Assessment of perceived life skill development of Indiana 4-H members
Perceived life skill development of Indiana 4-H members as a result of 4-H involvement was assessed in this mail survey research study. Heavily influenced by the theoretical and methodological concepts used by Barkman (2003), this study builds upon the work of Hendricks (2006) as it tested and validated her work with the Targeting Life Skills Model. Materials were administered by Indiana's 92 county-based Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service offices, and the data collected at the county level were forwarded to the researcher for data analysis. Results indicated Indiana 4-H members perceive they are acquiring multiple life skills through their participation in the 4-H Program, particularly life skills such as self-responsibility, self-motivation, communication, leadership, and social skills, the top five rated life skills. Leadership and community service volunteering exhibited the largest mean differences when comparing officers to non-officers. Females rated their perceived acquisition of 26 of the 35 life skills significantly higher than males. These findings support the work of others in the 4-H youth development literature and can be practically applied to the work of Extension Educators as they more readily incorporate the lower rated life skills in their youth programming. An environment in which life skill development is fostered will assist 4-H members in becoming productive, contributing citizens in society.
McKee, Purdue University.
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