlated to the degree of 4-H participation. With an increased response rate these

correlations could have became more significant.

These findings show that many Florida 4-H programs are offering youth the

opportunities needed to make a difference in the attainment of positive youth

development outcomes. Florida 4-H members should be empowered to participate and

contribute in 4-H programs at all levels. Members in 4-H should also be actively

involved in making important decisions that affect themselves and their 4-H

programming. Florida 4-H agents and volunteers should allow youth the opportunity to

have a voice in all aspects of 4-H programming. Youth need a safe environment where

they can try new things out and not be afraid to fail.









The results of this research also showed interesting demographical trends among

the respondents, one being family living arrangements and the other being school

attendance. Because of the diverse population served, 4-H agents and volunteers need to

be aware of the importance of programming efforts. Programming in 4-H also needs to

be aware that youth are participating in other programs. It is important that organizers of

county 4-H programs collaborate with other youth organizations to more effectively help

youth. Youth also need opportunities for sustaining long-term relationships with adults,

older youth who remain in 4-H have more of an opportunity to enhance a long-standing

relationship. Regarding the age of 4-H members, there was a definite lack of older

members as compared to younger members as shown in the age of members enrolled and

among survey respondents. Florida 4-H needs to find ways to keep 4-H members

involved in the program longer. This may be done through additional incentives through

scholarships and programs specifically designed for older youth, however these youth

must have the opportunity to contribute to these new programs. Ways that youth can

contribute to programming is involving them in the planning and implementing of

programs and ensuring that they are relevant and applicable to older youth.

The final recommendation for Florida 4-H was that 4-H agents must include

volunteers when implementing the above recommendations. Many volunteers are willing

and able to play a more meaningful role than just being a chaperone at camp or helping

set up tables at the county fair. The results of youth development research should be

shared with 4-H volunteers since many of the implications and recommendations

discussed above can be implemented by volunteers in their clubs. Although 4-H agents

tend to think that they alone are responsible for the success of their county 4-H program,









volunteers also play a huge role in this success. This of course does call for training of

both agents and volunteers.

Recommendations for Further Research

The first recommendation was based on a limitation of my study. The researcher

hopes to see further use of this instrument because of the high reliability of the constructs

that were developed, as well as the positive correlations that were presented. With a

larger response rate the findings could be more generalizable and have a higher

confidence level. The researcher would encourage further research on county and even

other state programs to utilize this survey instrument to determine if 4-H programs are

promoting the attainment of positive youth development outcomes and providing a

quality experience. Proper evaluation of our programs and members is important to the

future of 4-H. However, consideration of the low response rate would need to be

addressed. As previously discussed, involving agent support would be beneficial to

increasing the response rate. Also, presenting the survey at a setting where youth would

have to complete and turn in would prevent the loss of the survey and having to return the

survey by mail.

The second recommendation for further research was to determine why older 4-H

members tend to move to other organizations and leave 4-H as presented in Chapter 4.

This was a concern of the researcher not only being a past 4-H member, but also as a 4-H

agent.

Evaluation of Research

Looking back on this research project there are many errors and countless hours

that could have been prevented. Despite the already mentioned limitations of my study

the researcher did develop a readily usable instrument that other 4-H professionals can






69


use. The findings presented are also useful for the counties involved in my study. With

more experience, however, the researcher can hopefully contribute further to the future of

4-H evaluations and provide insight to county 4-H agents.























APPENDIX A

40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS





40 Development tal Assets
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3. ihNjihlb whlid.& bDiara-Nr.Li-im akkr -aLn u rpnraiLbr L c -nDsiEuEw.fauns pctFLC bcwrimnc.

b i Admut rltE MldatLrPanbtd. tmi dalicn dult m-dci* pdr, jc.rpcn bcha nr.
ii. FPaiti.- PF. -lb rta uz pa-.'z &,t idernd.. acd croniblk brha'iac.
16i. HigB Ezpnctbinart'Fp:cacti:< Jand trinabccacrnrzaef t yo pcrn bro da .mt
ConstraCtivei 17. Crdaidl Acli.ytierYaarg pare. .pid tiSme B- marw lana prc AA K In crrcs F- psrcnhr ina
Use of Time Mac, &iatl e- coec Ui.t ft
1. Yrnt FPre-pa-Youn pacen apmdi. ac = Bacn hlni per wrwcsk n aI pc, Eh, -b sr
gsrcaatiiz at ahliDn] mar ir n tin anE matit
1t. diEAlLar Co naiLtyau'B.&- m pepaoia.d arE- =E iro Epa erefc in ctir- tii Erfria
indetianrr
0.- Tim. .t H-=-inr-Yu prc-ss ix mait it idnc-a 'iit-f. nriuri pc-i] nto z in-- r k- fer ei ht
pcz rak.


CoImiMtaiLent -1. Acburained Mt'L.BIur YcLOL p-a an mcLTratd to dRlc win. ac--l
to Leraing 2 E-hlInl 'Enciar-tn-'u 2r-ni = M.-rrLd caltj..i=j lranim,
23-. Hnomewimrk.s-Yun :cca rErath *d-j at kate con iur t ahonwc-sCk Cerc aiu dBy.
24 Doin. nIt S 3'DbnLit-ann ?rcamn im rbut iic cE l hi :-l.
25. Assdiui FPLErmatrYnungi pciain -mwd larm pLpacIrr tsc= a macrlas per wcl

PFotivE 2It Cangur para. P-schr bh Buir a. hclp c*rth par-plc.
Valn.es 27 Eqiaity an d B-. natsriYng tn -y- p-rcakg P-- i gih-*n phFanyr ra grH ztai&t a id-lnini
lhnintar mt powreky
IS. rpitp- p Enas p axi am acerranK icca and toridz up har a-ccr hia bra:-
3. HOawmricmc-'n "p-=lE hr "li a aulincr riwti. ntm Cmn."
aL pciitbLliPtyYnura prison sarpa ard tkn 7pcanrimial crpic ilH.
3. 3hl.btrautd-Yrng pccannbrke :n it impart t -nI riek-mr aiva to -a slac ij-- c-r aZe-.t


*sClat 31 P3hamngndm DU-i M Frhimp-Vc.--rp=HaF-3hmowa ho-us b. p]fm c-d w-rd cakr cine.
C ompCetencdHt5 ie-s perlol CompetencerYBu pcu-c .. cmpet- =aE- i rity JI fir-Eda -1F jhTb.
mltimy ilj-mda* etia b&n-uinmwdS.
35. RA.imnte B3-ifL.-Y,.on pem = can irt .a*r per- ps-ute and Aancrr a m utnaiwnax.
35. Esitful Cfle rmuhtLtiu-jc-nurLg pcuan arckj tc cnrtcie mauIlict orOinlnclrfctl


rnesiiv
Identitry


37. FRnneL PFw'-Young ypracn :E=l :hir cr am hiar caarcL 'dth inr t pat n p cpa tamc.'
5&. S&-iLf-Emn.r-Y'niu -mf ncEi ccr.-h linnir m uip acd-c ttcc=-t.
39. ea* of Famcpma-"."-. pcctI mcpots *aIt 7my iUc k3 purpac.
1t. F -iti Warv ml Parm Fu.FurralnunL pci-! Est. -pLm-inal .iLL.L -='capl Trandb tusb.


": dlimt e: utk rlk= IbI xIs n IT w tf r." :rsixatu t L- I-ial, .dr.J rta c-1t
Th: icrut m: njsmaowt- caitul hibSiz ttea "rln- lnr'.tai.i .ALt-. muL IltiSr inzabnkln .2l1a.tr lira
















APPENDIX B
TARGETING LIFE SKILLS MODEL


Figure B-1. Targeting Life Skills Model (Targeting Life Skills Model, 2002A)

























APPENDIX C

CODE SHEET


Table C-1. Code Sheet


i4. I C,:-. _= E E I CI -PEE _


-I 1. EE-I JIeFEEt-

.. 4.-. ',- ... 71i 7 FE- E _
"i ,: -. O ,...iEE-i j ',:rEE -

C1, F E D,'EE 1 | S P. EE=

1 D..i: ~E i G- EE

|P11 P PF"E "T. L :' -PE- i -'I FF =
w-F E7 D* I 'IIZ IT3- FEE=


C'.-*. EE-l DI' 'PEE=-
IP q .E 'JE **d :'"; |g II^j-c =


1,31
. -2 -
i_-____

8,; _, _


;L D 1LE |]


E_ r_ r_ !. .-.. .. .


'jEl. c 3',- .-r EE=- F-E'

'*Te.tL= .|PIL E-t4 -T-'FE=i1T
!jtlTP...L = :! ,- e>' _: _- __


'ECITI. .r L


- ,N T ?J -. .'3



L T r1tCl :.V=
I:.' + L K;(' u'. :' i
'C C"--" l- :-C_ 3!
,: ?1N T r-'^Jl *.,*>= "-',


-! !.FE=. 4 -;FG -E= E :..NT ij-i .
3 .-;3.GFi E=4 F I CF.E=.I -.r-j r C i:u'=i


|fl.* .TP L=3 jrt 4 (3 i; E-, c
nE. ~H.J'RL'=3] *.: EE=J C ~j ~ EF=5,
jrIj7.TRATL: AJPrE-= A- FE: I
-L _.
ii:..iTl7PL-3 -CR5E-= P C=*
ine:JTF L=3 --:REE=2 PEE- J Fg


.Cr: NO 41
CC-ON 7 'N3.S =
.Ci^ 0,r l;l,''.


rC.jr T ,C'.
5D; TT;;jC 5)T:


P ',F i': DI u-' PeP E= : E D' Ee-. EI I :. EE -'F E.E=1I C'NT*rT'rC'. [
R-..PEE=' uI I-'., =.- Ir LE'-IER L' I EE= t EE,-t' LA'.. T ,'J .l :
: i1.- REE I= i0I;r EE I iE. Tr t= I.-* E T- r.: C*CI T *'. =

-C-_ GPEE [I--. -.P F rjE .ii L L .. .2EE- T t:-
Sri.'.?.REE=I DIS j..PEE *7JE'IT' = I -*I i =. = r.I..r r yvrC =
5F -I I. P1 PEE= IrE TF.aL= 3 EE- r EF= ri T [
S3z' ."44. pE'c- :ll.T -L. w' !irtJt=. "r r -

rnf'^L-'ES'L~iC ~_ If _=__ / |_____


SIrnr .fR i-n


SL34
SL4
SL5


SELF DEVELOPMENT

SD2


503 i


-I_~


NEVER==0 __ __ ._ 3 ._
NEVER I =0Q
S. DISAGREE=1 irT7'.. E'T N* E. TP. L=- 7,, .- 1 r = 'C IT l 'lI
S fISAAf -o r- -iIIW rj, L =-a .P TAALS ETA E 1.. 7 = r--L *. I T I i .=.


S DISAGREE=1 DISAGREE 2

S. DISAGREF- O:l I-PEF.-
S. DISAGREE CI:SA -t-
S. DISAGRE- :i:- E-2


NEUTRAL=3 AGREE=4 S AGREE=5 DO7NTKNOW=3

g'iTF''L= i:Ff_.= i -i CO TF- *''IT N;'7:
,., = .... }..-. -E = E== C. r :".-_ ,
_--T hI .. ..r ",_. "- ,_ N .. 1.. I


114 I I I3J*iII-.F~i jiIAIII~E-I-z.!


-4-
Ll0 -5 .-
ILD6 r


F D1IT IE ICE TIT


Cl.A GREE 2
Cl ACPEEL='


I.EUTPITLL. -GGPE='E
NEIlT.iAL=2 i.C3rEE=
NELUTRAL=2 LCREE-!
NEUrLRAL3 aGRIEE--4
NEL'TPRL='i /GPEE=.


CI-A. 'R E= C-l LI ,--PEE=2 IEljEI.T;.AL i


P'l REiErE Z CLi..Gi EE = 1
FP1F 3I E- lCi--c=


LC.'IAI EE=_ NrjEUTPPL= j
I|. PEE=S iNEUTRA.L=i


AGREE =
AGREES
AGR;PEE=<


3 AGJIEE i Eji-N .'T K I I=Vi;__
z3 AGraEE DON 7 A N.- 1-
1 -IjEE-5 O-rF y -

SG.RE-E = F F DON T D NO.,A-I
; ~.EE=5 ECi'NMT N '-.W-, .
S R =e= TF ON: T r =-,


P14 _RE.EJF I C_1 r.I-GE_= G IClj;-GEE=2 EIJTF:AL=3 AGREE=- 'S *G-EE= DON' T ,PCVu=',
PFIE 2 DIS.rIE.EI p NIIGPPEELE. NiETPiL ACN'LEt.=4 ML z5 LAIN I :W

f i7 I i|l. g;nL EE= jEll:^IPEE =i rELI.TP *.-^- RE-l ii *,EE=S DO 1NTM.'JCH- .
Fli L CI*.3GPEE=1 DIlIPr.iaEE: r.EUTP /L=r AjREZ-a i Ah.FEE-i C:N T w:.c-=3
p19l Alu CH '.! N_= _G,______ ___l R FEz NELTiRL= AGREE:: '&E AqiEES WCNTr WIQC=3
ABiJL IT i EA'- I M MjC.J F lD'.lC
D1 PUBLIC= PRIVATE=2 HOME S=3 NOT N=0
D2 GRADE_ _
RURAL
D3 FARM=1 AREA-2 TOWN=3 BIG CITY=4


04
Courdf


A ~tJT.T 1


U.TE---Er


F T-EF =I3


1 PARENT,
I eTEP=A


C.". RL= 1 IESCAMBIA=2 GLA0ES=3


;PLrT='


PGRAN
PAREY"4-6


r.-'JPC OTHERP


*1L.KE-: ll 1-AGPEE=Z
ClFcs1.- E I-Ar =EE '
CIl;-.EE= EI IAC1FEE=:
rj-..llDFEIl rIlIAGFE::E


. -I


I


I


L


i


UMTER=5


Dis'zIPEE=l


S -;5F' .: -















OUT OF SCHOOL TIME
STT1 Y=1 N=0
ST2 __. Y=1 N=0
ST3 YY1 N=0
ST4 Y=1 N=0

ST5 Y=1 N =0_
ST7 Y-=1- N=0
STm Y=1 "-0
SCHOOL ACTIVITIES _
SA1 Y=1 N-0
SA2 Y=1 N--0
SA3 Y=1 N=O
SA4 Y=1 N-=
SA5 Y=1 N=0
SA6 Y=1 N=0
SA7 Y=1 N=0
SA8 Y= 1 N-=0
SA9 Y=1 N-=0
SAiO Y=1 N=0 __________ ______
USE OF TIME ___
UT1 HOURS =0 1-3=1 4-6=2 7-9=3 10-12=4 13+ =5
UT2 Y=1 N=f
UT _____ HOURS f-l i 31 6- l1= IoT=-0-
UT4 HOURS 0=0 1-=1 6-10-2 11-15=3 i-4 1 =
UT5 HOURS 00 1.5=1 6-10=2 1-' -'Ti= 2-
UTM YEARS 1-2= 1 3-4 =2 5-6=3 7-8=4 9 =5
UT7 PROJECTS 1-2 = 1 3-4 =2 5-6=3 7-8-4 9+ =5
,T ____ CLUB=- COUNTY-2 DIST-3 STATE=4 NONE=0
4-H PARTICIPATION
P1 NEVER=1 V. SELDOM=2 SELDOM REGULAR=4 V REGULAR=5
P2 NEVER=1 V. SELDOM-2 SELDOM=3 REGULAR=4 V- REGULAR-S
P3 NEVER-=1 V SELDOM=2 SELOOM=3 REGULAR=4 V. REGULAR=5
P4 N____IEVER=1 V. SELDOM-2 SELDOM REGULAR=4 V REGULAR=S
P5_. I _N____ EVER=-I V. SELDOM=2 SELDOM=3 REULAR=4 V. REGULAR=5
6 NEVER= V. SELDOM=2 SELDOM REGULAR-4 V. REGULAR=5
RELATIONSHIPS _



















APPENDIX D
IRB CONSENT FORM







-. UNIVERSITY OF

FLORIDA

Institutional Review Board 98A Psychology Bldg.
PO Box 112250
Gainesville, FL 32611-2250
Phone: (352) 392-0433
Fax: (352) 392-9234
E-mail: irb2@ufl.edu
http://rgp.ufl.edu/irb/irb02


DATE: August 14, 2003

TO: Sarah Thomas
Calhoun Co. Extension 20816
Central Ave East, Suite 1
Blountstown, FI 32424

FROM: C. Michael Levy, PhD, Chair PF/-
University of Florida
Institutional Review Board 02

SUBJECT: Approval of Protocol #2003-U-659
TITLE: Positive youth development outcomes attained through the 4-H Youth Development
experiences.
SPONSOR: Unfunded


I am pleased to advise you that the University of Florida Institutional Review Board has recommended
approval of this protocol. Based on its review, the UFIRB determined that this research presents no
more than minimal risk to participants. Given your protocol, it is essential that you obtain signed
documentation of informed consent from each participant. Enclosed is the dated, IRB-approved
informed consent to be used when recruiting participants for the research.

It is essential that each of your participants and/or parents of minors sign a copy of your
approved informed consent or parental consent that bears the IRB stamp and expiration
date.

If you wish to make any changes to this protocol, including the need to increase the number of
participants authorized, you must disclose your plans before you implement them so that the Board can
assess their impact on your protocol. In addition, you must report to the Board any unexpected
complications that affect your participants.

If you have not completed this protocol by August 6, 2004, please telephone our office (392-0433),
and we will discuss the renewal process with you. It.is important that you keep your Department Chair
informed about the status of this research protocol.
CML:dl/tf



Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution













APPENDIX E
PRE-NOTICE


ATTENTION 4-H MEMBERS 13-18

BE WATCHING YOUR MAILBOXES

YOU WILL BE RECEIVING A 4-H SURVEY FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF
FLORIDA WITHIN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS!

Please return your survey as soon as possible after receiving.
Your input in the Florida 4-H Program is very important.

University of Florida
Colleae of Aariculture and Life Sciences
















APPENDIX F
INITIAL SURVEY COVER LETTER

S I. t l: r I :rY OF Agriculture Education & Communication
1-" L ( 1 )A University of Florida
E X FT N S 10 N Gainesville, FL 32611-9988
4 F, --i o A- ;,. S

December 27, 2003

Dear 4-H member,

My name is Sarah Thomas I am a graduate student at the University of Florida
and former 4-H member. I currently work with the state 4-H program as a 4-
H/Agriculture agent.

I would like to ask for your participation in a survey of 4-H members throughout the
state of Florida. 4-H'ers have been randomly selected from five counties in the state.
This survey is very important to the future of Florida 4-H and 4-H throughout America.
The results of this study will help the 4-H program better serve youth and meet the needs
of 4-H'ers. It is crucial to this study that we know the views of you the 4-H member, and
that we receive as many surveys back as possible. Therefore, please return your survey
by January 16th.

Contained in this packet you will find; one consent form for you, one consent form
for your parent or legal guardian, one survey, and one brown pre-addressed postage paid
return mailing envelope. If you decide to participate in this research study you will need
to follow these steps.

1. Sign and separate the participant consent form, keep one copy for you and place
the other in the return envelope,
2. Provide your parent or legal guardian with their consent form. They will keep
one copy and place the other in the return envelope.
3. Complete the survey and place it in the return envelope.
4. Seal the envelope and drop it in the mail.

Again this study is very important to Florida 4-H, as is providing you a Florida 4-
H'er with a quality 4-H experience. I hope to hear from you soon!!


Sincerely,

Sarc'av 7Tomww

Sarah Thomas
University of Florida
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
4-H/Agriculture Extension Agent I


















APPENDIX G
PARENTAL CONSENT FORM






Informed Consent
Please read the following, sign and return. Please keep the attached copy for your
records.

Dear 4-H member Parent/Guardian,

My name is Sarah Thomas, graduate student, in the Department of Agricultural
Education and Communication at the University of Florida. Dr. Nick T. Place is an Assistant
Professor in the department of Agricultural Education and Communication. Together we are
conducting a research study with 4-H members in the state of Florida.

