An Examination of Youth Voice via Quasi-Experimental Methodology

Melissa Cater, Krisanna Machtmes, Janet E. Fox


The purpose of the study discussed was to determine if youth voice affects the ownership and engagement of youth in a county 4-H program. A youth-led approach was used with the treatment group to facilitate youth and adults sharing decision-making power. The comparison group utilized an adult-centered approach where decisions about the club programming were made strictly by the adults. A pre- and post-measurement design was used. Analysis of covariance was employed to determine if differences existed between youth participating in the treatment group 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 and statistically significant differences between Caucasian and non-Caucasian youth on the constructs of ownership 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.

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