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.
Teens Take on Health
Sponsored by National 4‑H Council and Molina Healthcare, Teens Take on Health is a first-of-its-kind, teen-led research effort that is focused on talking with young people instead of talking at them.
America’s youth see health as holistic—mind, body and soul; obesity is top of mind for American youth; teens are paying attention to health care access issues; they aren't getting enough sleep, need help with stress and are concerned about mental health needs in their communities.
Download research and reports below.
Healthy Living Research
4‑H Healthy Living initiatives are proven to influence youth to engage in positive healthy living behaviors. A study of the needs of 4‑H professionals and adult and teen leaders was completed in 2014 by Dr. Joseph Donaldson and Associates at the University of Tennessee. A variety of needs were found, including specific subject matter topics and updates, grab and go activities, and improved communication for sharing opportunities.
National 4‑H Council, through the generous support of Walmart, funded 24 grantees in the 4‑H Healthy Living initiative, Youth Voice: Youth Choice. This report analyzes the programs using evaluation tools from Common Measures.
Teens Take on Health Resources
The aggregated and interpreted Common Measures data for the Walmart Youth Voice: Youth Choice grant program in 4‑H Healthy Living. This is the first report generated from Common Measures data in a Council grant program. Report completed by Dr. Joseph Donaldson and colleagues of the University of Tennessee.
The aggregated and interpreted Common Measures data for the combined Walmart Youth Voice: Youth Choice and United Healthcare Eat4Health grant programs in 4‑H Healthy Living. Report completed by Dr. Joseph Donaldson and colleagues of the University of Tennessee.
Additional Research and Resources
Dr. Laura Downey and Dr. Donna Peterson from Mississippi State University conducted an environmental scan of 4‑H Healthy Living Programs in healthy eating, physical activity and alcohol-drug-tobacco intervention in 2013, identifying 78 programs. Of these, 20 were identified as having strong evidence for national replication.
4‑H Science Research
During 2007 and 2008, 4‑H National Headquarters and National 4‑H Council began work with the nation’s Land-Grant Universities (LGU) to develop a plan of action for 4‑H Science programming and outline the LGUs’ goals, objectives and strategies for implementing 4‑H Science within their states. National 4‑H Council also contracted independent researchers to evaluate the outcomes of the 4‑H Science initiatives.
Conducted in the fall/winter of 2008, Evaluating the 4‑H Science Initiative was designed to evaluate six major areas of LGUs and their implementation 4‑H Science programming
In early 2009, 4‑H also evaluated and measured the youth experience in the areas of science, engineering, technology and applied math (STEM), resulting in the Youth, Engagement, Attitudes and Knowledge (YEAK) Report.
4‑H Programs Attract Youth to STEM
4‑H STEM programs are proven to get kids excited about science by offering fun, hands-on activities which builds confidence and fosters interest in STEM-related careers.
4‑H Science Initiative from Inception to Impact
4‑H Science Initiative from Inception to Impact, a comprehensive new report which reviews the multi-year impact of the 4‑H efforts, lessons learned and ideas for developing more promising programs in the future. The initiative has been a truly collaborative effort, led by 4‑H National Headquarters, land-grant faculty from the Cooperative Extension System and National 4‑H Council.