The purpose of this study is to determine if Florida 4-H participants are attaining positive
youth development outcomes through the 4-H club experience. The study will also determine if
4-H club participants are attaining specific Florida Life Skills. These findings will be correlated
with demographic and "use of time" data obtained by survey participants. Use of time refers to
other activities that the individual participates in to determine if outcomes are being met by the 4-
H experience or extraneous factors. The results of this study will benefit future 4-H program
planning in that 4-H youth development agents and state spec ialists will be aware of the impact
that the 4-H club experience has on the positive development of youth. With your permission we
would like to ask for your child's participation in this research.

Five counties will be chosen based on their geographic and economic makeup. Within
each County 4-H members will be randomly selected to participate in the study. Selected 4-H
members will complete a sur\ e, instrument. that has been developed based on 4-H studies
throughout the literature as well as other youth development surveys. Participants will also be
asked to complete demographic questions. No participant's identity will be disclosed, and their
identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law.

Participants have the right to withdraw consent from participation at any time without
consequence. Participating or not in this survey will not eftie c 4-H membership in any way.
There are neither risks nor benefits associated with participation in the study. The results of this
study can be requested. If you have any questions about this research please contact the graduate
student Sarah Thomas or her committee chair Dr. Nick Place. To contact Sarah Thomas please
send an e-mail to szthoma. i maii.ifas ufl edu or call her 850-674-8323 (work), send mail to
20816 Central Ave. East, Suite 1, Blountstown, FL 32424. To contact Dr. Nick Place call (352)
392-0502 or 305 Rolfs Hall, PO Box 110540, Gainesville, and Fl 32611-0:1i), or send an e-mail
to nplacca utl.edu. Questions about your concerns or rights can be directed to the UFIRB office,
PO Box 112250, University of Florida. Gainesville, and Fl 32611-2250.

I have read the procedure described above. I agree to participate in the procedure, and
Ihave received a copy of this information.


Parent/ Guardian Signature Date

APPROVED BY
Lnr; ,-'~i, f Ffl n-la
In: jr on-l Rev'ew Bo,,rd (IRB 02)
Protocol# Zo3-tU-~f
For Use Through 6-oy


















APPENDIX H
PARTICIPANT CONSENT FORM

Informed Consent

Please read the following, sign and return. Please keep the attached copy for
your records.

Dear 4-H member,

My name is Sarah Thomas, graduate student, in the Department of Agricultural Education
and Communication at the University of Florida. Dr. Nick T. Place is an Assistant Professor in
the department of Agricultural Education and Communication. Together we are conducting a
research study with 4-H members in the state of Florida.

The purpose of this study is to determine if Florida 4-H participants are attaining positive
youth development outcomes lir.:li.ih the 4-H club experience. The study will also determine if 4-
H club participants are attaining specific Florida Life Skills. These findings will be correlated
with demographic and "use of time" data obtained by survey participants. Use of time refers to
other activities that the individual participates in to determine if outcomes are being met by the 4-
H experience or extraneous factors. The results of this study will benefit future 4-H program
planning in that 4-H youth development agents and state specialists will be aware of the impact
that the 4-H club experience has on the positive development of' l.t With your permission we
would like to ask for your participation in this research.

Five counties will be chosen based on their geographic and economic makeup. Within
each County 4-H members will be randomly selected to participate in the study. Selected 4-H
members will complete a survey instrument that has been developed based on 4-H studies
throughout the literature as well as other youth development surveys. Participants will also be
asked to complete demographic questions. No participant's identity will be disclosed, and your
identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. It will take approximately 15
minutes to complete this survey.

You have the right to withdraw consent for your participation at any time without
consequence. Participating or not participating in this study will not effect you're membership n
4-H. There are neither risks nor benefits associated with your participation in the study. The
results of this study can be requested. If you have any questions about this research please contact
the graduate student Sarah Thomas or her committee chair Dr. Nick Place. To contact Sarah
Thomas please send an e-mail to ',llb'lni ll mjil if. l .:di or call her 850-674-8323 (work),
send mail to 20816 Central Ave. East, Suite 1, Blountstown, FL 32424. To contact Dr. Nick Place
call (352) 392-0502 or 305 Rolf's Hall, PO Box 110540, Gainesville, and Fl 32611-0540, or send
an e-mail to nplace@ufl.edu. Questions about your concerns or rights can be directed to the
UFIRB office, PO Box 11 22S -l University of Florida, Gainesville, and Fl 32611-2250.

I have read the procedure described above. I agree to participate in the procedure, and I have
received a copy of this information.


4-H member Signature Date
APPROVED BY
University of Florida
Institutional Review Board (IRB 02)
Protocol# 20o 3-uA-V-&S
For Use Through :-E-o60









APPENDIX I
SURVEY INSTRUMENT


,. L UNIVERSITY OF
'. FLORIDA
EXTENSION
stLtut. r IF..d andAgrfLul1Lur a SafircJs


V l


FLORIDA
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
OUTCOMES SURVEY



Sarah Thomas: For Masters Thesis in Agriculture Extension












This is not a test. There are no right or wrong answers. Your
participation in this survey is strictly voluntary. Your answers
will be kept confidential so please answer questions truthfully.
If you do not feel comfortable answering a question leave it
blank. Your name will not show anywhere on the survey and
your answers will not be identified with you. Thank you for
completing this survey.

OUT OF SCHOOL TIME

0 Have you or will you or have participated in any of the following
outside-school activities this year, either as a member, or as an
officer. (Circle your answer)
a Boy or Girl Scouts YES NO
a Religious Youth group YES NO
a Hobby Clubs YES NO
a Neighborhood club or program YES NO
a Boys' Club or Girls' Club YES NO
a Non-School Athletic Team YES NO
a YMCA/YWCA YES NO
a Other YES NO

SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

- During the school week will you or have you participated in any of
the following activities this year, either as a member, or as an officer.
(Circle your answer)
a Band, Orchestra, Chorus, Choir,
or other music group YES NO


School Play or Musical
Student Government
NHS or Academic Honor Society
School Yearbook, Newspaper
Service Clubs (AFS, KEY)
Academic Clubs


Hobby clubs (photography, chess, etc)
FFA
Future Business Leaders (FBLA),
Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA),
FTA, FHA, or other vocation
education clubs.


YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES


YES


USE OF TIME

- In a typical week, about how many hours do you spend doing
homework? hours.
> Do you work? YES NO
0 If you work, in a typical week, about how many hours do you
work? hours
0 In a typical week, how much total time do you spend in out of
school activities? hours
0 In a typical week, how much total time do you spend doing only
4-H activities? hours
0 How long have you been or were you in 4-H? years













SDuring the past year how many different projects did you
complete (beef, citizenship, public speaking etc.)?
projects
- During the past year I was, or currently am an officer in: (circle
all that apply)


Local Club


County Council


District Council State Council
4-H PARTICIPATION
For the following questions think about your participation in the 4-H
Program... (circle your answer).


SDo you attend club meetings?
Never Very Seldom Seldom Regular

r Do you attend County Council meetings?
Never Very Seldom Seldom Regular
r Do you attend District Council meetings?
Never Very Seldom Seldom Regular
> Do you attend State Executive Board meetings?
Never Very Seldom Seldom Regular

> Do you serve on special committees?
Never Very Seldom Seldom Regular


Very Regular


Very Regular


Very Regular


Very Regular


Very Regular


S Do you serve as chair or co-chair on special committees?
Never Very Seldom Seldom Regular Very Regular


RELATIONSHIPS


For the following questions think back to the past year and answer
each of these questions... (circle your answer).
r I trust the adults in the 4-H program (leaders, agents).
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> I trust other 4-H members.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> I have "good friends" in 4-H.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> If I had an important concern about drugs, alcohol, sex, or
another serious issue I would talk to an adult in 4-H about it.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
r Adults in 4-H listen to what I have to say.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> Adults in my community make me feel important.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> Adults in 4-H expect too much from me.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> Adults in 4-H make me feel good about myself.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know













S My parents are usually unhappy or disappointed with what I do.


strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> Youth participate equally with adults in planning club activities.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> Youth participate equally with adults in implementing or
carrying out club activities.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> Youth participate equally with adults in evaluating or
determining the success of 4-H activities.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> In 4-H I get to know everyone.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
r In 4-H I often feel "put down" by adult leaders and agents.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know



SAFE ENVIRONMENT

r 4-H provides a safe place for learning and growing.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know


r In 4-H I often feel embarrassed or put-down.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know


> I don't feel safe at 4-H activities.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> In 4-H I can try new things without worrying about making
mistakes.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> I feel safe when I attend 4-H activities.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know

BELONGING

S4-H clubs are supportive environments where I feel accepted for
who I am.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> All kinds of kids are welcome in 4-H.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> In 4-H I have learned to treat people who are different from me
with respect.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know













S I feel like I belong in 4-H.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know



SERVICE AND LEADERSHIP

r 4-H teaches me to help other people. YES NO
r During the last 12 months how many times have you....
i Been involved in a project to help make life better for
other people?
never once twice three-four times five or more
i Given money or time to a charity or organization that
helps people?
never once twice three-four times five or more
i Spent time helping people who are poor, hungry, sick or
unable to care for themselves?
never once twice three-four times five or more

> I feel other kids look up to me and follow my example.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> I do my share to make my school and community better.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know

r I enjoy volunteering in class to lead activities.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know


SELF DEVELOPMENT


S I am good at planning ahead.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> I think through all of the good and bad results of different
decisions before acting.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know


SI know how to say "no" when someone wants me to do things I
know are wrong and dangerous.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
r I set goals.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
r I am responsible for my own actions.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
r 4-H teaches me to do things on my own.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> I listen carefully to what others say.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know













S I can clearly state my thoughts, feelings, and ideas to others.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know

POSITIVE IDENTITY

> 4-H rewards me for being successful.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> At times, I think I am no good at all.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> All in all, I am glad I am me.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> I feel I do not have much to be proud of.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
SWhen things don't go well for me, I am good at finding a way to
make things better.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know

> I don't have enough control over the direction my life is taking.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> 4-H has helped me expect good things from myself.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know


S I feel very happy when I am successful at something.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know
> My participation in 4-H has been critical to my success in life.
strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree don't
know

ABOUT YOU


SWhat type of school do you attend?
Public Private


Home School


Not in


School
> What grade of school are you in? grade
> Where does your family live? (circle one answer)
Farm Rural Area Town Big
City
SWhich statement best describes your family? (check one answer)
o I live with my two parents.
a I live with only my mother.
o I live with only my father.
a I live with one parent and one stepparent.
a Sometimes I live with my mother and sometimes I live
with my father.
o I live with my grandparents.
a I live with a guardian, relative or other person.
a Other

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO COMPLETE
THIS SURVEY YOUR RESPONSES ARE VERY
IMPORTANT TO THE FLORIDA 4-H PROGRAM O















APPENDIX J
THANK YOU / REMINDER POST CARD
UNIVERSITY OF
SFLORIDA
EXTENSION
IFAS
Calhoun County
20816 Central Avenue East
Blountstown, FL 32424











Don't mean to bug you! This is just a reminder to send in your
youth development outcomes survey. If you have already sent
in your survey thanks so much, if not it should only take a few
minutes to fill out and drop in your postage paid envelope.
If you need another survey please call or e-mail me. (850) 674-
8323, or szthomas@ifas.ufl.edu.

Sincerely,
sa !l ThomRas
















APPENDIX K
FOLLOW-UP COVER LETTER

..: M il\'1R.l -n ( Agriculture Education & Communication
S FLOR I DA University of Florida
-fN .Gainesville, FL 32611-9988
S I \., *... I .
January 30, 2004

Dear 4-H member,

My name is Sarah Thomas I am a graduate student at the University of Florida
and former 4-H member. Ic urrentra work with the state 4-H program as a 4-H
/Agriculture agent.

Previously I sent you a packet requesting your participation in a research study being
conducted by myself, and the University of Florida 4-H program. In hopes that you lost
or ficrgot to fill out your first survey I am sending you a second one. I would like to
stress the importance of this survey to the Florida 4-H program and 4-H'ers like you.

I would again like to ask for your participation in a survey of 4-H members
throughout the state of Florida. 4-H'ers have been randomly selected from five counties
in the state. This survey is very important to the future of Florida 4-H and 4-H
throughout America. The results of this study will help the 4-H program better serve
youth and meet the needs of 4-H'ers. It is crucial to this study that we know the views of
you the 4-H member, and that we receive as many surveys back as possible. Therefore,
please return your survey As Soon As Possible.

Contained in this packet you will find; one consent form for you, one consent form
for your parent or legal guardian, one survey, and one brown pre-addressed postage paid
return mailing envelope. If you decide to participate in this research study you will need
to follow these steps.

1. Sign and separate the participant consent form, keep one copy for you and place
the other in the return envelope.
2. Provide your parent or legal guardian with their consent form. They will keep
one copy and place the other in the return envelope.
3. Complete the survey and place it in the return envelope.
4. Seal the envelope and drop it in the mail.

Again this study is very important to Florida 4-H, as is providing you a Florida 4-
H'er with a quality 4-H experience. I hope to hear from you soon!!

Sincerely,

ScwaYa ThoIIas

Sarah Thomas
University of Florida, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
4-H/Agriculture Extension Agent I















APPENDIX L
SURVEY QUESTION MATRIX


Table L-1. Survey Question Matrix


Outcome
Positive relationship:
Adults
Positive relationship:
Adults
Positive relationship:
Adults
adult relationships
adult relationship
contact with adults


adult (parent) relationship


Communication With
Parents


positive relationship with
caring adult

Peer
relationships
relationships


communication


communication


communication

communication


Question
adults in 4-H always listen to what I have to say

adults in 4-H expect too much from me

adults in 4-H make me feel good about myself

Do you get to work with adults to plan activities?
Do volunteers and youth trust each other?
If you had an important concern about the following
issues, would you talk to an adult in 4-H about: drugs,
alcohol, sex, any other serious issue
My parents are usually unhappy or disappointed with
what I do (likert)

Would you talk to your parents about drugs, alcohol,
sex, or some other serious issue? (Yes, probably, not
sure, probably not, no)

Do youth participate equally with adults in planning,
implementing and evaluating the club program?

My best friends are in 4-H
In 4-H I get to know everyone
In class (4-H) I often feel "put down" by my teachers


to listen carefully to what others say


to clearly state my thoughts, feelings and ideas to
others.

listen carefully to what others have to say

Clearly state my thoughts, feelings, and ideas to


Source
NIA

NIA

NIA

PAAT
PAAT
NY 4-H
Modified
for MSY
NELS 88
(follow
up)
Cornell,
members
only
survey
Illinois, 8
critical
elements
NIA
NIA
NELS 88
(follow-
up)
Iowa, Life
skills (4-
12)
Iowa, Life
skills (4-
12)
MSU, life
skills
MSU, life










social interaction skills


Safety
Emotional safety (feelings
about 4-H)
safety

safety
belonging, safety
impact of 4-H
Physically and
Emotionally Safe
Environment
Physically and
Emotionally Safe
Environment
Physically and
Emotionally Safe
Environment
Belonging, Inclusive
Environment
Belonging
Belonging

feel accepted

belong
Belonging

welcoming and inclusive
environment

welcoming and inclusive
environment

-positive and specific
feedback: belonging,
inclusive reward
diversity
accepting differences: To
recognize and welcome
factors that separate or
distinguish one person
from another
Contribute through


others
to listen when others are talking


In 4-H I can try new things without worrying about
making mistakes.
I feel safe when I do 4-H activities

I don't feel safe at this school (in 4-H)
In 4-H I often feel embarrassed or put-down
4-H provides a safe place for learning and growing
Do youth feel safe while at our club meetings and
events?

Are the opinions of each 4-H club member valued and
respected by all participants in the group?

Do all 4-H members feel comfortable sharing ideas at
4-H club meetings?



I feel like I belong in 4-H
Do youth and adults work together to plan and
implement group programs and activities
4-H clubs are supportive environments where I feel
accepted for who I am
In 4-H I can explore my own interests
Do youth and adults work together to plan and
implement group programs and activities?
Do youth feel a sense of belonging?


Are members actively involved in planning and
implementing the club program?

4-H rewards me for being successful


All kinds of kids are welcome in 4-H
treat people who are different from me with respect


skills
Iowa, Life
skills (k-
3)

NIA

NIA

NELS 88
NIA
MSU
Illinois, 8
critical
elements
Illinois, 8
critical
elements
Illinois, 8
critical
elements


NIA
PAAT (a)

MSU

MSU
PAAT (a)

Illinois, 8
critical
elements
Illinois, 8
critical
elements
NIA


NIA
MSU, life
skills




Full Text

PAGE 1

POSITIVE YOUTH-DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES AMONG FLORIDA 4-H MEMBERS By SARAH ZETTIE THOMAS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004

PAGE 2

Copyright 2004 by Sarah Zettie Thomas

PAGE 3

To Florida 4-H members

PAGE 4

iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My study would not have been possibl e without the support and guidance of several individuals. I would firs t like to express my thanks to my parents, John and Ella Thomas and my sister, Martha, for their contin ued love, and encouragement. I also thank my husband-to-be, Cody Hensley, for his many hours typing and mailing surveys and reminders, and more surveys, especially near the end, when things got really tough. I would especially like to thank him for his constant love and support. Special thanks go to my committee members (Drs. Nick Place (chair), Joy Jordan, and Glenn Israel). I would like to tha nk them for all their guidance and support throughout this learning process. Extra thanks go to Dr. Place for setting deadlines, for dedicating countless hours to reading my many rough drafts, and for numerous words of encouragement and support. I would also like to give special thanks to Dr. Joy Jordan for the time she sacrificed helping me better unde rstand the research process, and giving me a place of employment. I thank Dr. Glenn Israel for helping me understand evaluation and the statistical procedures necessary to complete a thesis. I would also like to thank the Florida 4-H program for helping me to attain many life skills, and for helping me to become a more productive member of society. I truly believe in the power of 4-H, and feel that many youth have benefited from this extraordinary program. Mos tly, I thank Jesus for what no person on earth can provide: the willpower to complete this thes is, and above all, a reason for living.

