Youth Development

4-H Emblem

For more than 10 years, 4-H has partnered with Tufts University to study the effectiveness of its youth development programs. This first-of-its-kind research study found that 4-H's unique hands-on approach gives youth the opportunity to learn by doing and build life skills.

4-H Study of Positive Youth Development is a longitudinal study that began in 2002 and was repeated annually for eight years, surveying more than 7,000 adolescents from diverse backgrounds across 42 states. The study found that youth who participate in 4-H are:

  • nearly 4 times more likely to make contributions to their communities. 
  • about 2 times more likely to be civically active. 
  • nearly 2 times more likely to participate in science programs during out-of-school time. 
  • 2 times more likely to make healthier choices. 

Tufts Positive Youth Development Research Reports