Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

Alan A. Kahler


The purpose of this study was to investigate useful relationships that exist between youth leadership life skills development and 4-H activity participation, among 1993-1994 senior Iowa 4-H members. The dependent variable in this study was 4-H leadership life skills development. The independent variables were participation and involvement in Iowa 4-H leadership activities, achievement expectancy, academic achievement, years in 4-H, age, gender, place of residence, and selected organizational and family variables;This study utilized descriptive survey methodology and a correlational design. A simple random sample of 400 Iowa senior 4-H club members, ages 14 through 18, was drawn from a population of 11,548 4-H members in the spring of 1995. From this sample, an 86% (n = 343) survey return rate was realized. The three scales utilized in this study included Youth Leadership Life Skills Development Scale, 4-H activity participation, and achievement expectancy. The Cronbach's Alpha reliability coefficient for all three scales was 0.94;Those 4-H activities that were the most helpful in teaching leadership life skills (in rank order) were holding office, teaching younger members, exhibiting projects at fairs, educational presentations, livestock shows, community service projects, serving as committee members, and judging contests. Iowa senior 4-H club members participated in an average of 11 different 4-H activities;Iowa 4-H club members recorded a moderately high gain in leadership life skills development from their participation in 4-H. Leadership life skills were defined as skills in communications, decision making, getting along with others, learning, management, understanding self, and working with groups;Encouragement for Iowa senior 4-H members leadership life skill development primarily came from their parents, followed by club leaders, other adults, county extension staff and peers. Low positive correlations existed between other adults and parents, peers, and county extension staff, plus between county extension staff and club leaders;The 4-H respondents in this study believed that school activities provided slightly more leadership life skills development than did 4-H. Church activities and other community group involvement provided slightly less leadership life skill development than did 4-H;Using forced entry multiple regression, a total of 22.49% of the variance in leadership life skills development scores was explained by the statistically significant independent variables of 4-H activity participation, achievement expectancy, county extension staff encouragement, and school activities.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

John Charles Morris



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

123 pages