PAGE 5

v TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES...........................................................................................................viii LIST OF FIGURES.............................................................................................................x ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... xi CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Background...................................................................................................................1 Problem........................................................................................................................ .2 Programming in 4-H.....................................................................................................7 Research Problem.........................................................................................................8 Purpose........................................................................................................................ .9 Objectives..................................................................................................................... 9 Limitations..................................................................................................................10 Operational Definitions..............................................................................................11 2 LITERATURE REVIEW...........................................................................................13 Theoretical Support of Social Organizations..............................................................13 Youth-development Programs....................................................................................19 Positive Youth-deve lopment Ou tcomes.....................................................................20 Florida 4-H Program...................................................................................................25 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................28 Purpose.......................................................................................................................2 8 Research Design.........................................................................................................28 Unit of Analysis..........................................................................................................29 Instrumentation...........................................................................................................30 Data Collection...........................................................................................................31 Respondents versus Non-Respondents.......................................................................33 Demographics of Sample............................................................................................34 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................35

PAGE 6

vi Relationships.......................................................................................................39 Safe Environment................................................................................................40 Belonging............................................................................................................41 Service and Leadership........................................................................................41 Self Development................................................................................................42 Positive Identity...................................................................................................44 4 RESEARCH RESULTS.............................................................................................45 Demographics of Sample............................................................................................45 4-H Participation.........................................................................................................47 Non-4-H Time............................................................................................................49 Positive Youth Deve lopment Outcomes.....................................................................51 5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.........................................................................55 The Study....................................................................................................................55 Limitations..................................................................................................................55 Conclusions and Recommendations...........................................................................57 Demographics......................................................................................................57 Respondents versus Non-Respondents................................................................60 Participation in 4-H.............................................................................................61 Non 4-H Time......................................................................................................61 Positive Youth Development Outcomes.............................................................61 Implications for Florida 4-H.......................................................................................66 Recommendations for Further Research....................................................................68 Evaluation of Research...............................................................................................68 APPENDIX A 40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS.............................................................................70 B TARGETING LIFE SKILLS MODEL......................................................................71 C CODE SHEET............................................................................................................72 D IRB CONSENT FORM..............................................................................................74 E PRE-NOTICE.............................................................................................................75 F INITIAL SURVEY COVER LETTER......................................................................76 G PARENTAL CONSENT FORM................................................................................77 H PARTICIPANT CONSENT FORM...........................................................................78 I SURVEY INSTRUMENT..........................................................................................79

PAGE 7

vii J THANK YOU / REMINDER POST CARD..............................................................85 K FOLLOW-UP COVER LETTER...............................................................................86 L SURVEY QUESTION MATRIX...............................................................................87 REFERENCES..................................................................................................................95 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................101

PAGE 8

viii LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 County statistics of population (U.S.Census Bureau, 2000)....................................29 3-2 Statistics of county 4-H members (Blue Ribbon, 2002)..........................................30 3-3 Demographics of 4-H Survey Respondents and Non-Respondents.........................35 3-4 4-H participation variable s used in factor analysis..................................................36 3-5 Positive relationship variable s used in factor analysis.............................................40 3-6 Safe environment variables used in factor analysis..................................................41 3-7 Belonging variables used in factor analysis.............................................................41 3-8 Service and leadership variab les used in factor analysis..........................................42 3-9 Service and leadership variab les used in factor analysis..........................................42 3-10 Self-development variable s used in factor analysis.................................................43 3-11 Self-development variable s used in factor analysis.................................................43 3-12 Variables of positive identity in factor analysis.......................................................44 4-1 Age of survey respondents.......................................................................................46 4-2 Demographics on survey respondents......................................................................46 4-3 School attendance of survey respondents.................................................................46 4-4 Family living arrangements of survey respondents..................................................47 4-5 Degree of 4-H participation by county.....................................................................48 4-6 4-H degree of participation by county......................................................................48 4-7 Non-4-H time of survey respondents.......................................................................49 4-8 Non-4-H time by county..........................................................................................50

PAGE 9

ix 4-9 Mean and standard deviation of dependent variable constructs...............................52 4-10 Correlations of outcomes with degree of 4-H participation.....................................52 4-11 Youth development outcome regression results.......................................................53 C-1 Code Sheet................................................................................................................7 2

PAGE 10

x LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Bronfenbrenners Ecological System s Theory (Adapted from; Berk, 2000)...........16 3-1 Response Rates by County.......................................................................................34 4-1 The degree of participation of 4-H members surveyed............................................48 4-2 Degree of Non-4-H Time.........................................................................................50

PAGE 11

xi Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science POSITIVE YOUTH-DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES AMONG FLORIDA 4-H MEMBERS By Sarah Zettie Thomas December 2004 Chair: Nick Place Major Department: Agricultur al Education and Communication Youth development was defined by the Mi nnesota Extension Service as the process of growing up and developing ones capacities in positive ways. Youthdevelopment organizations primary task is to promote the soci alization of youth by providing challenges, experien ces, and support, so that youn g people develop to their fullest potential. The main purpose of 4-H when it first began was the development of boys and girls so that they may become responsible and capable citizens. Florida 4-H creates supportive environments for diverse youth to re ach their fullest potential. Florida 4-H provided programming to a total of 241,487 youth in the 2002-2003 program year (September 1 to August 31). The purpose of my study was to determine if Florida 4-H participants are attaining positive youth-development outcomes through th e 4-H club experience. Five counties were intentionally selected to represent the state: Duval, Escamb ia, Glades, Miami-Dade,

PAGE 12

xii and Sumter. The sample was youth between the ages of 13 and 18 years who were enrolled in a 4-H club or memb ers at large as listed in th e Blue Ribbon database in the five selected counties. Independent variables measured were de gree of 4-H particip ation, non-4-H time, and participant demographics. Dependent variables for measuring positive youthdevelopment outcomes consisted of the followi ng constructs that were determined by using factor analysis: relati onships, safe environment, be longing, service and leadership, self development, and positive identity. Surveys were sent to 621 youth, with 79 su rveys returned because of an incorrect address (making 542 participants eligible to be included in the population). There were 88 respondents, providing a response rate of 16.2% of the eligible population. When correlated to the degree of 4-H partic ipation, all constructs showed a positive correlation (with belonging, service and l eadership, self development, and positive identity showing a significant correlation). Regression models were also examined, which determined the independent variable s of degree of 4-H participation, non-4-H time, age, and gender (in relation to each of the constructs deri ved from factor analysis). In conclusion my study provided a good pictur e of the Florida 4-H program. The results also show that 4-H members who responded to th is survey tend to agree that Florida 4-H provides positive relationships, a sense of belonging, a safe environment, an opportunity for service and leadership, for self-developm ent, and creates a positive identity.

PAGE 13

1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background Youth-development was defined as the process of growing up and developing ones capacities in positive ways (Walke r & Dunham, 1994). Youth-development organizations primary task is to promot e the socialization of youth by providing challenges, experiences, and support; a nd helping young people to reach their full potential (Pittman, 1993). In the early 1990s a shift from a reactive to a proactive approach to youth-development occurred. The proactive youth-development approach is more focused on the basic needs and stages of a youths development; while a reactive approach focuses on fixing problems. The proactive approach concentrates on youths needs for positive, ongoing relationships with both adults and other youth, for active involvement in community life, and for a var iety of positive choices in how they spend their non-school time (Pittman, 2004, p. 3). The pur pose of this proactive approach is to build on the strengths of the current program and to reduce its weaknesses (Center for 4-H Youth-development, 2000). One approach to proactive youth-developm ent was based on the Search Institutes developmental assets model. Developmental assets are defined as the positive relationships, opportunities, competencies, valu es, and self-perceptions that youth need to succeed (Scales & Leffert, 1999, p. 1). Forty developmental assets are grouped into eight categories, representing the many infl uences on the lives of young people. These developmental assets also are divided into the categories of external and internal assets.

PAGE 14

2 External assets (relationships and opportuni ties that adults provide) includes: support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, and c onstructive use of time. Internal assets (competencies and values that young people deve lop internally) includes: commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity. Internal assets are used to help youth become se lf-regulating adults (Scales & Leffert, 1999, p. 5). These 40 developmental assets (Appendix A) are the building blocks all youth need to become healthy, caring, principled, and productive. The Search Institute described the critical influences that developmental assets have on youth-development. They showed that thos e youth with the most assets are less likely to participate in various high-risk behavior s (Search Institute, 1996) Disturbing findings showed that the average adolescent surveyed had fewer than half of the 40 assets (Scales & Leffert, 1999, p. 7). Youth provided with developmentally a ppropriate practices in programming are more likely to have positive attitudes and behaviors (Targeting Life Skills, 2002B). Research findings show that developmen tally appropriate programs produce long-term gains in childrens intellectual development, social and emotional skills, and life-coping capabilities (Kostenlnik, Soderman & Whiren, 1999, p. 26). Overall, youth who participate in a youth-development program that uses holisti c, age-appropriate approaches are more likely to develop appr opriately (Eccles & Ba rber, 1999). These same youth are also more likely to become mo re productive members of society (Pittman, Yohalem & Wilson-Ahstrom, 2002). Problem Many negative circumstances put todays youth at a disadvantage in becoming a productive adult. Many Americans have a negative view of young people; and often

PAGE 15

3 have imbalanced and inaccurate views of what youth need, to be successful. Youth being at-risk is seen as a dilemma by American so ciety; and as a problem that needs to be corrected (Astroth, 1993). Am ericas children are at risk for a variety of problematic outcomes, including high rates of substan ce use, delinquency, viol ence, school failure, risky sexual involvement at a young age, a nd teenage pregnancy (Peterson, 1995). An estimated % of our nations youth engage in high-risk behaviors, such as substance abuse, delinquency, violence, and risky sexual involvement (Boyd, Herring & Briers, 1992). It may be assumed by the average indivi dual that only poor children are at risk; however, this may not be true. Adults are neglecting children acro ss all economic levels (Hechinger, 1992). Oftentimes, neglecting child ren can be more harmful to a child than physical abuse, or undernourishment (Arnett, 1999). Even children whose parents are well-off financially can be emotionally neglec ted. Those adolescents often get lost in their own families, attend schools where thei r needs are ignored, and are lost in the crowd. This same child then returns to an empty home when the pa rents are at work; and unfortunately, no one was paying atten tion to what that child was doing. A second assumption may be that only yout h living in urban ar eas are at risk. Again this may be an untrue assumption (Guthrie, Scott, Guthrie & Aronson, 1993 as derived from Smith, Hill, Matranga & G ood, 1995). Many youth who grow up in rural areas are more economically poor than those in urban communities. As a result, youth in rural areas often experience the same problems as youth in urban areas. However, these rural communities do not have the programs or the resources needed to help at-risk youth (Smith, Hill, Matranga & Good, 1995).

PAGE 16

4 Deteriorating social conditi ons led Dryfoos (1990) to conclude that % of children in the United States are at a high risk for becoming adults who will never be effective parents, be productive employees, or participate effectivel y as citizen voters (Peterson, 1995). Many social factors ( dual-earner families, single-parent homes, poverty, unsafe neighborhoods, peer pressure, and media influence) present barriers that adolescents must overcome (ChildStats, 2002) These barriers are an increasingly complex, technical, and multicultural world; and an extended length of adolescence where pathways to adulthood are less clea r and more numerous (Eccles & Gootman, 2002, p. 2). Conditions under which children are at serious risk for behavior problems include less parental monitori ng, self-care (having no parental or adult care provider in the home) (McKenry & Price, 2000), residing in a high crime neighborhood, or living in a low-income household (Pittman, Yohale m, & Wilson-Ahlstrom, 2002, p. 3). The Department of Education and Justice in 2000 estimated that 69% of married couple families with children between the ages of 6 and 17 have both parents working outside the home, and in 71% of single mother and 85% of single father families, the parent works outside of the home (Marczak & Morequ summer 2002). For youth to develop as productive citizens they must overcome these ba rriers that lead to problematic outcomes and be provided with the appropriate devel opmental outcomes that are necessary for success (Haugaard, 2001). Recent incidents of youth violence (Ame rican Psychological Association, n.d) (such as the Columbine massacre in 1999) have increased community interest and commitment to organizing and implementing a positive youth-development approach for young people (Center for 4-H youth-developm ent, 2000). The conclusions of many

PAGE 17

5 researchers state that youth need access to hi gh-quality community-bas ed programs. This need for quality community-based programming is promoted by the following organizations leading youth-development re search: National Research Council (NRC)/ Institute of Medicine (IOM), Forum for Y outh Investment, The Center for 4-H Youth Development and the Search Institute (Chapt er 2). More programming that does not meet quality standards will most likely not make a big difference. To provide a high quality program, yout h-development agencies must provide research-based programming and include elemen ts that promote positive development. To promote positive development youth organi zations should use several practices. These criteria (Vandell, as derived from Pittman, Yohalem & Wilson-Ahlstrom, 2002) are to give youth the following opportunities: Constructive use of time Learn skills and values Voluntarily participate Contribute to the community and world Challenging experiences Develop personal responsibility and purpose Fun experiences. A second criteria for successful youth-de velopment programs is that the programs must be proactive not reactive. This means that programme rs must address the problem before it occurs and try to prevent a problem from occurring. In reaction to crime in 1999, the Federal, State, and local governme nt spent over $146 billion in the United States for civil and criminal justice, whic h was an eight percen t increase from 1998 (US Department of Justice, 1999). Reacting to criminal activity can be expensive, and proactive measures are not as costly (American Psyc hological Association, 2002). Proactive programming can be used in the 4H organization, specifica lly by starting at the

PAGE 18

6 county level and addressing the specific needs of youth in the community. This type of programming also starts early and continues throughout devel opment. In each county 4H program, extension 4-H agents utilize adviso ry committees that co nsist of members of the community and youth. This committee dete rmines specific needs for that county upon which the 4-H agent builds his or her prog rams to address. Proactive programming is planned in response to a foreseen need a nd occurs before a problem occurs. Reactive programming, on the other hand, often happens after a problem has been declared, such as the problem of crime among youth. As a re sult, the government has to then try and correct these problems, in comparison to the problem not occurring. The community has a responsibility to take care of its youth and to promote positive development in order to ensure a pr oductive future society (Benson, Galbraith & Espeland, 1995). Adolescents are at a st age in their life wh ere they are not developmentally prepared to make, nor should they have to be responsible for all of the decisions in their lives (Hechinger, 1992). A dolescents are not immune to circumstances beyond their control such as low parental involvement, poverty, and other environmental factors. Adolescents receive many diverse me ssages from society, the media, their peers and other potentially misleading sources; c onsequently, communities need to stand up and take responsibility for our future leaders. The process of developing youth into productive citizens must include making youth a part of the solution. Developing a partnership between youth and adults helps youth have a voice in the programming efforts. This view was also expressed in the research on youth and adult part nerships. Young people and adults must work together in order for successful development of youth, their peers, families, and communities

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7 (Pittman, May 2004). The adolescents of toda y are the future of tomorrow, and it is critical to provide them with an opport unity for success. Co nsequently, quality programming for young people is a must in todays society. Programming in 4-H The main purpose of 4-H when it first began was the development of boys and girls so that they may become responsible and capable citizens (Kelsey & Hearne, 1963 as derived from Russell, 2001). All 67 coun ties in Florida offer 4-H programming, as does every state in America. Florida 4-H provides programs through many diverse methods. Programs are offered through commu nity clubs, school enrichment, and after school programs. Florida 4-H creates supporti ve environments for diverse youth in order for them to reach their fullest potential (Norman, 2002, not retrievable). The Cooperative Extension Serv ice and 4-H is an equal opp ortunity organization. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 establishe d the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Unite d States Department of Ag riculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in its programs based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, and marital or familial status (Seevers, Graham, Gamon & Conklin, 1997). This helps to ensure that 4H is accessible to all youth. As a result, 4-H is positioned in a way that it can be an id eal organization for making a difference in the lives of children. Florida 4-H provided programming to a total of 241,487 yout h in the 2002-2003 program year which runs from September 1st to August 31st (UF/IFAS 4-H, 2003). Florida 4-H serves children of all racial and ethnic backgrounds (Table 3-2). These youth also are from all different economic background s as well and have diverse interests that the 4-H program strives to address (UF/IF AS 4-H, 2002). The Florida youth population,

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8 or the potential audience (Table 3-1) provi des a comparison between who 4-H serves and who 4-H has the potential to serve. Curri culum and programming efforts in 4-H are available in the following areas: citizensh ip and civic education, communications and expressive arts, consumer and family sc iences, environmental education and earth science, healthy lifestyle e ducation, personal development and leadership, plants and animals, and science and tec hnology (UF/IFAS 4-H, 2003). Research Problem The 4-H youth-development program strives to meet the developmental needs of youth and foster positive youth-development a nd life skills. Based upon research done in both Pennsylvania and Texas, the 4-H program prepares youth for adulthood by promoting life skills (Heinsohn & Cantre ll, 1986; and Boyd, Herring & Briers, 1992). Other researchers have shown that 4-H pr ovides youth with necessary life skills (Fox, Schroeder & Lodi, 2003). As reported by Ladewig and Thomas (1987), skills and attitudes such as goal setting, decision making, and communication are formed during youth and are carried over into adulthood. Florida 4-H needs to be able to show that not only are life skills being attained as a result of the 4-H experience but that positiv e youth-development outcomes also are being attained. Because of signif icant cuts in the IFAS budget in recent years (Martin, 2003, non retrievable) county, stat e, and national governments n eed to see that 4-H youthdevelopment programming can be successful an d taxpayer money is being well spent so that they will continue to fund our programs. Extension 4-H agents currently report the success in their individual county programs; however they often have a hard time comparing 4-H outcomes with those of ot her youth-development programs, which are measuring different outcomes.

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9 A gap in youth-development research exis ts because of a l ack of research pertaining specifically to the attainment of positive youth-development outcomes as derived from the Florida 4-H program. The 4-H program strives to meet many of the components that are necessary in a youth-de velopment program. Examples of several practices currently implemented in the 4-H program are: developmentally appropriate practices; a holistic teaching approach through the head, heart, health, and hands; and promotion of family and community linkages. As previously stated, research has shown that 4-H programming promotes the attainment of life skills. However, research showing that the 4-H program promotes positive yout h-development outcomes as compared to other youth organizations is lacking. Res earch on youth-development has not closely examined the impact of 4-H on society and yout h. Therefore, the problem my research addresses was the lack of research on th e 4-H program within the criteria stated by leading youth-development organizations These leading youth-development organizations include: Forum for Youth Investment, National Youth-development Information Center (NYDIC), The Search Institute, and the A nnie Casey Foundation. Purpose The purpose of my study was to determine if Florida 4-H participants are attaining positive youth-development outcomes through the 4-H club experience based on their degree of 4-H participation. Objectives The objectives of this research are: 1. To determine the demographic makeup of 4-H participants surveyed. 2. To determine the degree of 4-H part icipation among survey respondents. 3. To determine the degree of Non-4-H time among 4-H participants surveyed.

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10 4. To determine if the 4-H experience m eets the developmental outcomes that promote positive development, which are: a. Positive and Supportive Relationshi ps between Adults and Peers b. Emotional and Physical Safety c. Belonging and Inclusive Environment d. Contribute through Service and Leadership e. Youth are Actively Engaged in Self-Development f. Youth Develop a Positive Identity (s elf-efficacy, self-esteem, autonomy, and empowerment). Limitations The limitations of my study are found with in the methodology. A potential bias exists among those youth who were selected to participate in the survey. Although a census of the youth within each county was surveyed, as attained from the Blue Ribbon enrollment database, the counties that were sel ected may not be entirely representative of the State of Florida. To addr ess this potential limitation the counties were selected to fit a framework similar to the 4-H population in the state of Florida based on geographic region, rural/urban, povert y, race, and age. A second limitation was non-response. This non-response may be due to lack of parental consent, a lack of interest, faulty mailing lists, and other unforeseen factors. Because demographic data will be ava ilable on these youth through the Blue Ribbon enrollment database, it can be determined if there was a difference between 4-Hers who returned surveys and those who did not. A third limitation to my study regards the use of time data for both 4-H time and non-4-H time spent. It may be difficult for youth to recall their use of time over the past

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11 year. This limitation can be present in ant self-reported data and can only be noted as a potential measurement error. The fourth limitation of my study was th at the Blue Ribbon database may not be entirely accurate because of poor record keep ing. Youth enroll in 4-H in September of each new 4-H year. However, they are often not entered into the data base until mid November. Those youth provided to the res earcher may have been 4-Hers who were enrolled last year and not yet removed fr om enrollment records and other youth may not have been entered into records. This error can only be acknowledged. The fifth limitation was that my study wa s not based upon an experimental design, i.e. there was no control or comparison gr oup. Therefore, the fi ndings of my study can only be inferred to Florida 4-H participants in the counties surveyed and generalizations are limited. Operational Definitions At risk: A broad concept that describes youth w ho are more likely to participate in negative behaviors. This concept avoids blaming the child and instead points toward the environmental hazards that put a child in danger of becoming at-risk (Brendtro, Brokenleg, & Van Bockern, 1992). Autonomy: For youth to learn to be independent and self-sufficient, while thinking for themselves, and to take responsibility for their ow n behavior (Arnett, 2001, p. 194). Blue ribbon database : The national reporting data base where 4-H enrollment, participant demographics, and project achievement is documented. Developmental assets: The positive relationships, opportunities, competencies, values, and self-perceptions that youth need to succeed (Scales, & Leffert, 1999). Life skills : The necessary skills for success in adulthood, for example, skills that involve working with others, understandi ng self, communicating, making decisions, and leadership (Boyd, He rring, & Briers, 1992). Outcomes : Benefits or changes for indivi duals or populations during or after participating in program activities, th ey are influenced by a programs outputs

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12 (United Way of America, 1996). For th is research youth-development outcomes include: adult and peer relationships, emo tional and physical safety, belonging and inclusive environment, contribution through service and leadership, active engagement in own self-development, and youth develop within a positive identity (self-esteem, autonomy, and empowerment). Risk behavior: These behaviors generally include risky sexual behavior, risky driving behavior, substance use, a nd criminal acts (Arnett, 2001, p397). Self-concept: A collection of beliefs about ones own nature, unique qualities, and typical behavior (Weiten, 1998). Self-efficacy : Ones belief about ones ability to perform behaviors that should lead to expected outcomes (Weiten, 1998). Self esteem: A persons overall sense of wo rth and well-being (Arnett, 2001, p. 163). Social capital : The development of relationships networks, and organizations that provide for community well-being, primar ily composed of so cial institutions (Wilkinson, 1991) Social institution : Consists of persist ent, on-going activities that provide structure and function for communities which can be both informal and formal (Jacob, fall 2001, as derived from Wilkinson, 1991). Non-4-H time : The activities and ways in whic h an individual spends his or her time, this variable was made up of school activities, non-4-H activities, and work time. This was a score developed by the researcher for the purpose of my study. Youth-development : The process of growing up and developing ones capacities in positive ways (Walker &Dunham 1994).

