Youth-adult relationships exist on a continuum from adult-led to youth-led collaborations. However, research suggests that quality youth-adult partnerships, which fall in the middle of this continuum, directly contribute to positive youth development. Given this, the current study evaluated the impact of a 4-H Youth Development program, using youth-adult partnerships and a teens as teachers program model, on positive youth development outcomes of participating youth. Qualitative data were collected from 29 youth to evaluate the 4-H Food Smart Families program presented by Washington State University Youth Advocates for Health (YA4-H!). Data analysis identified themes related to the benefits and challenges of the youth-adult partnership and skills gained from being a teen teacher. When looking at results from a positive youth development perspective, it is evident the youth who participated in youth-adult partnerships and as teen teachers experienced beneficial outcomes. Qualitative codes clearly aligned with 4-H Essential Elements of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity, indicating positive youth development had occurred despite realworld implementation challenges. Based on our experience and lessons learned, we conclude with suggestions for successful implementation of a youth-adult partnership.
Weybright, E. H., Hrncirik, L. M., White, A. J., Cummins, M. M., Deen, M., & Calodich, S. (2016). “I felt really respected and I know she felt respected too”: Using Youth-Adult Partnerships to Promote Positive Youth Development in 4-H Youth. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 4(3), 6. https://scholarsjunction.msstate.edu/jhse/vol4/iss3/6
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