Nebraska 4-H Household Technology and Interest Survey

Abstract: Nationally, 4-H has placed renewed emphasis in the areas of Science and Technology as a way to prepare youth for the 21st century workplace. Home access may become necessary to youth as they develop science and technology literacy via 4-H programs. A survey was sent to a random sample of 1,414 Nebraska families from … Read more

Findings from Five Out-of-School Time Focus Groups: Professional Development Preferences, Experiences and Recommendations for Future Planning

Abstract: Evaluating professional development can assist with designing better programs in the future, yet survey instruments may not always capture the nuances of participant’s experiences.   Therefore, in order to develop better survey instruments, the Out-of-School Time Resource Center conducted a series of five focus groups. Questions pertained to participants’ job-related needs, preferred types of … Read more

Rethinking Concept Mapping for Youth Participatory Evaluation in the Context of Youth Development Programs

Abstract: As a mixed-methods participatory approach, concept mapping (Trochim, 1989) provides unique opportunities for engaging youth in evaluating the contexts and environments in which they develop. Youth development programs, by definition, seek to fully engage youth as partners and provide them with opportunities to effect positive change. This includes encouraging youth to be involved in … Read more

An Introduction to the SMARTRISK Heroes Program: Positive Social Marketing for Adolescent Injury Prevention

Abstract: This article provides background on the SMARTRISK Heroes Program, a mobile stage production that introduces young people to the prevalence of unintentional injury for their age group and presents them with a series of strategies that will reduce the likelihood that they will be unintentionally injured or killed. The program logic is consistent with … Read more

Experiential Learning: A Process for Teaching Youth Entrepreneurship

Abstract: Youth of all ages are indicating an interest in starting a business. However, few classes on business start-up and management are available. Young people who are actively engaged in learning business management concepts also develop life skills such as decision making, communicating, and learning to learn. Studies have shown that youth who are in … Read more

Supporting Social and Cognitive Growth Among Disadvantaged Middle-Grades Students in TASC After-School Projects

Abstract: The field of after-school programming remains rife with unanswered questions. What constitutes quality in after-school programs? Are after-school opportunities valuable for participants regardless of their quality? Are differences in quality associated with differences in participant benefit? This sub-study of the longitudinal evaluation of The After-School Corporation (TASC) looks at how after-school opportunities with varying … Read more

Relationships Matter: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of Youth and Adults Working Together as Partners

Abstract: Highlights of a multi-method research study conducted to understand the perceptions and experiences of youth and adults working together within communities are shared in this article. The results revealed that the most positive youth-adult relationship experiences were those with supportive adults willing to share power with youth, those instituting youth-led endeavors where young people … Read more

Qualitative and Quantitative Assessments of Thriving and Contribution in Early Adolescence: Findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development

Abstract: Research and practice in youth development converge in an interest in positive development, or thriving.   They converge also in seeking to promote among youth an orientation to act in support of their own and others’ well-being through contributions to self, family, and community.   Based on the results of both qualitative (open and … Read more

Cacophony and Change in Youth After School Activities: Findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development

Abstract: This paper describes the configuration and changes in young adolescents’ participation in structured after school activities. Using data from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development the 983 youth studied in both the first and the second waves of this research (fifth and sixth grade, respectively) were found to engage in structured after school … Read more