Positive Youth Development



Youth Working Together4-H learning experiences are based on the principles and practices of positive youth development. Positive youth development views young people as vital resources with assets and potentials to be developed rather than as problems to be managed. 

Youth-driven 4-H experiences provide youth access to safe learning environments; challenging experiences that build skills, competencies, and resiliency to address life’s challenges and to actively contribute to society; and partnerships with caring adults to help meet youths’ basic needs of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. 

4-H staff and volunteers intentionally address youths’ basic needs by integrating eight essential elements within 4-H youth development experiences: caring adults, safe environments, mastery, service, self-determination, inclusiveness, futuristic, and engagement.

4-H Research

Did you know that national research shows that 4-H youth are competent, confident, connected, character-driven, caring, and contributors to their communities? Learn more in the Tufts' Research 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development Reports 

PYD Wave Study 4 

PYD Wave Study 5

PYD Wave Study 6

PYD Wave Study 7

PYD Wave Study 8 (1 pg. Fact Sheet)


Did you know that Iowa research shows that 4-H youth credit their 4-H club experiences as making them stronger citizens, leaders, and communicators?  2008 Iowa 4-H Research Study Fact Sheet

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