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