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13 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Theoretical Support of Social Organizations The process of youth-development is c ontingent upon biological influences, and environmental influences. This argument, know n as nature versus nurture, has long been discussed. Although communities cannot impact the biology of a child they can influence the environment. The environment affects the development of an individual in many ways. Theories supporting this statem ent includes theories of youth-development (Identity: Erickson, Social Learning: Ba ndura, Sociocultural: Vygotsky, Ecological Systems: Broffenbrenner), theories of comm unity derived from soci ological research (Status Attainment: Coleman), as well as more recent research on positive youthdevelopment (Reclaiming Youth: Brendtro, De velopmental Assets: Search Institute, and Targeting Life Skills: Iowa). The development of a positive identity is one essential component of a successful transition to adulthood. Identity includes i ssues of who you are, where your life is going, what you believe in, and how your life fits into the world around you. (Arnett, 2001, p. 170). Erik Ericksons theory of human develo pment stresses that during adolescence the central issue facing youth is that of identity versus identity confusion. An identity is attained through esta blishing a healthy path and creating a clear and definite sense of who you are and how you fit into the world around yo u. This theory of human development states that distinct periods in the life of a child are characterized by distinctive developmental issues also known as a crisis (A rnett, 2001). A crisis describes the intense

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14 period of struggle that adolescents may e xperience during the process of forming an identity (Arnett, 2001). Erickson claimed that identity formation was established in the relationships formed with others that the adolescent has accumu lated during childhood. Erickson was one of the first theorists to rec ognize the impact that social interaction has on human development, and he notes that ego strengths develop from trusting relationships (Coughlan & Welsh-Breetzke, 200 2). This makes a case for establishing connections, which are maintained throughout childhood and into adolescence. Secondly an identity is established through experime nting with various possible life options. Providing youth with a safe place to experi ment with and an oppor tunity to practice making decisions enables youth to establish a s ecure identity versus being confused about the choices that are available and being unabl e to decide. Ericks on (1950) suggests that society plays a role in the development of a child. Having a secure identity provided a basis upon which decisions in early adulthood can be made (p. 173). This, along with other theories presented, shows the importan ce of the interactions that are provided through the 4-H program. Society can affect a young persons lif e in many ways, both positively and negatively. According to the Ecological Systems Theory, a childs environment is composed of four layers: the microsyste m, the mesosystem, the exosystem and the macrosystem (Berk, 2000, p27) (Figure.2-1). Bronfenbrenner (1979) views the child as developing within a complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the surrounding environment. The microsystem is the central most laye r containing relations between the developing child a nd their immediate environmen t and this is the primary environment in which a child interacts. For example, this may include parents, siblings,

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15 or other immediate family with which th e child interacts on a daily basis. The mesosystem was defined as the interrelations hips between two or more settings in which the developing person should be an active pa rticipant (Campbell, & Muncer, 1998). The mesosystem was comprised of the school, neighborhood, child-care centers, and any organization that fosters child development. Organizations, such as 4-H, are considered part of the mesosytem, as are day care cen ters, friends, schools, and neighborhoods. The exosystem was composed of the social settings that do not contain the child but do affect their experiences in immediate settings. For example, the parents workplace, the county government, extended family members, parents friends, and other social institutions that exist in the community which affect the fam ily. The macrosystem was composed of the social norms, values, customs, culture, and la ws that exist in a state and country, which indirectly affect the life of the child and in fluence experiences and interactions at inner levels of the environment. The interactions between these different levels are discussed in Vygostskys sociocultural theory. In creased interaction leads to increased development. The interactions between these different layers of th e ecosystem were what Vygotsky stressed as promoting positive development. The 4-H organization also can be a channel through which interactions between these levels occurs. A social institution consists of persistent on-going activities th at provide structure and function for communities, and these activities meet important human needs. Social institutions can be formal or informal (Wilkinson, 1991). Fo rmal organizations are those such as the public school system where the e nvironment is structured. Informal learning, such as that in 4-H, is where there is pla nned learning objectives. These different levels of the Ecological Systems Theory discussed above contain social in stitutions. A report

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16 on at-risk adolescents proposes that soci al institutions are overstressed and deteriorating (Adams, 1999, p. 1). However, Extension, specifically 4-H, can be an ideal social institution for addressing th e needs of youth (Seevers, et al, 1997). Figure 2-1. Bronfenbrenners Ecological Systems Theory (Adapted from; Berk, 2000) The Sociocultural Theory focuses on how culture is transferred from one generation to the next. Vygots ky states that this transfer of culture was made through the interactions of children with expert members of society. Culture is the values, beliefs, customs, and skills of a social group (Berk, 2000). This theory ties in with the Ecological Systems Theory in that these interactions between adults and peers are made through the different levels discussed above. In the 4-H organization, adult mentors such as 4-H agents, leaders, and volunteers al l interact directly with a nd influence the lives of youth with which they work. Youth involved in 4H also interact with community leaders, MACROSYSTEM EXOSYSTEM MESOSYSTEM MICROSYSTEM CHILD

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17 politicians, and leaders in different industrie s that relate to the members projects. Vygotsky also mentions the importance of p eer influence helping children to learn culture. In the 4-H organization, teens are of ten asked to volunteer as leaders by being camp counselors, club and council officers, a nd to mentor their younger 4-H peers. The Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1986) was a social-cognitive approach that states that childrens behaviors are of ten developed by modeling, imitation, or observational learning (Berk, 2000, p 20). This theory states that as children become more mature they cognitively perceive how anothers behavior is reinforced either positively or negatively. Children cognitively process these situations and in turn their own behavior is influenced. The theory also suggests that u pon reflection of the observation, adolescents will imitate or modi fy his or her own behavior (Birkenholz, 1999). In the 4-H organization, participan ts have many opportunities to experience negative or positive reinforcement of behavior. More importantly, participants also experience positive modeling by their peers and by adults. Research presented by Brendtro, Broke nleg, & Van Bockern (1992) focuses on reclaiming youth at risk. The reclaiming environment was one that creates changes that meet the needs of both the young person and the society (p. 3). The purpose of reclaiming is to recover and redeem, to re store value to something that has been devalued. Many youth who are at risk need the following components (Brendtro, Brokenleg, and Van Bockern, 1992, p. 4) o ffered in a reclaiming environment: 1. Experiencing belonging in a supportive co mmunity, rather than being lost in a depersonalized bureaucracy. 2. Meeting ones needs for mastery, rather th an enduring inflexible systems designed for the convenience of adults.

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18 3. Involving youth in determining their own fu ture, while recognizing societys need to control harmful behavior; and. 4. Expecting youth to be caregivers, not ju st helpless recipients overly dependent on the care of adults. This research also states four ecological hazards in the lives of children who are at risk. These are factors or transitions that are present in the environment. These transitions can also be compared to the cris is that Erickson discussed as part of the process of forming an identity (Arnett, 2001). According to the ecological hazards idea, destructive relationships occur when a childs most basic needs go unmet. Children learn to mistrust adults and become resistant to relationships to avoid further rejection. Second, climates of futility are the negative envi ronments and expectations that lead to feelings of failure and usel essness in young people. Third, learned irresponsibility is when adults train children to escape author ity and only follow the direction of others. These practices do not teach youth how to be responsible but only how to try and please others. Fourth, a loss of purpose, youth n eed to feel a sense of value and need opportunities to be of value to others. These are environmental factor s that are present to some degree in all youth and need to be recognized (Brendtro Brokenleg, and Van Bockern, 1992). The status attainment theory (Wilkinson, 1991) places the community as a factor in social capital gain, and specifica lly mentions social capital as an input in the development of an individuals overall human capital valu e. Coleman (1988) presented the idea that social resources such as school values, netw orks and trust constitute influential social capital gain (derived from Dyer & Preston, 2003 ). Social capital is the development of relationships, networks, and organizations that provide for community well-being, primarily composed of social institutions, human resources base, and social networks

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19 (Jacob, fall 2001 as derived from Wilkinson, 1991). This idea relates to the attainment of external assets that youth need to gain in order to succeed. Youth-development Programs The theories and research shown in the above section documents the influence of societal interactions on youth-development. This section descri bes the importance of youth-development programming and explai ns youth-developm ent programming. Youth-development has become popular ove r the last decade. There are several ways of looking at and defining youth-developm ent. For the purpose of this research, positive youth-development will be defined as the process in which all young people are engaged to meet their needs, build skills and find ways for opportunities to make a difference in all areas of th eir lives personal/ cultural, social/ emotional, moral/ spiritual, vocational, cognitive and civic (Forum for youth investment, 2003). Research regarding youth-development refers to the pr ocesses, tasks and exp ectations that youth face during adolescence and the institutions and practices that are designed to support youth. Youth may be referred to as young people, adolescents or teenagers. These youth face many struggles during adolescence that they must overcome in order to successfully reach adulthood. Adolescence is the time when young people need to develop the attitudes, competencies, values, and social sk ills that will prepare them for a successful adulthood (Eccles & Gootman, 2002). Develo pment is an ongoing, complex, and uneven process that all youth must move throughout on their life journe y. Although programs that try to prevent problems from occurring are positive, many have come to believe that being problem-free is not fully prepared (for adulthood) (Eccles & Gootman, 2002, p. 3). Therefore, the idea that more youthdevelopment programming may be helpful was

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20 not as supported as the idea that those progr ams offered should be of high quality and supported within society. However, several programs with the potential to be of high quality do exist because of cu rrent programming practices. The 4-H program is a social instituti on that provides opportunities for youthdevelopment programming. The 4-H program c onsists of many different delivery modes such as: after-school programs club activities and community programs. For the purpose of this my study, literature in all areas of programming will be discussed. All 4-H programs offered may not be of equal quality; however, because of the teaching methods utilized and the ideas behind 4-H programming positive outcome attainment is possible. Research has documented a correlation be tween participation in youth-development organizations and an adolescents adult e ducation, occupation, and even income. Participation also predicts a decline in e ngaging in delinquent activ ities and shows that those adolescents who participate in 4-H have high positive outcomes including: high academic achievement and low rates of invol vement in risky behaviors (Eccles & Barber, 1999, p. 3). Eccles and Barber clearly state that a link betw een an individuals self-identity, the activities that the individua l participates in, thei r social networks, and their friends do exist. Pitman, Yohalem, a nd Ahlstrom (as derived from Forum for Youth Investment, 2001, p. 1) state that participa ting in out-of-school time programs are associated with positive cognitive, physical, social and civic development. They also state that these types of programs can pre vent or reduce risky behavior (Forum for Youth Investment, 2001, p. 1). Positive Youth-development Outcomes There are several key criteria that a y outh-development program must incorporate in order to be successful and to foster positiv e outcomes among participants. This section

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21 will describe the necessary criteria and the outcomes that when provided by a youth organization can lead a child through a dolescence and into productive adulthood. Programs must be initiated at early ages before the onset of risky behaviors, and they must be sustained across a childs life span at multiple levels in order to enhance the future health of children a nd adolescents (Ethier & Lawr ence, 2002). This provides a continuous and ongoing stable relationship, which is a crucial step that some organizations overlook. A con tinuous relationship leads to the ability of building a relationship between the youth and adults as well as other peers. Successful youthdevelopment programs include: quality curriculu m, staff development, peer resources, parent and parent-surrogate educational programs, school-community linkages, and interventions at the parent school and community levels (Ethier & Lawrence, 2002). Along with these preliminary criteria other important crite ria are equally important. It is also important for youth-developm ent programs to offer opportunities that foster positive development. Essential cr iteria that a youth-development program should have are: physical and psychological sa fety, appropriate structure, supportive relationships, opportunities to belong, positiv e social norms, support for efficacy and mattering (or feeling that the are important and are a part of the group), opportunities for skill building, and integration of family, school and community efforts (Eccles & Gootman, 2001). It is also important to e ngage young people in their own development, so that they feel a sense of inclusivene ss and belonging (Pittman, 2003). These outcomes are provided in further detail below. Appropriate structure ensures that youth are both physica lly and emotionally safe. This includes making sure that the adults and peers that youth interact with are neither

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22 bullies nor condescending and do not unduly criti cize. Having a safe place to meet is also important so that youth feel they have an opportunity to learn. Supportive relationships include both peer and adult relationships. As mentioned above, these relationships need to be continuous and sust ained over a long period of time to become meaningful. Youth need to interact with a nd be supported by adults where they can have an opportunity to observe and model in orde r to learn from them (Vygotsky as derived from Berk, 2000). Youth also need opportunitie s to form relationshiops with peers. Friends often take the place of parents dur ing adolescence in regards to communication (Damon, 1977). However, this again needs to be in a safe environment where youth do not feel criticized and cannot be harmed in anyway. An opportunity to feel a sense of bel onging and inclusiveness is when youth are encouraged and excited about being a part of an organization. When youth are valued and feel needed then they f eel like they belong and are mo re likely to stay involved (MES, 1996). Youth also feel like they be long when they are rewarded for their accomplishments, specifically when recognized by leaders of the program and adults and peers who matter (National 4-H Impact Assessm ent, n.d). Positive social norms provide a comfortable environment and youth develop a positive outlook on life. An example of a positive practice is for staff working w ith youth to have high expectations and encourage and model positive behaviors. The program must provide support for efficacy and mattering. For example, the program must be challenging based upon input and interest of youth, and their progress is individually assess ed. Programs and staff must provide opportunities for skill building including beneficial skills over an extended period of time (Eccles & Gootman, 2002). Fa mily, school, and community efforts with

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23 adequate communication between the three are important to form and maintain a working relationship. The Search Institute has also done considerable research on youth-development programs, and it has developed 40 developmental assets that children must have in order to succeed. The fundamental premise was that the more of these assets that youth are provided with, the less likely they are to be i nvolved in risky behavi or (Search Institute, 1996). These 40 developmental assets are group ed into eight categories and represent the many influences on the lives of young people. External assets are the relationships and opportunities that adults provi de and are divided into the categories of: support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, and c onstructive use of time. Internal assets are competencies and values that young people develop internally a nd that are used to help them become self-regulating adults, th ese are divided into the categories of: commitment to learning, positive values, soci al competencies, and positive identity (Scales & Leffert, 1999, p. 5). These categ ories represent the breakdown of the 40 developmental assets that are the building blocks all youth need to become healthy, caring, principled, and productive (Appe ndix A) (Search Institute, 2004). Five major categories for enhancing pos itive youth-development were identified by 4-H members as part of the National Youth Conversation. The National Youth Conversation was started at the local county level, leading to a state level and ultimately a national level conversation. These conversati ons provided youth an opportunity to voice their views on how to develop a positive future for youth in our communities (National 4-H Council, 2000). These strategies that were identified are to: 1. Enhance the power of youth 2. Enhance access, equity and opportunity

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24 3. Create extraordinary places to live and learn 4. Bring exceptional people and innovativ e practices to youth-development 5. Create effective organizations for positive youth-development Young people specifically ask for programs that offer time to spend with caring adults, opportunities to enhan ce peer relationships, having time that is not overly structured, as well as, organized activ ities and age-based programs (Saito & Roehkepartain, 1995). There are also barriers of resistance that are identified by Saito and Roehkepartain (1995). These are barriers of not having an interesting and diverse program, youth not having knowledge about the program, which includes inadequate advertisement and poor availability regardi ng location and time. Lower income families specifically noted lack of transportation a nd high cost, while higher income families mentioned a lack of interest and tim e (Saito & Roehlkepartain, 1995). The last outcome that my study has attempte d to measure was that of two important life skills, which are communi cation and decision-making. Florida 4-H life skills are based on the Targeting Life Skills model (2002A ). Life skills are abilities individuals can learn that will help them to be successf ul in living a productive and satisfying life. In the Targeting Life Skills (TLS) Model, categories of life skills are identified and divided into categories repres enting the four H's from the 4-H Clover that represent Head, Heart, Hands, and Health (Appendix B) (T argeting Life Skills, 2002B). The goal of youth programming is for youth-development or ganizations to provide developmentally appropriate opportunities for youth to experience life skills, to practi ce these life skills until they are learned, and be able to us e them as necessary throughout a lifetime. Through the experiential learning process, youth internalize the know ledge and gain the ability to apply the skills appropriately to thei r own lives (Barkman, 2003).

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25 The following youth-development outcome s are criteria found in quality youthdevelopment programs. These outcomes are de rived from the research presented in the field of youth-development. The outco mes studied in this research were: Supportive Relationships between Adults and Peers Emotional and Physical Safety Belonging and Inclusive Environment Contribute through Service and Leadership Youth are Actively Engaged in Own Self Development Youth develop a Positive Identity (sel f-esteem, autonomy, and empowerment). Florida 4-H Program The 4-H youth-development program is a non-profit youth-development organization, and it is a branch of the Cooperative Extension System. Cooperative Extension exists in every land-grant instit ution in every state in the nation. The beginning history of extension can be traced back to the Morrill Ac t of 1862 (Morril Act, 1862). The Morrill Act of 1862 provided a donati on of federal land to each state and territory to establish one co llege in each state. The primary subject taught being agriculture, the mechanic arts and military tactics. Although, during the initial stages of establishing these colleges, the idea of ha ving a college for common people to teach vocational subject matter proved to be a struggle (Seevers, et al, 1997). During the beginning history of extension, Boys and Girls clubs were created, now known as 4-H clubs, to teach the latest practices in agriculture to youth. The original purpose behind teaching new practices to youth was that they would, in turn, pass along their newfound knowledge to their pare nts. Finally, the Smith-Lever Act was passed in 1914, and this provided federal f unding for the Cooperative Extension Service in order to disseminate research-based inform ation to the public. Today, both extension and 4-H provides education in more than just agricultural practices (Seevers et al, 1997).

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26 The 4-H program strives to help youth help themselves in becoming productive citizens or self-directing, contributing member s of society (National 4-H council, 2000). The national 4-H mission aims to provide a supportive envir onment for culturally diverse youth and adults to reach their fulle st potential (Seevers, et al, 1997, p. 79). Extension also focuses on youth at risk thr ough initiatives that focus on prevention and intervention rather than treatment after th e problem has occurred. Educational 4-H programs are designed to specifically meet the developmental stages that youth go through before becoming adults (Seevers, et al 1997). As mentioned previously, th ere are 40 developmental a ssets that youth must have to succeed (Search Institute, 2000). Based on these stated developmental assets, 4-H programming currently provides the following assets: committed to learning, carefully planned curriculum, occurs anywhere in a community, based on interests and needs of youth, trained professionals a nd volunteers who are screened to ensure safety, and recognition of accomplishments. Youth 4-H programs also encourage family, and school linkages with the 4-H program (Russell, 2001). The 4-H program is designed to meet eigh t critical elements necessary for positive youth-development. They are: positive re lationships with caring adults, opportunities for self-determination, an accepting and inclusive environment, opportunities to contribute through community se rvice, a safe environment, opportunities to develop and master skills, engagement in learning, and opportunities to be an active participant in life (Astroth, 2001). Outcomes that result from youth-devel opment programs are both short-term and long-term. Short-term changes that occur ar e behavior changes, work and study habits,

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27 and grade achievement (Forum for youth i nvestment, 2003). Long-term outcomes such as development of life-skills and more positive development are often more difficult to measure. Based on a study by Kirk Astroth ( 2001) in Montana, findings noted that the youth who participated in 4-H for more than a year are significantly better off than youth who did not participate in the program, because they were more likely to give money or time to a charity, help the poor or sick, get more As in school, become more involved as leaders in school and community, and talk to parents about serious issues (Bozeman, 2001). Outcomes in general, more specifically long-term outcomes can be difficult to measure. Without proper follow-up, it is ofte n hard to determine if a life changing behavior has occurred. Therefore, long -term and continuous evaluations must be conducted in 4-H programs across the state.

