UACES Facebook 4-H Impact

Research Shows 4-H Helps Young People Excel Beyond Their Peers

4-H ScholarshipsThe 4-H Youth Development Program strives to enable youth to reach their full potential as they work and learn in partnership with caring adults. The 4-H Programs' ultimate goal is to make a positive impact on the lives of youth reached through our programs, events and activities.  National research studies and state program outcome data indicate that 4-H is making a positive difference in the lives of youth 5-19 of age who participate in 4-H youth development programs.

The structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that young people receive through their participation in 4-H plays a vital role in helping them achieve future life successes. Preeminent youth development scholar, Dr. Richard Lerner, and a team at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University have worked with faculty at land-grant universities to conduct The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development. The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development is a longitudinal study that began in 2002, and continues today, surveying more than 7,000 adolescents from diverse backgrounds across 44 U.S. states.

This in-depth study has discovered that, when compared to other youth, young people involved in 4-H:

  • Have higher educational achievement and motivation for future education
  • Are more civically active and make more civic contributions to their communities
  • Shown to have had significantly lower drug, alcohol and cigarette use than their peers
  • 2.3 times more likely to exercise and be physically active
  • Report better grades, higher levels of academic competence, and an elevated level of engagement at school
  • Are nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college
  • Are more likely to pursue future courses or a career in science, engineering, or computer technology.

 Tufts Positive Youth Development Research Study

 Reported 4-H Outcomes for Arkansas

  • 1490 participants learned decision making life skill

  • 308 participants learned accepting differences life skill

  • 2039 participants learned communication life skill

  • 2039 participants learned leadership life skill

  • 1950 participants learned self-responsibility life skill

  • 563 participants learned healthy lifestyle choices life skill

  • 1294 participants indicated they increased their knowledge of healthy eating patterns after completing a nutrition education program

  • 2521 participants learned personal responsibility and decision making strategies to reduce their risk of ATV related injury or death through participation in an educational workshop/program.


4-H Impact Reports for Arkansas