Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication


Date of this Version



Journal of Agricultural Education, 55(1), 134-151. doi: 10.5032/jae.2014.01134


The transfer of leadership to younger generations is an important factor in agricultural communities and is likely one reason developing leaders is a central mission of many youth organizations, including 4-H and FFA. In adults, researchers have extensively explored the relationship between personality traits and leadership (Judge, Bono, Ilies, & Gerhardt, 2002), but a clear profile of youth leaders has not been developed. This profile could help in planning for and developing the next generation of community leaders. In this study, we explored the relationship between traits, including the Big-Five model of personality and emotional intelligence, and self-perceived leadership skills in youth participating in summer leadership conferences. Emotional intelligence and age predicted the youths’ self-perceived leadership skills. The potential need for youth leadership development programming to include, and perhaps even focus on, emotional intelligence is outlined.