Positive Youth Development
For more than 10 years, 4‑H has partnered with Tufts University to study the effectiveness of its youth development programs.
This first of its kind research study found that 4‑H’s unique hands-on approach gives kids the opportunity to learn by doing and build life skills.
4‑H Study of Positive Youth Development is a longitudinal study that began in 2002 and was repeated annually for eight years, surveying more than 7,000 adolescents from diverse backgrounds across 42 U.S. states.
The 4-H Thriving Model by Mary Arnold, Oregon State University predicts that youth who participate in 4-H programs that provide a high developmental context will thrive, and thriving youth achieve key developmental outcomes.
The 4-H Developmental Context
4-H programs done well help youth thrive by:
- Sparks — providing a place for youth to explore their interests and passions
- Youth Program Quality — offering programs that follow youth program quality principles with a focus on youth belonging
- Youth-Adult Relationships — emphasizing developmental relationships with adults who are caring, challenge growth and share power
Thriving Youth Reach Key Developmental Outcomes
Developmental outcomes are indicators of Positive Youth Development (PYD)
Youth who thrive because of participating in 4-H:
- Academic achievement and motivation
- Social competence
- High personal standards
- Contribution to others
- Connection with others
- Personal responsibility
Please visit https://health.oregonstate.edu/thriving-model for information on the history and ongoing development of the 4-H Thriving Model.