Evaluating the evidence for youth outcomes in 4-H: A scoping review

Jennifer P. Agans, Mary Maley, Nicolette Rainone, Marie Cope, Andrew Turner, John Eckenrode, Karl Pillemer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


4-H is an extremely influential youth development program, serving over six million youth across the United States and worldwide. These programs are designed to promote youth development; empirical evidence for youth development outcomes of participation in 4-H programs can help to document the nature of their effects on youth. We conducted a scoping review to describe the quality, type, and focus of research on 4-H program outcomes from both peer-reviewed and grey literature. After abstraction, coders assessed 107 papers across several indices, with results indicating that the body of evidence for youth outcomes from 4-H programming is lacking, with no studies rigorously assessing causal program impact. More rigorous research is needed to evaluate and report the evidence for youth outcomes from participation in 4-H. Improving the quality of 4-H research can strengthen 4-H programming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104617
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Jan 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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