Identifier

etd-10192006-091537

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if youth voice affects the ownership and engagement experienced by youth in a county 4-H program. For the treatment group, a youth-led approach was used where "having a voice" included youth sharing decision-making power with the adults in the program. The comparison group consisted of 4-H members in three other clubs in the county. These youth experienced an adult-led approach where the decisions about the club programming were made strictly by the adults. The Youth Voice Survey instrument was developed to assess youths' perceptions of ownership, engagement, and relationship with adults at both a pre- and post-measurement. Interviews were conducted with six youth in the treatment group to determine if their lived experiences confirmed the factors that emerged from the Youth Voice Survey. Exploratory factor analysis was used to investigate the underlying latent constructs in the instrument. Analysis of covariance was utilized to determine if differences existed between youth participating in the treatment and comparison groups and if differences existed between youth based on race. Findings indicated statistically significant differences between the treatment and comparison groups on all three constructs of ownership, engagement, and relationship with adults. Findings also indicated statistically significant differences between white and non-white youth on all three constructs of ownership, engagement, and relationship with adults. It was concluded that, in programs incorporating voice, youth experience more ownership and engagement and have a more positive relationship with adults. An implication of this study is that adults who work with youth should receive training on the incorporation of youth voice and the support of youth as decision-makers.

Date

2006

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Krisanna Machtmes

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