Diversity and Inclusion as Essential Elements of 4-H Youth Development Programs


  • Rachel Sumner Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Cornell University
  • Andy Turner Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Cornell University
  • Anthony L. Burrow Department of Human Development, Cornell University




4-H, diversity, inclusion, positive youth development, learning orientation


Diversity and inclusion are essential elements of 4-H’s goals related to positive youth development, workforce development, and organizational sustainability. Previous research has examined Cooperative Extension professionals’ attitudes on this topic, demonstrating that most of them recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion in 4-H. Here we present results from a survey of adolescents participating in New York state 4-H programs assessing their endorsement of racial/ethnic diversity and inclusion in 4-H. Results revealed that, overall, youth felt positively toward this kind of diversity and inclusion in 4-H, and endorsement was most strongly predicted by a learning orientation that emphasizes acquiring new information through intergroup contact. We conclude with considerations for 4-H programs seeking to help young people develop and maintain an openness to diversity and inclusion.


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