Perceptions of Empowerment of Participants within Youth Development Programs

Kyle Busing


Highlighted in this paper is a study designed to investigate perceptions of empowerment among young 4-H club members. Participants included 90 boys and girls (mean age 10.61). Perceptions of the autonomy supportive nature of 4-H leaders and the general climate of 4-H clubs were assessed. MANCOVA analyses revealed participants perceived 4-H leaders and the general climate to be empowering. Although the young participants in this study confirmed some of the positive views found elsewhere in the literature, considerable disparities in their responses to various surveys were noted. There appeared to be uncertainty or misunderstanding among youngsters when asked to respond to questions about these concepts. The need for more useful quantitative measures of programmatic impact was accentuated.

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