Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication Department


Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Leadership Education, Under the Supervision of Professor Kathleen Lodl. Lincoln, NE: December, 2010 Copyright 2010 Karen DeeAnn Bloomquist


The purpose of this study was to identify relationships between youth involvement in 4-H and self-image. The study also explored whether there were relations between self-image and development of the 5 C’s (confidence, competence, caring, connection and character) of Positive Youth Development. The study focused specifically on the differences in self-image between youth who participate in 4-H and youth who do not.

Participants included 180 youth from grades eight through twelve in the state of Nebraska. Demographic responses indicated that 47% of respondents were male and 53% were female. Approximately 72% of the respondents were not participants in a 4-H program, while 28% were 4-H participants.

Indices were formed to measure each of the 5 C’s. Three indices were also created in order to measure global self-image and its components, which for the purposes of this study included physical appearance and personality/social acceptance. Descriptive statistics, independent samples t-tests, and Pearson’s correlations were used to analyze the data.

Results of this study did not indicate a significant relationship between participation in 4-H and self-image. Significant correlations were found between Competence and self-image, and between Caring and self-image, but no other significant correlations were found between the 5 C’s and self-image.

Although this study found no significant direct relationship between participation in 4-H and self-image, the results do indicate a relationship between development of the 5 C’s and self-image in young people. The data suggest that 4-H can still be a useful tool in helping to develop a positive self-image in youth, and that it is important to provide program options which emphasize development of each of the 5 C’s and positive self-image.