Positive Youth Development Research

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.

Download the research findings below.

Alumni Research: 4‑H Experience Leads to Success in Life

A national online survey of more than 6,000 former 4‑H members suggests alumni benefit significantly from their 4‑H experience over the course of their lives — socially, physically, emotionally and economically. The study was fielded May 15 – July 22, 2019 by Edge Research and funded by National 4‑H Council.

Download the research findings below.

National 4‑H Council partnered with the Harris Poll to capture insights about what young people are thinking, saying and doing about issues, attitudes and trends that are shaping them today and tomorrow. These results help us keep a finger on the pulse of teen perspectives and inform the work we do.

Teen Environmental Impact Survey

Working together with The Harris Poll, National 4‑H Council wanted to better understand how teens feel about the environment. Nationally, we surveyed a diverse group of 1,500 teens from 13-19 years old exploring their concerns about — and commitment to — protecting the environment. Our goal was to represent their unique voice and create a conversation about their evolving relationship with the outdoor world.

Explore the Survey Findings

4‑H Teens & Racial Injustice Survey

New Survey Finds That 83 Percent of Teens Acknowledge That Systemic Racism is an Issue and They Want to be Included in the National Conversation Around Social Justice

National 4‑H Council commissioned a survey to gain a deeper understanding of teens perspectives on racism and their opinions on the current protests and social justice movement. The survey was conducted online from July 2 to July 9, 2020 with 1,000 respondents ages 13-19.
Download the full survey results below.

4‑H Youth Healthy Habits Survey

A survey commissioned by National 4‑H Council explores teen perceptions around health and nutrition. The survey, which polled over 1,500 diverse youth between the ages of 13-19 nationwide, investigated youth perceptions on the topics of food access, nutrition and health equity.

Key findings include:

  • 68 percent of teens say they satisfy their hunger with junk food because it’s more accessible to them at school than healthy food.
  • Most teens (66%) are spending more time deciding what they want to watch on Netflix and YouTube than thinking about what they eat.
  • 85 percent say junk food is more accessible and cost effective, which usually drives decision making for their families and friends.
Learn More & Download
4-H mom and youth doing yoga

4‑H & Microsoft Digital Impact Survey

National 4‑H Council and Microsoft teamed up to explore digital access among teens through a national survey. The survey, which polled over 1,500 youth between the ages of 13-19 nationwide, investigated how lack of broadband internet access affects their social mobility and economic opportunities.

Key findings include:

  • 1 in 4 American teens have Broadband connections that are unreliable
  • Nearly half of teens report struggling to complete homework due to slow internet connections.
  • 79% of teens with broadband access expect to have a higher income than their parents, while only 66% of teens without broadband access felt this way.
Learn More & Download
4-H youth doing a coding activity

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.

We Want to Hear from You!

Please take a short survey about your 4-H at Home experience!

We Want to Hear from You!

Please take a short survey about your 4-H at Home experience!