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28 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Purpose My study was applied research that was us ed to further develop 4-H programming. This was a quantitative study which assessed the views of youth par ticipating in Florida 4-H. The purpose of my study was to determin e if Florida 4-H partic ipants are attaining positive youth development outcomes through the 4-H experience. Research findings were correlated with demographic and self -reported degree of 4-H participation and degree of non-4-H time data. Non-4-H time refe rs to other activities that the individual participates in other than 4H including work, homework, and school activities. By using the non-4-H time score it was determined if out come attainment was also influenced by other non-4-H interactions and experiences. Research Design The design of this research was an e xploratory study that examined if positive youth development outcomes are derived as a result of Florida 4-H participation. My study was a quantitative evaluati on of 4-H participants in the state of Florida that represented the Florida 4-H population. Five counties were intentionally selected to represent the state of Florida within the parameters of geography, rural/urban charac ter, poverty, race, and age. The data provided on the counties was the most recent available from the US Census Bureau (Table 3-1). The summarized demographic data available from the 2001-2002 4-H year as presented through Blue Ribbon enrollment da tabase (Table 3-2). The five counties

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29 that met the selected criteria providing a cross-section of Florida 4-H were: Duval, Escambia, Glades, Miami/Dade, and Sumter. Unit of Analysis The population used in my study was Florida 4-H participants be tween the ages of 13 and 18 as of September 1st of the current 4-H year who was enrolled in a 4-H club or members at large as listed in the Blue Ribbon database. Members at-large are those youth who participate in the program at th e county level and complete project books; however, they are not enrolled in a 4-H club. This sample does not include youth who are reported under group enrollment, such as those youth who participate in the school enrichment program, and are not individually enrolled in 4-H. My study was designed to provide a picture of enrolled Florida 4-H ers within the counties selected. Table 3-1: County statistics of population (U.S.Census Bureau, 2000) Florida Duval Escambia Glades Miami/Dade Sumter Population 15,982,378 778,879 294,410 10,576 2,253,362 53,345 % Race-White 78.0% 65.8% 72.4% 77.0% 69.7% 82.6% % Race-Black 14.6% 27.8% 21.4% 10.5% 20.3% 13.8% % RaceHispanic 16.8% 4.1% 2.7% 15.1% 57.3% 6.3% Persons below Poverty 12.5% 11.9% 15.4% 15.2% 18.0% 13.7% Rural/ Urban Urban Mix Rural Urban Rural High School Graduates 79.9% 82.7% 82.1% 69.8% 67.9% 77.3%

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30 Instrumentation The instrument used for my study was a modi fied replication of a survey developed by Kirk Astroth of Montana State (Astroth, 2001). The researcher cross-indexed the following surveys in order to ensure that th e instrument was both valid and reliable: The National Impact Assessment, the Program and Activity Assessment Tool (Zeldin & Matysik, 2001), North Carolina State Universi ty 4-H, New York life skills, NELS 88, Cornell Members Only, University of Illinoi s Eight Critical Elements, Iowa State Life Skills, Montana State University life skills, Pennsylvania State University life skills, Texas A & M life skills, and the Search Inst itute. An initial list of questions was developed which showed different questions asked in the above survey instruments. This list of questions was categorized according to the outcome that the question represented. The researcher then compared questions in the Montana survey to determine if those questions were asked in other studies as well. If a question was not used in more than one study, the researcher did not use the questio n unless it was not measured at all in the different surveys. A list of questions used and their sources are provided in Appendix L. The process of cross-indexing these surveys help ed to ensure that a ll outcomes have valid and reliable measures. Other researchers mi ght have chosen different questions based on Table 3-2: Statistics of c ounty 4-H members (Blue Ribbon, 2002) Florida Duval Escambia Glades Miami/Dade Sumter Number of 4-H members 271,077 1,222 284 110 1,195 189 Number of Clubs 23,244 68 22 2 53 18 % Race-White 67% 47% 54% 98% 20% 78% % Race-Black 21% 48% 41% 0% 31% 19% % Race-Hispanic 10.5% 3% 1% 2% 48% 2% Percent male 49% 49% 30% 39% 33% 38% % 4-Hers living in rural area 28% 4.6% 12% 100% 0% 100%

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31 their perspectives. Therefore, to minimize measurement error by the researcher, factor analysis was also used to establish the intern al consistency and unidi mentionality of each construct. The results of factor an alysis are shown later in Chapter 3. A panel of experts consisting of four gradua te students and four faculty members in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Florida reviewed the survey and provided feedback. Feedback regarding formatting of the survey and questions asked were proposed and the rese archer revised the survey accordingly. Both the expert panel review and the cr oss-indexing of severa l leading research studies used in the field of youth development and 4-H programming helped in ensuring the reliability and validity of this survey in strument. Utilizing th e survey administration methods presented by the Tailored Design Meth od (Dillman, 2000) helped to ensure that an appropriate sample was se lected and also increased th e reliability of my study. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approva l was sought and attained (Appendix D). IRB approved the consent letters for the 4H member and their parent, the research protocol as well as th e survey instrument. Data Collection The first step of data collection involved the selecting of selecting the five counties of Duval, Escambia, Glades, Miami-Dade, a nd Sumter was reviewed in the research design section of this chapter. Permissi on and support was then obtained from the 4-H Agent from each of these five counties. Th e Blue Ribbon database provided the names, address, ages, and other demographic inform ation about the 4-H members from each of these counties. A census of the enrolled members between the ages of 13 and 18 was selected to use as the sample for my study.

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32 The Tailored Design Method (Dillman, 2000) was used to conduct the survey administration portion of my study. The firs t contact consisted of a pre-notification (Appendix E) that a survey would be forthc oming for members between the ages of 13 and 18. This contact was inserted in the 4-H ne wsletters by the agents in each of the five counties. Although this contact was made in a recognizable format, which was in a newsletter which was sent to all youth, it may have been overlooked. A separate letter might have had a larger impact on the respons e rate. The second contact consisted of a packet of information that was sent to the 4Hers in each county. This packet consisted of a cover letter (Appendix F), a parental consent form (Appendix G), a participant consent form (Appendix H), two plain white en velopes (one for each consent letter), a survey (Appendix I), and a pre-paid addressed en velope to be returned to the researcher. A third contact was sent to non-respondent s two weeks later which consisted of a reminder postcard (Appendix J). The fourth and final contact to non-respondents came three weeks later and consiste d of a new cover letter (Appe ndix K), a new survey, and new consent letter. As data was collected it was entered into an Excel database by county and identification number in order to mainta in the demographic material provided by the county. The identification number was then removed and the database was imported into SPSS for data analysis (SPSS, 2002). A census count of each of the five c ounties included 621 eligible youth who received survey packets. Of those survey s, 79 were returned w ith the wrong address making 542 participants eligib le to be included in my study. These wrong addresses were a result of faulty mail ing lists as reported through th e blue ribbon database. This may be because some counties do not keep accu rate reporting of their 4-H members after

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33 they enter them at the beginning of the 4-H year, September 1st. The request for database records was made in mid October; however, several counties did not respond until the beginning of December. There were 88 survey respondents, providing a response rate of 16.2% of the eligible population. Due to a low response rate, these results s hould not be generaliz ed to the population of Florida 4-Hers. Additionally, the result s might not be representative of the counties in which the 4-Her was enrolled due to non-response bias. For each individual county, the response rates were as follows: D uval county: 6.7%, Escambia county: 22.8%, Glades county: 35.9%, Miami-Dade: 10.5%, and Sumter county: 37.8%. Respondents versus Non-Respondents As presented previously in Chapter 3, permission and data were obtained from County 4-H agents prior to th e onset of this research be ing conducted. All 4-H agents were to send their Blue Ribbon data sets from the 2001-2002 4-H year since this data had already been collected by the state 4-H office. This was done to provide convenience to agents with already busy schedules and keep them from having to re-create reports. Agents were asked to send thei r reports with the following information: age, race, and sex, place of residence, name, and mailing a ddress. Although all counties did respond to this request for information, not all countie s provided the full information on the 4-H members, nor were all ma iling addresses correct.

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34 Figure 3-1: Response Rates by County Demographics of Sample Because a complete set of data was receiv ed only from Glades and Sumter counties there was missing data on race and place of residence for Escambia, Duval, and Miami/Dade. For race, 458 cases are missing, and for place of residence 163 cases are missing. As reported in Table 32 all three counties have a ve ry low percentage of rural 4-H members and varied degrees of race. This data was missing as a result of the selected counties not sending the proper bl ue ribbon report to th e researcher. This provides a limitation in the demographic da ta of both respondents and non-respondents and prohibits comparison in regards to race, and place of residence. By viewing the names of non-respondents it can be determined that a large portion of the Hispanic sample in Miami-Dade did not respond. Ther efore, there was a possibility of non-response bias in regard s to race. Because only age and sex are available in the database received from each county for all youth who are part of the actual sample, it can be determined if a non-response bias does exist in regards to these demographic traits. 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 Duval Escambia Glades Miami/Dade Sumter TOTAL Surveys Returned Surveys Distributed

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35 It can be shown if a difference in regards to sex does exist. First, overall there were more female youth who received surveys. Thirty-eight more females returned their survey than did males. Twenty percent of females responded but only 11% of males did so. Also as suggested regarding race, th e majority of respondents were white. By comparing the mailing list to identification number very few Hispanic youth returned their surveys. For residence, more youth who resided in rural areas returned their survey (35%) than did urban youth (14%). Table 3-3. Demographics of 4-H Surv ey Respondents and Non-Respondents. Survey Respondents SampleFrequency Percent RACE* White 8130 37 Other 31 33 Total 8431 37 GENDER Male 22925 11 Female 31363 20 Total 54288 16 RESIDENCE* Urban 27139 14 Rural 10838 35 Total 37977 20 there are missing cases for these variables Data Analysis Data analysis for my study consisted of de scriptive statistics on the data collected. Factor analysis was used to ensure the reliab ility of the dependent variable constructs. Correlations were then made between posit ive youth development outcomes, and the degree of 4-H participation, non-4-H time, gender, and age among respondents. The independent variables measured are the degree of 4-H pa rticipation, Non-4-H time, and participant demographics. For the independent variables a composite score was calculated to determine both a de gree of 4-H participation score and Non-4-H time score.

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36 The degree of 4-H participation was determined by combining the time spent in 4-H and the degree of involvement in 4-H. This score was created by averaging the time spent in 4-H, (variables UT5-UT8) and the Participation in 4-H (P1-P6). These two scores were then averaged to create an overa ll degree of 4-H participation score (Table 34). Table 3-4. 4-H participation vari ables used in factor analysis Variable Factor loading UT5: Weekly time spent doing 4-H activities. .406 UT6: Years enrolled in 4-H. .495 UT7: Projects complete d during the past year. .534 UT8: Offices held in the past year in 4-H. .889 P1: Attend club meetings. .441 P2: Attend county council meetings. .819 P3: Attend district council meetings. .818 P4: Attend state executive board meetings .855 P5: Serve on special committees. .829 P6: Serve as chair or co-chair on special committees. .715 The factor analysis yielded an Eige nvalue of 4.95, which explained 49.5% of the model variation. Alpha index reliab ility = .875. Mean participation score of the model = 19.8, SD = 8.6. The degree of Non-4-H Time score was calculated in very much the same way. The variables used to measure Non-4-H time are: out-of-school time, school activity, and work. Both the out-of-school time and school ac tivities variables questions were binary with a yes = 1, and no = 0, except the homework variable which asked for how many hours. The number of hours reported are coded as follo ws: zero hours = zero, one to three hours = one, four to six hours = two, seve n to nine hours = three, ten to twelve hours = four, and 13 hours plus = five. In regard s to the work variables, one variable was a binary response item and the other was number of hours worked. Number of hours worked was coded as follows: zero hours = zero, one to five = one, six to ten = two, eleven to fifteen = three, sixteen to twenty = four, and twenty-one plus hours = five. The

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37 complete code sheet (Appendix C) shows how each variable was composed to determine these scores. These variables were also aver aged to show the degr ee of time spent in non-4-H activities. The following variables were binary re sponse variables and measure school activities: Band, orchestra, chorus, choi r, or other musical group School play or musical Student government National Honor Society or academic honor society School yearbook, newspaper Service clubs (AFS, KEY) Academic clubs Hobby clubs (photography, chess, etc.) FFA chapter Future Business Leaders of America (FBL A), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Future Teachers Association (F TA), Future Homemakers Association (FHA), or other vocation education clubs The following variables measured out of sc hool time and are binary response items: Boy or girl scouts Religious youth group Hobby clubs Neighborhood club or program Boys club or Girls club Non-school athletic team YMCA/YWCA Other The following were fill in the blank questions which measured use of time: In a typical week, about how ma ny hours do you spend doing homework? Do you work?

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38 If you work, in a typical week, about how many hours do you work? In a typical week, how much total time do you spend in out of school activities? For the above questions, codes were deve loped to measure the time spent that respondents self reported (Appendix C). The third set of independent variables are demographics which consist of age, sex, race, place of residence, type of school atte nded, grade level, and parent/ guardian. The above demographic variables can be found in the code sheet in Appendix C. The demographic information collected prior to th e survey consisted of age, sex, race, and place of residence. However, as discussed, race and place of residence data was missing due to errors with the initial database. The other demographic data that was self-reported by survey respondents was asked by the following questions. What type of school do you attend? Pub lic, Private, Home School or Not in School. What grade of school are you in? Which statement best describes your family? I live with my two pa rents, I live with only my mother, I live with only my father I live with one natural parent and one stepparent, Sometimes I live with my mother and sometimes I live with my father, I live with my grandparents, I live with a guardian, relative, or other person, and Other. The dependent variable being measured was the evidence of possessing positive youth development outcomes. The constr ucts that make up the positive youth development outcomes that were measured are: relationships, safe environment, belonging, service and leadership, self devel opment, positive identity, and skills needed for success in work and family life. These variables are fully explained in Chapter 2. Dependent variables were reported through a 6point Likert response, a binary response, and a ranking response for time spent in se rvice and leadership. The codes for all variables are shown in th e Code Sheet (Appendix C).

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39 Factor analysis was used to develop constr ucts and ensure that the questions asked appropriately measured the intended constr ucts (Santos & Clegg, 1999). Using factor analysis ensured that constructs were appr opriately measured. Reliability also was determined by calculating Chronbachs Alpha on items (Norusis, 2000). The following sections report the results of factor analysis by construct. (The variables that were reverse coded are noted in the tables by REV). Relationships A construct for youth to have both positive and supportive relationships with adults and peers proved to be the most difficult to measure. The researcher previously discussed the process of cro ss-indexing many survey instrume nts to attain the questions asked in this survey. The construct of pos itive relationships was initially divided into five constructs (Table 3-5). After removing one variable and re-runn ing factor analysis only three constructs were derived with the first having an Eigenvalue of 5.722 which explained 44% of the variation within the model. The Cronbachs Alpha reliability for this index was .88. The summated mean for positive relationships was nearly 4 (3.76) with a standard deviation of 8.0, which means that for the 13 items, respondents tended to agree with each item.

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40 Table 3-5. Positive relationship variables used in factor analysis. Variable Factor loading R1: I trust the adults in the 4-H program. .703 R2: I trust other 4-H members. .610 R3: I have good friends in 4-H. .595 R4: If I had an important concern about drugs, alcohol, sex, or another serious issue I would talk to an adult in 4-H about it. .628 R5: Adults in 4-H listen to what I say. .803 R6: Adults in my community make me feel important. .399 R7: Adults in 4-H expect too much from me. REV .596 R8: Adults in 4-H make me feel good about myself. .705 R10: Youth participate equally with adults in planning club activities. .732 R11: Youth participate equally with adu lts in implementing or carrying out club activities. .727 R12: Youth participate equally with a dults in evaluating or determining the success of 4-H activities. .731 R13: In 4-H I get to know everyone. .543 R14: In 4-H I often feel put down by adult leaders and agents. REV .746 The factor analysis yielded an Eigenvalue of 5.72, which explained 44 % of the model variation. Alpha index reliability = .888. M ean relationship score of the reduced model = 3.76, SD = 8.04 Safe Environment Providing youth with a safe environment both physically and emotionally is an important component of any youth development organization. This construct measured five variables that make up a safe environm ent which are shown along with their factor loadings (Table 3-6). In the factor analysis of safe envi ronment, only one component was removed with an Eigenvalue of 2.38, and it ex plained 46.74% of the variance within the model. An overall mean of 4.13 was determ ined with a standard deviation of 2.80.

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41 Table 3-6: Safe environment vari ables used in factor analysis. Variable Factor loading SE1: 4-H provides a safe pl ace for learning and growing. .729 SE2: In 4-H I often feel em barrassed or put-down. REV .718 SE3: I dont feel safe at 4-H activities. REV .737 SE4: In 4-H I can try new things without worrying about making mistakes. .559 SE5: I feel safe when I attend 4-H activities. .660 The factor analysis yielded an Eigenval ue of 2.337, which explained 46.74% of the model variation. Alpha index reliability = .81. Mean relationship score of the model = 4.13, SD = 2.8 Belonging Having a sense of belonging and an inclus ive environment in a youth development organization was a construct that was measured with the use of four variables. The initial factor analysis derived one component w ith an Eigenvalue of 2.38 and explained 59.5% of the variation in the model. The com ponent had an average mean of 4.18 with a standard deviation of 2.36. The Chronbach's al pha measured the reliability of the index at .80. Table 3-7 shows the variables used to make up the construct of belonging. Table 3-7. Belonging variables used in factor analysis Variable Factor loading B1: 4-H clubs are supportive environments where I feel accepted for who I am. .860 B2: All kinds of kids are welcome in 4-H. .641 B3: In 4-H I have learned to treat people who are different from me with respect. .730 B4: I feel like I belong in 4-H. .835 The factor analysis yielded an Eigenvalue of 2.38, which explained 59.54 % of the model variation. Alpha index reliability = .80. Mean relationship score of the model = 4.18, SD = 2.36 Service and Leadership Providing youth with an opport unity to contribute to th eir own life and that of others and to be a leader for younger peers falls into the construct of service and leadership. This construct wa s somewhat different from the others in that the survey

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42 items were mixed response items. This pr oved to be an unforeseen limitation of the research results. However, the response it em in question still measured the construct intended. In factor analysis, (and 3-9) two components were derived from the set of seven variables. The first variable was a bi nary response item; this variable was pulled out and alone explained 20.32% of the variati on in the model (Table 3-8). The first component with the other si x variables explained 46.45% of the variation. The first variable was removed to determine reliability of the index and the summated mean and standard deviation. Table 3-8. Service and l eadership variables used in factor analysis Variable Factor loading SL1: 4-H teaches me to help other people. .620* The factor analysis yielded an Eigenval ue of 1.422, which explained 20.317% of the model variation. Mean relationship sc ore of the variable = .93, SD = .254 *this factor loading represents the sec ond component created by factor analysis. Table 3-9. Service and l eadership variables used in factor analysis Variable Factor loading SL2: During the last 12 months how many times have youbeen involved to make life better for other people? .753 SL3: During the last 12 months how many times have yougiven money or time to charity or organization that helps people? .618 SL4: During the last 12 months how ma ny times have youspent time helping people who were poor, hungry, sick, or unable to care for themselves? .587 SL5: I feel other kids look up to me and follow my example. .793 SL6: I do my share to make my school and community better. .820 SL7: I enjoy volunteering in class to lead activities. .753 The factor analysis yielded an Eigenvalue of 3.25, which explained 46.44 % of the model variation. Alpha index reliability = .806. Mean relationship score of the model = 2.89, SD = 5.06. Self Development Youth being actively engaged in their own development and being able to provide input and feel that their opinion matters ar e all a part of the component of self-

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43 development. Self-development questions were asked regarding critical thinking, goal setting, communication, and decision making si nce these are assets that youth have control over. Two components were derived from factor analysis to represent the construct of self development. Both of these components will be presented because of the uniqueness of the variable that alone ma kes up the second component. Component one has an Eigenvalue of 3.46 and explains 43.3 % of the variance in the model (Table 310). Component two has an Eigenvalue of 1.078 and explains 13.47% of the model (311). Table 3-10. Self-development vari ables used in factor analysis Variable Factor loading SD1: I am good at planning ahead. .766 SD2: I think through all of the good and bad results of different decisions before acting. .705 SD4: I set goals. .705 SD5: I am responsible for my own actions. .700 SD6: 4-H teaches me to do things on my own. .588 SD7: I listen carefully to what others say. .746 SD8: I can clearly state my thoughts, feelings, and ideas to others. .589 Component one: The factor analysis yiel ded an Eigenvalue of 3.464, which explained 43.295% of the model variation. Alpha index re liability = .804. Mean relationship score of the model (excluding SD3) = 4.01, SD = 3.87 Table 3-11: Self-development vari ables used in factor analysis Variable Factor loading SD3: I know how to say no when someone wants me to do things I know are wrong and dangerous. .813 Component two: The factor analysis yi elded an Eigenvalue of 1.08, which explained 13.47% of the model variation. Mean relatio nship score of the variable = 4.44, SD = .69 The variable SD3 was significant because of what the question asked. This component alone explained 13.47% of the se lf-development construct with a mean response of 4.44. The other variables all had ne gative loadings in this component. Fifty-

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44 two percent of respondents res ponded that they strongly ag reed with the statement. Meaning that the majority of respondents tended to agree that they we re able to withstand peer pressure. Positive Identity The construct of positive identity measures the feelings of oneself, for example self efficacy, self-esteem, autonomy, and empowerment. After running factor analysis on this set of variables one component was derived. The component had an Eigenvalue of 3.696, and it represented 41.1% of the variat ion within the model (Table 3-12). Table 3-12. Variables of positive identity in factor analysis Variable Factor loading PI1: 4-H rewards me for being successful. .578 PI2: At times, I think I am no good at all. REV .651 PI3: All in all, I am glad I am me. .736 PI4: I feel I do not have mu ch to be proud of. REV .675 PI5: When things dont go well for me, I am good at finding a way to make things better. .611 PI6: I dont have enough control over th e direction my life is taking. REV .582 PI7: 4-H has helped me exp ect good things from myself. .822 PI8: I feel very happy when I am successful at something. .430 PI9: My participation in 4-H has been critical to my success in life. .606 The factor analysis yielded an Eigenvalue of 3.464, which explained 43.295% of the model variation. Alpha index reliability = .804. Mean relationship score of the model = 4.01, SD = 3.87 The final steps of data analysis includ ed conducting a Pearson R correlation and a regression model for each construct including degree of 4-H participation, non-4-H time, age, and gender for the independent variables. The regression model was used to double check the correlation model and determines if a significant correlation existed. All correlation and significance levels are presented in Chapter 4.

