Locating, Analyzing and Making Available a Century of 4-H Research Studies, 1911-2011


  • Jan Scholl Penn State University
  • Amy Paster Penn State University




For years, 4-H has emphasized the value of being a research-based youth organization in its long term association with the land-grant university system.  But, it was the general consensus among state and national leaders that the program had no research base. The main objectives of this study were to: locate and document research studies conducted (between 1911-2010) in order to support or dispel notions about the lack of 4-H research and its focus on cows and cooking, to make information about the research studies available to the larger community of youth program practitioners and researchers and provide a general review of research topics by decade. Three thousand five hundred and fifty six studies were found over a thirteen year period and only one percent of these related to “cows or cooking.” To make the data available to current and future youth professionals and researchers, the information about each study was transferred to an Internet web-site. Finally, a full century of research topics were summarized.






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