Monitoring Structured Experiences during Youth Programs: Development of Brief Measures of Perceived Value and Engagement


  • Gary D. Ellis Texas A&M University
  • Allen S. Taggart Texas A&M University
  • Jill Martz Texas A&M University
  • Toby Lepley Texas A&M University System AgriLife Extension Service
  • Tazim Jamal Texas A&M University



A brief questionnaire that can be used to routinely monitor the quality of structured experiences for youth is discussed in this paper. Structured experiences are discrete periods of time in which youth gather for activity under the supervision of adult or youth leaders.  Four-item measures of perceived value and engagement were created.  A questionnaire including these measures along with items from the 4-H Common Measures was administered to 219 youth from 11 4-H clubs.  Data were analyzed for evidence of reliability and validity.  Alpha reliability estimates were .82 and .71 for the two multiple-item monitoring instruments.  Correlations (validity coefficients) ranged from .48 to .61. Multiple regression results were consistent with predictions.  Significant relations were found between perceived value, engagement, meaningfulness and supportiveness of social climate and safety of social climate.  Results thus suggest that these instruments may be appropriate for use in monitoring structured experiences for youth.






Research & Evaluation Studies