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45 CHAPTER 4 RESEARCH RESULTS Demographics of Sample Objective one was to determine the dem ographic makeup of survey respondents. As stated previously age, race, sex, and pl ace of residence demogra phics were collected by youth prior to survey distribut ion the demographics of survey respondents (Table 4-2). Other demographic information was colle cted via self-reporting only on survey respondents to provide the resear cher with a better picture of the sample. The questions that they were asked are listed in Chapter 3. The ages of survey respondents tend to be skewed to the right with the majority of respondents being at the younger ages targeted (Table 4-1). The average age of survey respondents was nearly 15 (14.6). School attendance was determined for survey respondents (Table 4-3). The majority of survey respondents attended public school, followed by home school. The grade in school was self reported by re spondents and the mean grade of survey respondents was 10th grade (9.8). For the grade atte nding responses ranged from no grade to grade 14. These respondents noted th at they were attendi ng college classes.

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46 Table 4-1. Age of survey respondents Age Frequency Percent 13 28 31.8 14 19 21.6 15 19 21.6 16 9 10.2 17 11 12.5 18 2 2.3 TOTAL n=88 100.00 Mean = 14.6 Standard Deviation = 1.5 Table 4-2. Demographics on survey respondents Survey Respondents n=88 Frequency Percent RACE* White 30 96.8 Other 1 3.2 Total 31 100.0 GENDER Male 25 28.4 Female 63 71.6 Total 88 100.0 RESIDENCE* Urban 39 50.6 Rural 38 49.4 Total 77 100.0 Missing cases Table 4-3. School attendance of survey respondents School Attendance Frequency Percent Public 70 79.5 Private 4 4.5 Home school 13 14.8 Not in School 1 1.1 TOTAL 88 99.9 The third demographic variable was family living arrangements. The majority of survey respondents (63.6%) repo rted living with two parent s, and this was somewhat higher than the overall population which was at about half. The second most reported living arrangement was living with only the mother closely followed by living with one natural and one step parent.

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47 Table 4-4. Family living arrang ements of survey respondents Family Living Arrangement Frequency Percent 2 parents 56 63.6 Mother only 15 17.0 1 natural parent, 1 step parent 11 12.5 Split living arrangement between mother and father 3 3.4 Grandparents 0 0.0 Other guardian 1 1.1 Other 2 2.3 TOTAL 88 99.9 4-H Participation This section presents the results to answ er objective two: To determine the degree of 4-H participation among survey respondent s. The degree of 4H participation was determined by examining the time spent in 4-H, followed by examining the level of involvement in 4-H. The variables are listed in Chapter 3 and a code sheet showing how these responses are scored was provided in Appendix C. An overall degree of 4-H participation score was determined. There was a minimum score of two and a maximum score of 44 (Figure 4-1). The mean degree of 4-H participation score was 19.8 with a standard deviation of 8.6. The degree of participation was also shown by county (Table 4-5). By observing the degree of participation score for each c ounty one can see that the range of 16-20 was common among the five counties. Table 46 shows the mean, median and standard deviation of the degree of participation fo r each county. All counties showed similar degrees of participation with Glades bei ng the lowest and Duva l being the highest.

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48 2 3 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 30 31 33 34 35 36 39 41 44Degree of 4-H Participation Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7Frequency Figure 4-1: The degree of partic ipation of 4-H members surveyed *The degree of 4-H participation was the average of each individuals time spent in 4-H activities and level of involvement in the 4-H program. Table 4-5. Degree of 4H participation by county Degree of 4-H Participation Duval Escambia Glades Miami-Dade Sumter 2-5 1 1 0 0 0 6-10 0 3 1 4 0 11-15 2 7 4 2 4 16-20 2 6 6 6 6 21-25 2 4 2 3 4 26-30 0 4 0 2 0 31-35 3 2 1 0 1 36-40 1 1 0 0 1 41-44 0 0 1 1 0 Table 4-6: 4-H degree of participation by county. County N Mean Median Std. Dev. Duval 11 22.0 21.0 11.1 Escambia 28 19.8 18.0 8.9 Glades 14 17.3 16.5 5.2 Miami-Dade 18 18.9 18.5 8.5 Sumter 17 21.5 19.0 21.5 TOTAL 88 19.8 18.0 8.6

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49 Non-4-H Time This section reports the results from object ive three: To determine the degree of non-4-H time among participants surveyed. The non-4-H time among 4-H participants was measured by examining the activities and wa ys in which an indivi dual spends his or her time, this variable was made up of school activities, non-4-H activities, and work time. The variables which made up this measurement are explained in Chapter 3. This was a score developed by the researcher for the purpose of the study. This was an important measurement because it shows if the findings in objective four are related to the 4-H experience or if other extraneous factors are affecting attainment of the dependent variables. The degree of non-4-H time score has a minimum of zero and a maximum of 23 with a mean of 9.53 and a standard deviati on of 4.9. Table 4-7 shows the breakdown of the non-4-H time among survey respondents, the range of non-4-H time was shown in Figure 4-2. The highest percen tage of survey respondents fe ll between the ranges of 7 and 9 on non-4-H time. The overall mean for non-4-H time was 9.5. Table 4-7. Non-4-H time of survey respondents. Non-4-H Time Score Frequency Percent 0 2 2.3 1-3 10 11.0 4-6 13 14.8 7-9 21 23.9 10-12 17 19.3 13-15 14 15.9 16-18 7 8.0 19-21 3 3.4 22-23 1 1.1

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50 01234567891011121314151617192023Non 4-H Time Score 0 2 4 6 8 10Frequency Figure 4-2 Degree of Non-4-H Time Non-4-H time was the activities and ways in which an individual spends his or her time, this variable was made up of school act ivities, non-4-H activities, and work time. This was a score developed by the resear cher for the purpose of the study. The degree of non-4-H time was also divide d by county for survey participants (Table 4-8). By observing the mean for the different counties one can see that the lowest non-4-H time was from Glades County and th e highest mean reported was from MiamiDade County (Table 4-8). Table 4-8. Non-4-H time by county County N Mean Median Std. Dev. Duval 11 10.0 9.0 4.1 Escambia 28 9.3 9.0 5.4 Glades 14 7.6 8.5 5.2 Miami-Dade 18 10.7 11.5 3.7 Sumter 17 10.0 10.0 3.7 TOTAL 88 9.5 9.0 4.9

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51 Positive Youth Development Outcomes This section of the results sets forth to answer objective four: To determine if the 4-H club experience meets the developmental outcomes that promotes positive development: 1. Positive and Supportive Relationships between Adults and Peers; 2. Emotional and Physical Safety; 3. Belonging and Inclusive Environment; 4. Contribute through Serv ice and Leadership; 5. Youth are Actively Engaged in Self-Development; and, 6. Youth Develop a Positive Identity (s elf-efficacy, self-esteem, autonomy, and empowerment). The following constructs were measured in my study: Relationships, Safe Environment, Belonging, Service and Lead ership, Self Development, and Positive Identity. The above constructs were presen ted in Chapter 3 and pr oved both reliable and valid. As shown, (Table 4-9) the major ity of the constructs have a mean of approximately four, meaning that respondents te nded to agree with the statements making up each construct. This, of course, was excluding both Service and Leadership constructs. Service and Leadership 1 was a binary response item with 1 = yes and 0 = no, and the mean for this item was nearly 1 (.93) Therefore, it can be said that selfassessment of service and leadership qualitie s was answered yes most frequently. For Service and Leadership construc t 2 the variables consisted of an interval scale, and this meant that the higher the mean the more likel y respondents self-report ed participating in service and leadersh ip activities.

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52 Each construct was derived as a result of factor analysis: Relationship, Belonging, Safe Environment, Service and Leadership 1, and 2, Self Development 1 and 2, and Positive Identity. Each construct was aver aged for each individual to determine an overall score. These overall scores were then correlated with degree of 4-H participation and non-4-H time. The following sections wi ll present the correlation and regression results for each construct measured. Table 4-10 presents the Pearson R correlation and significance level for each construct compar ed to Degree of 4-H Participation. Table 4-9. Mean and standard deviati on of dependent variable constructs Construct Mean Std. Dev. Relationships 3.8 8.0 Safe Environment 4.1 2.8 Belonging 4.2 2.4 Service & Leadership 1 .93 .25 Service & Leadership 2 2.9 5.1 Self Development 1 4.0 3.8 Self Development 2 4.4 .69 Positive Identity 4.0 3.9 The correlations that are significantl y correlated with the degree of 4-H participation are: Belonging, Service and Leadership 1 and 2, Self Development 1, and Positive Identity. Self Development 1 consis ts of variable SD3 which created its own construct in factor analysis. The results of the correlations show that no negative Table 4-10. Correlations of outcomes w ith degree of 4-H participation Correlation Pearson R Significance Relationship to 4-H Participation .144 .180 Safe Environment Score to 4-H Participation .115 .285 Belonging to 4-H participation .286 .007* Service and Leadership 1 to 4-H Participation .232 .030* Service and Leadership 2 to 4-H Participation .505 .000* Self Development 1 to 4-H Participation .230 .031* Self Development 2 to 4-H Participation .192 .072 Positive Identity to 4-H Participation .225 .035* shows these correlations were significant at a p-value < .05.

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53 relationships existed between any of the constr ucts and the degree of 4-H participation. However, a negative correlation of -.031 di d exist between the construct of Safe Environment and non-4-H time. Showing that when non-4-H time was compared to the degree of 4-H participation survey respondents felt safer in 4-H. A regression model was also created in orde r to ensure that the correlations were significant and not impacted by age or gender. The regression mode l included degree of 4-H participation, non-4-H time, age, and gender along with the mean score for each construct as derived from factor analysis. Table 4-11. Youth developmen t outcome regression results Beta Y-intercept Degree of 4-H Participation Non-4-H Time Age Gender Relationships 2.5 0.004 0.008 0.04 0.12 Safe Environment 2.9 0.006 -0.008 0.008 -0.04 Belonging 2.7 0.02 0.002 0.08 0.02 Service & Leadership 1 0.725 0.008 -0.003 0.007 -0.02 Service & Leadership 2 -0.393 0.04 0.07 0.13 0.23 Self Development 1 4.9 0.01 0.04 -0.07 -0.06 Self Development 2 2.6 0.006 0.02 0.08 -0.11 Positive Identity 2.4 0.02 0.01 0.03 -0.12 *for gender a negative slope means that ma les scored lower and a positive slope means that males scored higher. Sense of belonging was the first construc t which showed a significant correlation with Degree of 4-H Participation. This wa s a highly significant correlation at the .05 level. The Regression model shows that th e slope for Degree of 4-H Participation was 2.7 (p .001). This shows that an increase in degree of 4H participation leads 4-H members to feel a sense of be longing and inclusiveness. The constructs of Service and Leadership were also significantly correlated to Degree of 4-H Participation. Service and L eadership 1 reported a Pearson R of .232 at a significance level of .030. The y-intercept for Service and Leadership 1 was .725 at .012.

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54 Service and Leadership 2 also reported a pos itive correlation with a Pearson R correlation of .505 at a significance level of .000. Therefore, as degree of 4-H participation increases so does the opportunity to contribute through Service and Leadership. The regression model reported a negative slope for the cons truct of Service and Leadership 1 when related to non-4-H time at -.003. The construct of Self Development 1 was positively correlated with a Pearson R of .32 at significance level of .031; Self Deve lopment 2 was also positively correlated at .192 with a significance level of .072 at the .05 level. Even though Self Development 2 was not highly significant it was still a positive correlation that shows as the degree of 4-H participation increases so does the outcome of self development. The final construct showing a positive correlation was that of Positive Identity which reported a Pearson R of .225 and a si gnificance level at .035. The regression model showed the y-intercept at 2.35 at a significance level of .010. These results show that as degree of 4-H participation increases so does the attainment of a positive identity. The overall conclusions were that as the degree of 4-H participation increases so does the attainment of positive youth devel opment outcomes. Further conclusions and recommendations will be presented in Chapter 5.

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55 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS The Study The purpose of my research study was to dete rmine if Florida 4-H participants were attaining positive youth development outcomes through the 4-H experience. This quantitative study assessed the views of youth participating in Florida 4-H. The unit of analysis was youth between the ages of 13 and 18 who were enrolled in a 4-H club or members at large as listed in the Blue Ri bbon database. Surveys were sent to 621 youth, with 79 surveys return ed with the wrong address making 542 participants eligible to be included in the population. There were 88 res pondents, providing a response rate of 16.2% of the eligible population. Due to a low response rate, th e results cannot be generalized to the population of Florida 4-Her s, only to the counties in which the 4-Her participated. However, this was also so mewhat limited due to the potential of nonresponse bias. The independent variables measured were the degree of 4-H participation, non 4-H time, and participant demographics. The dependent variables measured were evidence of possessing positive youth deve lopment outcomes. Data collection procedures were followed precisel y as stated in Chapter 3. Limitations Several limitations existed within the me thodology of the research and the data collected. A potential bias may have existe d among those youth who were selected to participate in the survey. Although an effort was made to select c ounties that would be

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56 representative of the state, the larger more urban counties did not provide an impressive response rate. This leaves room for im provement in the methodology of my study. Perhaps agents in their own county can use the survey since they have more of a relationship with the youth and can better encourage them to participate in the survey. The researcher also could have asked for mo re direct involvement of the agents during the whole process and not just in attaining mailing lists. This assumption was based on the actions of the agent in Sumter County who contacted 4-Hers to make sure that they received and filled out their surveys. A second limitation was the low response rate of youth. This low response rate may be due to lack of parental consent, a la ck of interest, faulty mailing lists, and other unforeseen factors. This limita tion may also have been a result of a lack of support from agents in some counties. In Sumter C ounty, the agent made an extended effort to encourage 4-H members to retu rn their surveys through persona l calls. This effort paid off in receiving a 37.8% response rate. A r ecommendation for correcting this limitation was to enlist the help of 4-H club leaders who may have more of a continuous contact with the members. A third limitation to my study was in regards to use of time data for both degree of 4-H participation and non 4-H time spent. It may be difficult for youth to recall their use of time. To account for this potential error it has been noted that this was selfreport data and needs to be considered as such. The fourth limitation of my study was th at the Blue Ribbon database may not be entirely accurate and may not have show n all the youth who are impacted by the 4-H program. Many youth re-enroll each year in September, however at the time the mailing

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57 lists were collected these youth may not have been re-entered into the database. Also, some youth may have provided the wrong addr ess or changed thei r address after the beginning of the previous year. The impact on those youth who did not receive surveys due to faulty mailing lists was an unforeseen limitation to my study. Therefore, the 4-H program may have impacted these youth but were not surveyed. In the same regards many minority youth were listed as having wrong mailing addresses which prevented them from receiving a survey. The fifth limitation was recognized during data analyses. In regards to the survey instrument one section, Service and Leader ship had mixed response questions, which caused difficulties during analyses. It wa s recommended that all questions should be asked in the same format. The other part of the limitation re cognized during data analyses was the researcher not asking race, sex, and age on the survey. It was assumed that the correct database w ould be received from county 4H agents. A possibility may be to obtain this information from the State 4-H office from the prev ious year or to wait until mid-year when all data should be input in the Blue Ribbon database. Conclusions and Recommendations Conclusions regarding th e objectives are presented followed by recommendations derived from these resu lts by the researcher. Demographics Objective one: To determine the de mographic makeup of 4-H participants surveyed. This objective set forth to tell us more about the 4-H members who were being surveyed. Among those participants whose race wa s available, 96.8% of respondents were white. However, the more urban counties of Duval, Escambia, and Miami-Dade did not

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58 provide the race in their data sets, which according to the state report from 2002 these counties do serve a large African -American and Hispanic population. Therefore, it can be assumed that these counties are reachi ng these youth. Another conclusion regarding race was that in Miami-Dade county the majo rity of wrong mailing addresses returned had names of Hispanic descent. This provi ded the researcher with the opportunity to make the assumption that those youth may cha nge location frequently or did not provide the correct mailing address at the beginning of the year. This should educate 4-H agents that 4-H members need to be contacted in multiple ways to ensure that the line of communication is not broken, speci fically with minority youth. Regarding gender among survey respondents 71.6% were female and 28.4% male. Overall, the 4-H program tends to attract more female participants than male. As shown above substantially more females responded to the survey than did male 4-Hers. This may be due to preconceived notions about th e population that 4-H serves or that boys tend to participate more in sports and other extracurricular activities, especially as they get older. This was only an assumption base d on trends viewed w ithin the 4-H program both as a 4-Her and as a 4-H agent. Regarding place of residence 50.6% of surv ey respondents lived in an urban area and 49.4% lived in a rural area. Within th e state of Florida only 28% of 4-H members live in a rural area. Also according to this sa me data a very small percentages of Duval, Escambia, and Miami-Dade counties serve rural members. Regarding the age of survey responde nts and the population of 4-H members, younger youth tend to out-number older yout h. Among survey respondents 31.8% were age 13. The percentage of respondents d ecreased as members got older. The

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59 recommendation of targeting older youth a nd encouraging their responses to future research regarding 4-H is cr ucial to understanding if 4-H makes a difference. Among non-respondents the trend was exactly the opposite with the percentage of youth not responding increasing steadily. This shows that although ol der members are enrolled they did not respond to the survey; however, the trend still shows th at as youth get older they drop out of 4-H. In 4-H, older youth need to be targeted to participate and remain in the 4-H program. Because involvement in a youth development organization needs to be sustained over a continuous and extended period of time youth need to stay enrolled in order for them to be impacted. Because of changing trends in school enroll ment the researcher was interested to see where the respondents to this survey attended school. Most survey respondents attended public school. Though 79.5% of surv ey respondents attended public school, a significant number, 14.8% were home schoole d. Home schooling, according to the results of this data among 4-H members is increasing and, theref ore, needs to be recognized by 4-H agents and volunteers when planning 4-H programs. In the same respect, 4-H agents cannot forget that the majority of youth still attend public school and cannot attend functions during school hours. The mean grade reported by survey res pondents was 9.8, showing that the average respondent was in the 10th grade. This was a little higher than the average age reported, however some youth who are home schooled may be in the ninth grad e at a younger age. This information also shows the need to provide curriculum and age appropriate programs for youth. Since 4-H serves teenag e youth, agents and cl ub leaders need to make sure to maintain th eir interest and provide age-appropriate programming.

