Title page for ETD etd-10192006-091537


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Cater, Melissa D. Wade
Author's Email Address mcater@agcenter.lsu.edu
URN etd-10192006-091537
Title How Voice Affects Perceptions of Relationship with Adults, Ownership, and Engagement in Youth
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Krisanna Machtmes Committee Chair
Earl Johnson Committee Member
Janet Fox Committee Member
Michael Burnett Committee Member
Satish Verma Committee Member
Kirby Goidel Dean's Representative
Keywords
  • youth-adult partnership
  • self-determination
  • out-of-school time
  • participation
  • 4-h
  • motivation
Date of Defense 2006-09-22
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to determine if youth voice affects the ownership and engagement experienced by youth in a county 4-H program. For the treatment group, a youth-led approach was used where "having a voice" included youth sharing decision-making power with the adults in the program. The comparison group consisted of 4-H members in three other clubs in the county. These youth experienced an adult-led approach where the decisions about the club programming were made strictly by the adults.

The Youth Voice Survey instrument was developed to assess youths' perceptions of ownership, engagement, and relationship with adults at both a pre- and post-measurement. Interviews were conducted with six youth in the treatment group to determine if their lived experiences confirmed the factors that emerged from the Youth Voice Survey. Exploratory factor analysis was used to investigate the underlying latent constructs in the instrument. Analysis of covariance was utilized to determine if differences existed between youth participating in the treatment and comparison groups and if differences existed between youth based on race. Findings indicated statistically significant differences between the treatment and comparison groups on all three constructs of ownership, engagement, and relationship with adults. Findings also indicated statistically significant differences between white and non-white youth on all three constructs of ownership, engagement, and relationship with adults. It was concluded that, in programs incorporating voice, youth experience more ownership and engagement and have a more positive relationship with adults. An implication of this study is that adults who work with youth should receive training on the incorporation of youth voice and the support of youth as decision-makers.

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