Impact on the 4-H Program

Tufts University’s Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development (Medford, MA) conducted a ten year longitudinal study that showed 4-H members compared to their peers were:

  • 3.4 times more likely to delay sexual intercourse by grade 12
  • Shown to have significantly lower drug, alcohol and cigarette use than their peers
  • 2.3 times more likely to exercise and be physically active

  • Report better grades, higher levels of academic competence and an elevated level of engagement at school

  • Are nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college

  • Girls are twice as likely to participate in science engineering or computer technology

  • 3.4 times more likely to participate in their community

  • A 2005 Colorado 4-H Study documented youth who are 4-H members are more likely than non 4-H youth to: make good grades in school, have a significant adult in their life in addition to a parent, talk more with parent(s) on a regular basis, have a positive outlook on life, be involved in community service projects, manage money wisely and hold leadership positions in their school. 4-H members are also less likely to use drugs or alcohol, smoke cigarettes, damage property or shoplift.  For more information, go to the  4-H Impact Information Sheet(PDF, 92KB)

  • A 2009 Colorado 4-H Contest Skills study reported youth who participated in Fashion Revue, Judging, Quiz Bowls and Public Speaking contests are more likely to finish what they start, solve problems, make good choices, use time wisely and have more confidence in themselves. More study results are available on the  4-H Impact Study(PDF, 328KB)

  • Participants in a 2009 Colorado 4-H Alumni study said their 4-H experience was the second greatest influence (family was number one) on their lives. 4-H was ahead of school, work, church, sports, or friends. Furthermore, all 4-H respondents reported completing high school while a majority (55.7 percent) of 4-H respondents completed a bachelor’s degree followed by 17 percent who had received an associate’s or technical degree. Nearly 62 percent of non-4-H responses reported being involved in volunteering activities while 82.9 percent of 4-H respondents are or have volunteered for youth-serving organizations.