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60 The last question asked of survey part icipants was about their family living arrangements. It is always important for 4H agents to be aware of their population and to know those whom they are serving. Howe ver, because of todays quickly changing environment and the importance of the role of family, it is even more crucial to understand the changes among the population wi th which 4-H agents are working. Although a little over half the 4-H youth surv eyed live with both parents (63.6%), the remaining youth do not live in a traditional fa mily. Seventeen (17) percent of youth live with only their mother and 12.5% live with one natural parent and one stepparent. This data supports the growing trend that more and more youth are in need of strong adult relationships that may be found outside of the home. This data also provides reaffirmation that not all youth are able to a ttend all 4-H functions and providing alternate meeting times and transportati on will help that 17% of youth who only live with a single parent. According to demographic information on the 4-H population in Florida, it was clear that further efforts need to be made to obtain responses from a more diverse population, specifically in regard s to race, and sex and also to ensure that demographic and family trends be taken into consideration to provide equal access for all youth. Respondents versus Non-Respondents Although this was not a stated objective, after data was collected, a need to determine if a difference between respondent s and non-respondents arose. Because age was provided for the whole population a sta tistical test was possible. A one-way ANOVA was conducted to determine if there was a difference between respondents and non-respondents in regards to age. The F-test of 1.895 and a significance level of .08 showed little statistical significance that a difference did exist between the two groups.

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61 In regards to race there was a greate r percentage of wh ite youth (96.8%) who responded. Unfortunately, the counties that have greater potential to serve a more diverse audience did not provide data on the race of th eir 4-H members. In regards to place of residence among respondents the two groups we re nearly even. For urban residents 50.6% of youth returned their survey and 49.4% of rural youth returned their survey, which was a balanced response. Participation in 4-H This section presents the results for th e degree of 4-H participation among survey respondents. There was a minimum participa tion score of two and a maximum score of 44 with a mean score of 19.8 with a standard deviation of 8.6. For those unfamiliar with the 4-H program, they can look at the varyi ng degree of participati on levels: club, county, district, and state and see that members have many available options. The highest degree of participation was in Duval County followe d by Sumter County. The mean degree of 4-H participation was fairly balanced acr oss counties showing similar participation patterns. Non 4-H Time This section reports the results fo r the degree of non 4-H time among 4-H participants surveyed. This score was m easured by looking at school activities, out of school activities, and time sp ent working. The degree of non 4-H score had a minimum of zero and a maximum of 23 with a mean of 9.53. This score shows the average non 4-H time as being relatively low co mpared to the maximum score. Positive Youth Development Outcomes The results are reviewed for determining if the 4-H experience meets the developmental outcomes that promote positive development, which are:

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62 1. Positive and Supportive Relationshi ps between Adults and Peers 2. Emotional and Physical Safety 3. Belonging and Inclusive Environment 4. Contribute through Service and Leadership 5. Youth are Actively Engaged in Self-Development, 6. Youth Develop a Positive Identity (s elf-efficacy, self-esteem, autonomy, and empowerment). This objective was divided into differe nt constructs: Relationships, Safe Environment, Belonging, Service and Leader ship 1, and 2, Self Development 1 and 2, and Positive Identity. Factor analysis was conducted on thes e constructs to ensure the reliability of the survey instrument and to determine if the items actually did compose a true construct. The factor analysis data wa s presented in the data analysis section of Chapter 3. The overall conclusion made regarding the data attained in my research study was that as the degree of 4-H participation increases so does the attainment of positive youth development outcomes. By having all positive correlations it was safe to assume that 4H members who responded to the survey ar e attaining the above outcomes. As presented in Chapter 4 all correlations were positive, with the constructs of Belonging, Service and Leadership 1 and 2, Self Development 1 and Positive Identity having significant correlations. Positive relationships had an overall mean of nearly four (3.8) and a standard deviation of 8.0. This means that the average respondent tended to agree that they had a positive relationship with adults and youth. This construct however did not report a significant positive correlation with Degree of 4-H participation.

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63 Providing and ensuring that youth are provi ded with a physically and emotionally safe environment is a particularly impor tant component of an effective youth development agency. An overall mean of 4.13 with a standard deviation of 2.80 was reported for the construct of safe environmen t. This means that the average youth who participated in the survey tended to ag ree that 4-H provided them with a safe environment. This component also failed to be significantly correlated with the Degree of 4-H participation; however the constr uct of safe environment had a negative correlation with degree of non-4-H time. Mean ing that survey respondents felt safer in 4-H that non-4-H activities. Having a sense of belonging and an inclus ive environment in a youth development organization was a construct th at was measured with the us e of four variables. The construct of belonging had an overall mean of 4.18 with a standa rd deviation of 2.36. The average respondent tended to agree that 4-H in their county provided them with a sense of belonging and inclusiveness. Provi ding youth with an e nvironment where they feel that they are part of the program and welcome to attend is crucial to developing positive outcomes among youth. Even though youth reported that they tend to agree with this construct, 4-H agents and volunteers sti ll need to be observant at club and county activities to ensure th at all youth are included and particip ate. This correlation did prove to be highly significant in relation to Degree of 4-H par ticipation. Belonging was also significantly correlated to the construct of positive relationships and safe environment showing that as sense of be longing increased so did feeli ng safe at 4-H activities and building positive relationships among peers and adults.

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64 Providing youth with an opport unity to contribute to th eir own life and that of others and to be a leader for younger peers falls into the construct of service and leadership. Giving youth an opportunity to show their worth and to help others is not only an important part of 4-H, but it also gives youth a sense of accomplishment. As discussed in Chapter 3 this construct was divided into two components. The mean response for the first variable -H teaches me to help other people had a mean of .93 and a standard deviation of .25. This was a binary response item explaining 20.3% of the variance. The second component explaining 46 .44% of the variation had an overall mean of 2.9 at standard deviation of 5.1. This implie s that respondents repo rted that they were either neutral or did not know if 4-H gave them the opportunity to provide service and leadership in their community. However, bot h Service and Leadership constructs showed a significant positive correlation to Degree of 4-H participation. The limitation of this component was that respons es were mixed type. Youth being actively engaged in their own development and being able to provide input and feel that their opinion matters are al l a part of self-development. To measure the component of self-development, questions regarding critical thinking, goal setting, communication, and decision-making were as ked because these ar e criteria youth have control over. Two components were derived from factor analysis to represent the construct of self-development. For com ponent one, the overall mean was 4.0 with a standard deviation of 3.9. This means that th e average respondent te nded to agree that 4-H provided them with an opportunity for self-development. This construct had a significant positive correlation to degree of 4-H participation. The second component was significant because of the variable that made up the component. This variable asked

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65 I know how to say no when someone wants me to do things I know are wrong and dangerous. This variable had a mean of 4.4 with a standard deviation of .69. Fifty-two (52) percent of respondents responded that they strongly agreed with the statement. This means that the majority of youth agreed that, they can resist peer pressure. This finding alone was significant because it showed that youth perceive themselves as having good self-development. The second construct also pr oved to be positively correlated with the Degree of 4-H participation. The construct of self-development was important because youth learn many skills that ensure they have a productive adulthood. The construct of positive identity measur es the feelings of oneself, for example self-efficacy, self-esteem, autonomy, and empowe rment. After running factor analysis on this set of variables one component was deri ved. The mean score of the model was 4.0 with a standard deviation of 3.9. Survey respondents tended to agree that they had developed a positive identity. This construct also had a significant positive correlation to degree of 4-H participation. Meaning as yout h increase their degree of 4-H participation they also increase in their perceived positive id entity. For youth to perceive themselves as having a positive identity means that not only do they have confidence in their ability to succeed, they also believed that they ha ve control over where their life was heading. The recommendation as a result of this conclusion was that 4-H has been able to help bring about positive self-identity through impl ementing practices that bring about this positive outcome. This was a key finding because of the importance of this outcome to the positive development of youth. These findings presented led the researcher to make the recommendation that further research of this type should be car ried out among Florida 4H members. It was

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66 suggested that this research instrument, b ecause of the reliability and theoretically derived constructs, be used by county 4-H agen ts who are interested in determining how their 4-H members and their 4-H programs are performing. It was also recommended to implement st rategies that will gain a better response rate so as to receive input from more 4H members, which will make my study more reliable and give the ability to increase the confidence level upon which these findings are based. Implications for Florida 4-H The low response rate attained in the comp letion of this research cannot allow the researcher to generalize the findings to th e Florida 4-H program, only to the counties specifically involved. This however, was lim ited because of the possibility of a nonresponse bias. However, this research doe s provide a good picture of Florida 4-H. All constructs measured, not incl uding service and leadership, showed that members tended to agree that they perceived the statements to be true. Also all cons tructs were positively correlated to the degree of 4H participation. With an in creased response rate these correlations could have became more significant. These findings show that many Florida 4-H programs are offering youth the opportunities needed to make a differen ce in the attainment of positive youth development outcomes. Florida 4-H members should be empowered to participate and contribute in 4-H programs at all levels. Members in 4-H should also be actively involved in making important decisions th at affect themselves and their 4-H programming. Florida 4-H agents and volunt eers should allow yout h the opportunity to have a voice in all aspects of 4-H programmi ng. Youth need a safe environment where they can try new things out and not be afraid to fail.

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67 The results of this research also show ed interesting demographical trends among the respondents, one being family living arrangements and th e other being school attendance. Because of the diverse populati on served, 4-H agents and volunteers need to be aware of the importance of programming ef forts. Programming in 4-H also needs to be aware that youth are participating in other pr ograms. It is importa nt that organizers of county 4-H programs collaborate with other youth organizations to more effectively help youth. Youth also need opportunities for sustai ning long-term relationships with adults, older youth who remain in 4-H have more of an opportunity to enhance a long-standing relationship. Regarding the age of 4-H memb ers, there was a defi nite lack of older members as compared to younger members as sh own in the age of members enrolled and among survey respondents. Florida 4-H n eeds to find ways to keep 4-H members involved in the program longer. This may be done through additional incentives through scholarships and programs specifically desi gned for older youth, however these youth must have the opportunity to contribute to these new programs. Ways that youth can contribute to programming is involving them in the planning and implementing of programs and ensuring that they are releva nt and applicable to older youth. The final recommendation for Florida 4H was that 4-H agents must include volunteers when implementing the above recommendations. Many volunteers are willing and able to play a more meaningful role than just being a chaperone at camp or helping set up tables at the county fair. The results of youth developmen t research should be shared with 4-H volunteers since many of the implications and recommendations discussed above can be implemented by voluntee rs in their clubs. Although 4-H agents tend to think that they alone are responsible for the success of their county 4-H program,

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68 volunteers also play a huge role in this success. This of c ourse does call for training of both agents and volunteers. Recommendations for Further Research The first recommendation was based on a lim itation of my study. The researcher hopes to see further use of this instrument becau se of the high reliability of the constructs that were developed, as well as the positive correlations that were presented. With a larger response rate the findings could be more generalizable and have a higher confidence level. The researcher would en courage further research on county and even other state programs to utilize this survey instrument to determine if 4-H programs are promoting the attainment of positive yout h development outcomes and providing a quality experience. Proper evaluation of our programs and members is important to the future of 4-H. However, consideration of the low response rate would need to be addressed. As previously discussed, involving agent suppor t would be beneficial to increasing the response rate. Also, presenti ng the survey at a setting where youth would have to complete and turn in would prevent th e loss of the survey a nd having to return the survey by mail. The second recommendation for further res earch was to determine why older 4-H members tend to move to other organizations and leave 4-H as presented in Chapter 4. This was a concern of the rese archer not only being a past 4H member, but also as a 4-H agent. Evaluation of Research Looking back on this research project th ere are many errors and countless hours that could have been prevented. Despite the already mentioned limitations of my study the researcher did develop a readily usable instrument that other 4-H professionals can

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69 use. The findings presented ar e also useful for the counties involved in my study. With more experience, however, the researcher can ho pefully contribute further to the future of 4-H evaluations and provide in sight to county 4-H agents.

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70 APPENDIX A 40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS

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71 APPENDIX B TARGETING LIFE SKILLS MODEL Figure B-1. Targeting Life Skills Model (Targeting Life Skills Model, 2002A)

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72 APPENDIX C CODE SHEET Table C-1. Code Sheet

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73

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74 APPENDIX D IRB CONSENT FORM

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75 APPENDIX E PRE-NOTICE ATTENTION 4-H MEMBERS 13-18 BE WATCHING YOUR MAILBOXES YOU WILL BE RECEIVING A 4-H SURVEY FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA WITHIN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS! Please return your survey as s oon as possible after receiving. Your input in the Florida 4-H Program is very important. University of Florida C o lle g e of A gr i cu l tur e an d L i f e Sc ie nc e s

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76 APPENDIX F INITIAL SURVEY COVER LETTER

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77 APPENDIX G PARENTAL CONSENT FORM

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78 APPENDIX H PARTICIPANT CONSENT FORM

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79 APPENDIX I SURVEY INSTRUMENT FLORIDA 4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES SURVEY

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80 OUT OF SCHOOL TIME Have you or will you or have participated in any of the following outside-school activities this year, either as a member, or as an officer. (Circle your answer) Boy or Girl Scouts YES NO Religious Youth group YES NO Hobby Clubs YES NO Neighborhood club or program YES NO Boys Club or Girls Club YES NO Non-School Athletic Team YES NO YMCA/YWCA YES NO Other ____________________ YES NO SCHOOL ACTIVITIES During the school week will you or have you participated in any of the following activities this year, eith er as a member, or as an officer. (Circle your answer) Band, Orchestra, Chorus, Choir, or other music group YES NO School Play or Musical YES NO Student Government YES NO NHS or Academic Honor Society YES NO School Yearbook, Newspaper YES NO Service Clubs (AFS, KEY) YES NO Academic Clubs YES NO Hobby clubs (photography, chess, etc) YES NO FFA YES NO Future Business Leaders (FBLA), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), FTA, FHA, or other vocation education clubs. YES NO USE OF TIME In a typical week, about how many hours do you spend doing homework? _____________ hours. Do you work? YES NO If you work, in a typical week, about how many hours do you work? ______________ hours In a typical week, how much total time do you spend in out of school activities? ____________ hours In a typical week, how much total time do you spend doing only 4-H activities? __ ____________ hours How long have you been or were you in 4-H? ___________ years This is not a test. There are no right or wrong answers. Your participation in this survey is strictly voluntary. Your answers will be kept confidential so pleas e answer questions truthfully. If you do not feel comfortable answering a question leave it blank. Your name will not show anywhere on the survey and your answers will not be iden tified with you. Thank you for completing this survey.

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81 During the past year how many different projects did you complete (beef, citizenship, public speaking etc.)? _____________ projects During the past year I was, or curre ntly am an officer in: (circle all that apply) Local Club County Council District Council State Council 4-H PARTICIPATION For the following questions think abou t your participation in the 4-H Program (circle your answer). Do you attend club meetings? Never Very Seldom Seldom Regular Very Regular Do you attend County Council meetings? Never Very Seldom Seldom Regular Very Regular Do you attend District Council meetings? Never Very Seldom Seldom Regular Very Regular Do you attend State Executive Board meetings? Never Very Seldom Seldom Regular Very Regular Do you serve on special committees? Never Very Seldom Seldom Regular Very Regular Do you serve as chair or co-chair on special committees? Never Very Seldom Seldom Regular Very Regular RELATIONSHIPS For the following questions think back to the past year and answer each of these questions (circle your answer). I trust the adults in the 4-H program (leaders, agents). strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I trust other 4-H members. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I have good friends in 4-H. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know If I had an important concern about drugs, alcohol, sex, or another serious issue I would talk to an adult in 4-H about it. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know Adults in 4-H listen to what I have to say. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know Adults in my community make me feel important. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know Adults in 4-H expect too much from me. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know Adults in 4-H make me feel good about myself. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know

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82 My parents are usually unhappy or disappointed with what I do. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know Youth participate equally with adu lts in planning club activities. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know Youth participate equally with adults in implementing or carrying out club activities. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know Youth participate equally with adults in evaluating or determining the success of 4-H activities. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know In 4-H I get to know everyone. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know In 4-H I often feel put down by adult leaders and agents. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know SAFE ENVIRONMENT 4-H provides a safe place for learning and growing. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know In 4-H I often feel embarrassed or put-down. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I dont feel safe at 4-H activities. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know In 4-H I can try new things without worrying about making mistakes. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I feel safe when I attend 4-H activities. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know BELONGING 4-H clubs are supportive environments where I feel accepted for who I am. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know All kinds of kids are welcome in 4-H. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know In 4-H I have learned to treat people who are different from me with respect. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know

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83 I feel like I belong in 4-H. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know SERVICE AND LEADERSHIP 4-H teaches me to help other people. YES NO During the last 12 months how many times have you. Been involved in a project to help make life better for other people? never once twice three-four times five or more Given money or time to a charity or organization that helps people? never once twice three-four times five or more Spent time helping people who are poor, hungry, sick or unable to care for themselves? never once twice three-four times five or more I feel other kids look up to me and follow my example. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I do my share to make my school and community better. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I enjoy volunteering in class to lead activities. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know SELF DEVELOPMENT I am good at planning ahead. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I think through all of the good and bad results of different decisions before acting. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I know how to say no when someone wants me to do things I know are wrong and dangerous. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I set goals. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I am responsible for my own actions. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know 4-H teaches me to do things on my own. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I listen carefully to what others say. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know

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84 I can clearly state my thoughts, feelings, and ideas to others. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know POSITIVE IDENTITY 4-H rewards me for being successful. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know At times, I think I am no good at all. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know All in all, I am glad I am me. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I feel I do not have much to be proud of. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know When things dont go well for me, I am good at finding a way to make things better. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I dont have enough control over th e direction my life is taking. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know 4-H has helped me expect good things from myself. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know I feel very happy when I am successful at something. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know My participation in 4-H has been critical to my success in life. strongly disagree disagree neutral agree strongly agree dont know ABOUT YOU What type of school do you attend? Public Private Home School Not in School What grade of school are you in? _____________ grade Where does your family live? (circle one answer) Farm Rural Area Town Big City Which statement best describes your family? (check one answer) I live with my two parents. I live with only my mother. I live with only my father. I live with one parent and one stepparent. Sometimes I live with my mother and sometimes I live with my father. I live with my grandparents. I live with a guardian, relative or other person. Other THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO COMPLETE THIS SURVEY YOUR RESPONSES ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO THE FLORIDA 4-H PROGRAM

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85 APPENDIX J THANK YOU / REMINDER POST CARD

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86 APPENDIX K FOLLOW-UP COVER LETTER

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87 APPENDIX L SURVEY QUESTION MATRIX Table L-1. Survey Question Matrix Outcome Question Source Positive relationship: Adults adults in 4-H always listen to what I have to say N I A Positive relationship: Adults adults in 4-H expect too much from me N I A Positive relationship: Adults adults in 4-H make me f eel good about myself N I A adult relationships Do you get to work w ith adults to plan activities? PAAT adult relationship Do volunteers and youth trust each other? PAAT contact with adults If you had an important concern about the following issues, would you talk to an adult in 4-H about: drugs, alcohol, sex, any other serious issue NY 4-H Modified for MSY adult (parent) relationship My parents are usually unhappy or disappointed with what I do (likert) NELS 88 (follow up) Communication With Parents Would you talk to your pare nts about drugs, alcohol, sex, or some other serious issue? (Yes, probably, not sure, probably not, no) Cornell, members only survey positive relationship with caring adult Do youth participate equally with adults in planning, implementing and evaluating the club program? Illinois, 8 critical elements Peer My best friends are in 4-H N I A relationships In 4-H I get to know everyone N I A relationships In class (4-H) I often f eel put down by my teachers NELS 88 (followup) communication to listen carefully to what others say Iowa, Life skills (412) communication to clearly state my thoughts, feelings and ideas to others. Iowa, Life skills (412) communication listen carefully to what others have to say MSU, life skills communication Clearly state my thoughts, feelings, and ideas to MSU, life

