Youth-adult partnerships : examining the perceptions of youth and adult 4-H Foundation board members
Larsen, Eric William
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The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of youth-adult partnerships within state 4-H foundation boards by assessing perceptions of youth and adult members toward one another. The intent of this study was to provide youth serving organizations with empirical data pertaining to the youth-adult partnerships within the Western 4-H Foundations included in this study. The population for the study included state 4-H foundations across the United States that included both adults and youth as voting members of the foundation director's board. The purposive study sample was state 4-H foundation boards from the Western 4-H region with youth and adults in formal decision-making roles. This research was conducted using a modified form of the Involvement and Interaction Rating Scale (IIRS). The IIRS instrument was organized based on three item groups that measured the following constructs: 1) Youth Involvement Indicators, 2) Adult Involvement Indicators, and 3) Youth-Adult Interaction Indicators. Each of the three sections incorporated semantic differential questions. Adult participants consistently had higher means through out each of the three IIRS constructs. Semantic differential questions nine, twelve, and thirteen were repeatedly statistically significant throughout multiple comparisons. Evidence revealed youth with prior youth-adult partnership experience held less positive views regarding youth-adult partnerships than did the youth with no experience in a youth-adult partnership. Youth believed adults were over-bearing and did not let the youth excel to their potential. Youth perceived adults were not actively listening to youth and were not taking youths' ideas seriously.