Impact of 4H - Washington County 4-H

Waves of the Future: The First Five Years of the 4-H Study of

Positive Youth Development

Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University

The 4-H Youth Development Program strives to empower youth to reach their full potential working and learning in partnership with caring adults. To identify the impact that the 4-H Program is making in the lives or youth ages 5-18, various research studies have been conducted across Utah and the nation.

The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development is a longitudinal study funded by the Nation 4-H Council. The study is led by Richard M. Lerner and Jacqueline V. Lerner at Tufts University. Researchers are using a longitudinal study so they can look at changes within the same group of children over time. Approximately 6,000 divers adolescents are participating in the study. The adolescents have varying levels of involvement in the community-based programs, including 4-H. Because it is a sequential longitudinal study, more youth are added each year in "waves."

The purpose of the research is to identify characteristics that are related to positive youth development,. Some examples of these characteristics include having close friends and/or supportive in a young person' life, receiving good grades in school and youth having, overall, good feelings about themselves. Researches ant to understand how positive influences in the lives of youth help protect them from getting involved in "problem behaviors," such as substance abuse, unsafe sex, school failure, delinquency and violence. The study should help identify ways that schools and programs like 4-H can promote positive youth development.

Click HERE to go directly to the research site.