Examining the Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions of 4-H Professionals Related to LGBTQ+ Youth

Maru Gonzalez, Alex Barker, Megan Clarke, Christy M. Byrd


Despite its status as the largest youth-serving organization in the United States, there is a dearth of empirical scholarship about LGBTQ+ youth within 4-H; research examining 4-H professionals’ competencies to effectively support LGBTQ+ youth is even more scarce. To address this gap in the literature, this quantitative study explored the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of 4-H professionals in North Carolina as they relate to working with LGBTQ+ youth. Seventy-five professionals responded to an online survey. Professionals displayed higher levels of knowledge than skills or dispositions, were more knowledgeable about how to support LGB youth compared to transgender and gender expansive youth, and expressed the need for and substantial interest in professional development. Rural professionals tended to report lower knowledge, skills, and dispositions compared to professionals working in urban/suburban settings. This article presents the study’s findings and explores implications for future research and practice.


LGBTQ+ youth; 4-H; rural; youth development; transgender

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2021.1096

Copyright (c) 2021 Maru Gonzalez, Alex Barker, Megan Clarke, Christy M. Byrd

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