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88 others skills social interaction skills to listen when others are talking Iowa, Life skills (k3) Safety Emotional safety (feelings about 4-H) In 4-H I can try new thin gs without worrying about making mistakes. N I A safety I feel safe when I do 4-H activities N I A safety I dont feel safe at this school (in 4-H) NELS 88 belonging, safety In 4-H I often feel embarrassed or put-down N I A impact of 4-H 4-H provides a safe place for learning and growing MSU Physically and Emotionally Safe Environment Do youth feel safe while at our club meetings and events? Illinois, 8 critical elements Physically and Emotionally Safe Environment Are the opinions of each 4-H club member valued and respected by all partic ipants in the group? Illinois, 8 critical elements Physically and Emotionally Safe Environment Do all 4-H members feel comfortable sharing ideas at 4-H club meetings? Illinois, 8 critical elements Belonging, Inclusive Environment Belonging I feel like I belong in 4-H N I A Belonging Do youth and adults work together to plan and implement group programs and activities PAAT (a) feel accepted 4-H clubs are supportive environments where I feel accepted for who I am MSU belong In 4-H I can explore my own interests MSU Belonging Do youth and adults work together to plan and implement group programs and activities? PAAT (a) welcoming and inclusive environment Do youth feel a sense of belonging? Illinois, 8 critical elements welcoming and inclusive environment Are members actively involved in planning and implementing the club program? Illinois, 8 critical elements -positive and specific feedback: belonging, inclusive reward 4-H rewards me for being successful N I A diversity All kinds of kids are welcome in 4-H N I A accepting differences: To recognize and welcome factors that separate or distinguish one person from another treat people who are different fr om me with respect MSU, life skills Contribute through

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89 service and leadership Helping Others Service and Leadership 4-H teaches me to help other people N I A volunteer work How many hours per week do you spend doing volunteer work to help other people? Cornell, members only survey community engagement During the last 12 months how many times have you...? (never, once, twice, 3-4 times, 5 or more) Cornell, members only survey Community service -Been involved in a project to help make life better for other people -Given money or time to a charity or organization that helps people -Spent time helping people who are poor, hungry, sick or unable to care for themselves. Social Competency: leadership I volunteer in class to lead activities Montana Social Competency: leadership I feel other kids look up to me and follow my example Montana Social Competency: leadership Did you hold any leadership positions in your school this past year Montana Social Competency: leadership Did you serve as a committee chairperson in your school this past year Montana Social Competency: leadership Did you serve as a committee member this past year. Montana Social Competency: leadership Did you help others in y our school this past year? If yes, how often Montana citizenship recognizing and living up to obligations to society and community do my share to make my school and community better Illinois, life skills decision making (LS) think about wh at might happen because of my decision MSU life skills decision making to think about possible alternatives before making a decision Iowa, Life skills (412) decision making to consider the consequences of decisions I make Iowa, Life skills (412) decision making to evaluate the decisions I made to see if they work Iowa, Life skills (412) Critical thinking, decision-making 4-H helps me to think through all choices when making a decision N I A

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90 decision making I think before making a choice Penn State decision making I consider the risks of choice before making a decision Penn State decision making I think about all th e information I have about the different choices Penn State perception of the future (planning) I am good at planning ahead (likert) Cornell, members only survey planning and decisionmaking I am good at planning ahead MSU, Search Institute planning and decisionmaking I think through all of th e good and bad results of different decisions before making a decision MSU, Search Institute Goal-setting: engaged in own development 4-H helps me set goals N I A self-responsibility have control over my own personal goals and future. MSU, life skills responsibility set a good example fo r others to follow Illinois Engaged in own development 4-H teaches me to be responsible for my actions N I A control over own life helped me expect good things from myself NC 4-H personal power when things dont go well for me, I am good at finding a way to make things better. MSU, Search Institute personal power I have little control ove r the things that will happen in my life MSU, Search Institute internal locus of control I dont have enough control over the direction my life is taking (likert) NELS 88 engaged in own development: autonomy helped me do things on my own (independently) NC 4-H wise use of resources (goals) I set goals for my future Iowa, Life skills (412) Self-Determination; Positive Identity selfdirecting, autonomous, empowerment, and selfworth (4H impact, 57) Self-esteem at times, I think I am no good at all MSU, Search Institute Self-esteem all in all, I am glad I am me MSU, Search Institute

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91 Self-esteem I feel I do not have much to be proud of MSU, Search Institute Self-Confidence I set goals Arizona, MSU survey resistance skills I know how to say NO when someone wants me to do things I know are wrong or dangerous MSU, Search Institute Character I am responsible for my actions Arizona, MSU survey Empowerment adults in my town or ci ty make me feel important Search Institute, MSU Empowerment adults in my town or city listen to what I have to say Search Institute, MSU Caring about Others during the past 12 months have you been involved in a project to help make lif e better for other people? NY 4-H, modified for MSU Caring about Others during the past 12 months have you given money or time to a charity or organization that helps people NY 4-H, modified for MSU Caring about Others during the past 12 months have you spent time helping people who are poor, hungry, sick or unable to care for themselves. NY 4-H, modified for MSU Self Esteem, Values, Beliefs At times, I think I am no good at all (likert) Cornell, Members only survey Self Esteem, Values, Beliefs All in all, I am glad I am me (likert) Cornell, Members only survey Self Esteem, Values, Beliefs I feel I do not have much to be proud of. (Likert) Cornell, Members only survey Impact of 4-H impact of 4-H My participation in 4-H has been critical to my success in life. MSU Use of Time Participation in other activities Have you or will you have participated in any of the following outside-school activi ties this year, either as a member, or as an officer NELS (88)

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92 scouting religious youth groups hobby clubs neighborhood clubs or programs boys clubs or girls clubs non-school team sports 4-H (FFA) Y or other youth groups summer programs such as workshops or institutes in science, language, drama, and so on Other (all have columns; did not participate, participated as a member, participated as an officer) Participation in extracurricular activities Likert with options of: sc hool does not offer, did not participate, participated, part icipated as an officer for each of the questions. NELS 88 (followup) band, orchestra, chorus, c hoir, or other music group school play or musical student government NHS or other academic honor society school yearbook, newspaper or literary magazine service clubs (AFS, KEY) academic clubs (art, computer, engineering, debate, forensice, foreign langua ges, science, math, psychology, philosophy, etc) hobby clubs (photography, chess, frisbee, etc) FFA, florida business leaders association (FBLA), Florida christian athletes (F CA), FTA, FHA, or other vocation education or professional clubs time spent In a typical week, how much total time do you spend in all SCHOOL-SPONS ORED extracurricular activities? NELS 88 (followup) Time spent In a typical week, how much total time do you spend in OUT OF SCHOOL activities? ST Time spent Of the above, in a ty pical week, how much total time do you spend doing ONLY 4-H activities. ST Time spent How often do you spend time on the following activities outside of school ? (Rarely or never, less than once a week, once or tw ice a week, every day or almost every day) NELS 88 (followup) visiting with friends at a local hangout NELS 88 (followup) using personal computers NELS 88 (followup) working on hobbies, arts, or crafts on my own NELS 88

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93 (followup) reading for pleasure NELS 88 (followup) going to the park, gym, beach, or pool NELS 88 (followup) playing ball or other spor ts with friends NELS 88 (followup) attending youth groups or recreational programs NELS 88 (followup) volunteering or performing community service NELS 88 (followup) driving or riding around (alone or with friends) NELS 88 (followup) talking with friends on th e telephone, talking or doing things with your mother or father NELS 88 (followup) talking or doing things with other adults NELS 88 (followup) taking classes; music, art, language, dance. NELS 88 (followup) Taking sports lessons: kara te, tennis, etc. NELS 88 (followup) attending religious activities NELS 88 (followup) use of time during the school week, do you spend time: MSU in drama, art, dance, band, choir, orchestra, music lessons, practicing voice or an instrument playing on or helping with s ports teams at school or in the community in other school clubs or organizations (for example, school newspaper, student government, school plays, language clubs, hobby clubs, debate, etc.)? In 4-H club activit ies or projects? In clubs or organizations (o ther than sports) outside of school such as Scouts, b oys and girls clubs, YMCA,

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94 YWCA, etc.)? FFA attending services, groups, or programs at a Church, Synagogue, or Mosque? With your friends without anything special to do?

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95 REFERENCES Adams, G.R. (1999, January). At-risk adolescents. [Electronic version]. Journal of Adolescent Research, 14(1), 7. American Psychological Association. (2002) Is youth violence just a nother fact of life? [Electronic version]. PsycNet: APA online Retrieved on November 19, 2002, from http://www.apa.org/ppo/issues/pbviobib.html Arnett, Elsa C. (1999, March). Experts say child neglect more harmful than abuse. Free Press/ news/ children first. Retrieved on June, 2003 from http://www.detroitfreepress.com Arnett, J. J. (2001). Adolescence and emerging adulthood (1st ed.). Upper saddle river, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc. Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2000, Septembe r). Transforming neighborhoods into family-supporting environments: evalua tion issues and challenges.[Electronic version]. Retrieved on December 4, 2003, from http://www.aecf.org Astroth, K.A. (1993, Fall). Are you at risk? Journal of Extension, 31 (3), 2-6. Retrieved on May 19, 2004, from http://www.joe.org/joe/1993fall Astroth, K.A. (2001). Montana 4-H-making a difference. Montana State University. http://www.montana.edu/www4h Bandura, Albert. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: a social cognitive theory Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. Barkman, S.J. (2003, August). Life skill development of tenure: 4-Hers in Indiana. Department of Youth Development and Agri culture Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Benson, Peter L., Galbraith, Judy, Espeland, Pamela. (1995). What kids need to succeed: proven, practical ways to raise good kids Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing Inc. Berk, L.E. (2000). C hild development. (5th ed.). Massachusetts: Pearson Education Company. Birkenholz, R.J. (1999). Effective adult learning. Danville, Illinois: Interstate Publishers Inc.

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96 Blue Ribbon Enrollment Database (1993-2003) Release v2.4, Wausau, WI MarTech Systems, Inc. Boyd, B.L., Herring, D.R., & Briers, G.E. (1992, winter). Developing life skills in youth. Journal of Extension 30 (4). Retrieved on May 19, 2004 from http://www.joe.org/joe/1992winter/a4.html Bozeman. (2001). MSU research shows importance of quality out-of-school activities. Montana State University Communications Services. Retrieved on December 11, 2002, from http://www.montana. edu/wwwpb/yuth/4-Hsurvey.html. Brendtro, L.K., Brokenleg, M ., & Van Bockern, S. (1992). Reclaiming youth at risk: our hope for the future. Bloomington, Indiana: Natio nal Education Service. Bronfenbrenner, Urie. (1979). The ecology of human development: experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press. Brown, S.L. (1992). Helping deprived youth. Journal of Extension 30 (2), 1-2. Retrieved on May 19, 2004, from http://www.joe.org/joe/1992 Campbell, A. & Muncer, S. (1998). The social child. East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press Ltd. Center for 4-H Youth Development. (fall 2000). Extensions roles in community youth development for the 21st century. University of Mi nnesota Gateway. Minneapolis, MN. Child Stats. (2002). Americas children. Retrieved on March 17, 2003, from http://www.childstats.gov/ac2002/beh.asp Children, Youth, and Families at risk (CYFAR). Youth at risk community project overview. Retrieved on November 20, 2002, from http://www.cyfar.org Coughlan, F. & Welsh-Breetzke, A. (2002, winter ). The circle of courage and Eriksons psychological stages. Reclaiming children and youth 10 (4), 1. Damon, W. (1977). The social world of the child. (1st ed.).San Francisco, California: Jossey-Boss Inc. Dillman, Don., (2000). Mail and internet surv eys: the tailored design method. New York: J. Wiley, Dryfoos, Joe.G. (1990). Adolescents at risk: prevalence and prevention. New York: Oxford University Press.

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97 Dyer, Caroline, & Preston, Rosemary. (2003, December). Human capital, social capital and lifelong learning: an editorial introduction. [Electronic version]. Journal of Rural Sociology 33(4). British Association for International and Comparative Education. Eccles, J. & Barber, B. (1999, January). Wh at kind of extracurricular involvement matter? Journal of Adolescent Research, 14 (1), 10. Eccles, J. & Gootman, J. (2002). Community programs to promote youth development. National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Erikson, E.H. (1950). Childhood & society (2nd ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc. Ethier, Kathleen & Lawrence, Janet S, (May 2002). The role of early, multilevel youth development programs in preventing health risk behavior in adolescents and youth adults. Pediatrics & Adolescent Medici ne 156(i5) 429. American Medical Association. Forum for youth investment. (2001, August) Young people continua lly learning. 1(1). Retrieved May 14, 2003, from http://www.forumforyouthinvestment.org Forum for youth investment. (2002). Policy commentary #1: After school research meets after school policy. Washington, D.C. The forum fo r youth investment. Retrieved on January 3, 2003, from http://www.forumforyouthinvestment.org/comment/ostpc1.pdf Forum for youth investment. (2003). Our id eas about youth. Retrieved on May 14, 2003, from http://www.forumforyouthinvestment.org/ideasabout.htm Fox, J., Schroeder, D., & Lodi, K. (2003, D ecember). Life skill development through 4-H clubs: the perspective of 4-H Alumni. Journal of Extension, 14 (6). Retrieved on May 19, 2004, from http://www.joe.org/joe/2003december/rb2.shtml Haugaard, J.J. (2001). Problematic behaviors during adolescence. (1st ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. Hechinger, F.M. (1992). Fateful choices: Healthy youth for the 21st century. New York:Carnegie Corporation. Heinsohn, A.L. & Cantrell. M.J. (1986). Pennsylvania 4-H impact study: an evaluation of teens life skill development University Park: Pennsylvania State University. Kostelnik, Marjorie J., Sodernman, A nne K., & Whiren, Alice P. (1999). Developmentally appropriate curriculum: best practices in early childhood education (2nd ed.). Michigan state university. New Jersey: Merrill.

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98 Ladewig, H. & Thomas, J. (1987). Does 4-H make a difference? College Station: Texas A&M University system, Texas Ag riculture Extension Service. Marchzak, M. & Moreau, R. (2002, Summer). Positive out of school time hoopla: Why should we care? The Center for 4-H Youth Development. University of Minnesota Extension Service. McKenry, P.C. & Price, S.J. (2000). Families and change (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications Inc. Minnesota Extension Service (MES). (1996). Th e 8 keys to quality youth development. Retrieved on May 19, 2003, from http://www.fourh.umn.edu/evalua tion/evaluationfiles/8Keys.htm Morril Act (2 July 1862, Ch. 130, 12 Stat. 503), 12 United States Statutes at Large, 503505. National 4-H Council. (2000). 4-H info. Retrieved on November 20, 2002, from http://www.fourhcouncil.edu/aboutus/main.asp?subid=30&catid=4 National 4-H Impact Study (n.d). Retrieved on March 17, 2003, from http://ag.arizona.edu.icyf/eval uation/critical_elements.htm National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Child and Adolescent violence. Research at the NIMH. Retrieved on November 19, 2002, from http://www.nimh.org National Youth Development Information Ce nter (NYDIC). (2002). Barriers to Core Resources for Positive Youth Developm ent. Retrieved on March 17, 2003 from, http://www.nydic.org/nudic/barriers.html Norusis, Marija, J. (200 0). Reliability Analysis. SPSS 12.0 Statistical Procedures Companion Upper saddle river, NJ: Prentice Hall Inc. Peterson, G. (1995, October). The need for common principles in prevention programs for children, adolescents, and families. Journal of Adolescent Research 10 (4), 470. Pittman, Karen. (2003, April). Some things do make a difference and we can prove it: key take-aways from finding out what ma tters for youth: testing key links in a community action framework for youth development. Forum for youth investment commentary Washington, DC, Cady-Lee House. Pittman, Karen. (2004, May). Youth Act: Co mmunity Impact, from youth activities to youth action. Forum Focus: The forum for Youth Investment Washington DC: Impact Strategies, Inc. Pittman, Karen, Yohalem, Nicole, & Wilson-Ah strom, Alicia. (2002, October). Out-ofschool research meets after-school policy. Forum for youth investment Washington DC: Impact Strategies, Inc.

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99 Prepared and engaged youth: National 4-H impact assessm ent project. (2001). Retrieved on March 17, 2003 from, http://www.ag.arizona. Edu/icyf/evaluation/4himpactreport.pdf Russell, Stephen T. (Summer 2001). The Developmental benefits of nonformal education and youth development. 4-H Center for Youth Development: FOCUS Davis, CA: The University of California, Davis. Saito, R.N. & Roehlkepartain, E.C. (October, 1995). Growing places: Study identifies opportunities and needs for youth programs. Search Institute Source Newsletter. Retrieved on October 28, 2002, from http://www.searchinstitute.org/archives/gp.htm Santos, J. Reynaldo & Clegg, Max D. (Oct ober, 1999). Factor analysis adds new dimension to extension surveys. Journal of Extension 37(5), 1-5. Retrieved April 19, 2004, from http://www.joe.org/joe/1999october/rb6.html Scales, P.C. & Leffert, N. (1999). Developmental Assets. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Search Institute. Search Institute. (1996, Spring). Everyone can build assets Lutheran Brotherhood, Youth update newsletter. Re trieved on October 28, 2002, from http://www.searchinstitute.org/archives.ecba.htm Search Institute. (2004). 40 Developmental Assets. Retrieved October 28, 2002, from http://www.search-institute .org/assets/40Assets.pdf Seevers, B.; Graham, D.; Gamon, J.; & Conklin, N. (1997). Education through cooperative extension Albany, New York: Delmar Publishers. Smith, Marilyn; Hill, George C. PhD; Ma ranga, Myrna PhD; & Good, Alice. (June 1995). Working with high-risk youth: a collaborative approach. Journal of Extension, 33(3) 1-5. Retrieved September 3, 2002, from http://www.joe.org/joe/1995june/a4.html. SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sc iences) (September 6, 2002) Release 11.5.0 Chicago, Illinois SPSS Inc. Targeting Life Skills Model, Iowa State University Extension. (2002A) Retrieved October 28, 2002, from http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ 4H/lifeskills/previewwheel.html Targeting Life Skills Model, Iowa State University Extension. (2002B). Retrieved October 28, 2002, from http://www.extension.iastate.e du/4H/lifeskills/homepage.html U.S Census Bureau. (2000). Retrieved on December 1, 2002 from http://www.censusbureau.gov

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100 US Department of Justice ( 1999). Retrieved May 19, 2004 from, http://www.usdoj.gov/pub lications/index.html UF/ IFAS 4-H. (2002). The face of Florid a 4-H in 2001-2002: the annual statistical snapshot. Gainesville, FL: UF/IFAS 4-H. UF/IFAS 4-H (2003). Florida 4-H statis tics 2002-2003. Retrieved July 8, 2004 from, http://4h.ifas.ufl.edu/newsa ndinfo/Stats/2003/Statistics2003.htm United Way of America. (1996). Measuring Pr ogram Outcomes: A practical approach. Alexandria, VA: United Way of America. Walker, Joyce & Dunham, Trudy. (1994). U nderstanding youth development work. Center for 4-H youth development, college of education: Minnesota Extension service. Retrieved on August 31, 2004 from http://4h.ifas.ufl.edu/FacultyStaffOnl y/Evaluation2/Goal%20Focus%20Te0am%2R esource.edu Weiten, W. (1998). Psychology themes and variations. (3rd ed.). Pacific Grove, California: Brooks/Col e Publishing Company. Wilkinson, K.P. (1991). The community in rural America Middleton, Wisconsin: Social Eclology Press. Zeldin, S.; Day, T.; & Matysik, G. (2001). Program and Activity Assessment Tool Madison: Department of 4-H Youth Development

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101 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Sarah Zettie Thomas was born in Brooksville, FL in 1979. While growing up, she attended Hebron Baptist Church, in Brooksvi lle, FL, where she became a member in 1995. She grew up on a beef-cattle ranch and watermelon farm. Sarah was a member of both 4-H and FFA for 7 years. She conti nued to volunteer for both 4-H and FFA after graduating from Citrus High School in 1998. Sarah attended both Santa Fe Community College and Central Florida Community Colleg e (where she received her Associate of Arts degree with honors). She then atte nded the University of Florida where she graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Family, Youth and Community Sciences; and a minor in Extension with honors. Sarah then began graduate school in order to receive her Master of Science degree in extension. While working on her masters degree, Sara h accepted a position as an Agriculture/ 4-H Agent in Calhoun County, where she worked for one year. She then transferred to Lake County, where she is currently the 4H agent, providing guidance to over 800 4-H members. This position has given her great joy, and she is very excited about continuing her employment with Lake County 4-H. Sarah is engaged to be married in May 2005, to Cody B. Hensley of Wahoo (in Sumter County, Florida). Cody and Sarah plan to combine their faith, and their love of nature and cattle herds, and to work in, and support, the agriculture industry.