A Qualitative Evaluation of the 4-H Record Book in Light of the PYD Concepts: Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity


  • Lynette H. Bikos Seattle Pacific University
  • Deanna M. Haney Seattle Pacific University
  • Katie Kirkpatrick-Husk Seattle Pacific University
  • Serena Hsia Seattle Pacific University




The highlights of a study of the 4-H Record Book (RB) in light of the four positive youth development (PYD) concepts: belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity are discussed in this paper. Utilizing qualitative methods we interviewed 21 participants (14 leaders, 9 recent 4-H alumni) from 9 states. Results describe the ways in which participants perceived that the RB (a) supports the four PYD concepts (e.g., “RB fosters independence through the goal setting, monitoring, and appraising process”) and (b) does not support, or should be revised to support the concept (e.g., “RB competitions may hinder mastery”). Our results support the RB as a PYD intervention but we recommend that states/counties consider these results when revising RBs. In light of concerns about age and developmental appropriateness, we suggest that the most pressing question is whether or not the traditionally formatted RB is appropriate for all 4-Hers. We encourage RB committees to engage professionals with developmental expertise (e.g., educators) in RB revisions.






Research & Evaluation Studies