Date of Award
Master of Science
Agricultural and Extension Education
Cecil Carter Jr
Robert S. Dotson, Ben Powell
This study was concerned with the problem of decreasing enrollment among Senior 4-H Youth in Bradley County, Tennessee. Data were collected from ninth grade home economics classes at Bradley Central High School and Bradley Senior 4-H Club members. A total of 208 interview schedules was judged to be accurate and relevant and all 208 were used in the analysis. For purpose of analysis, data from 208 girls were classified into two groups according to the 4-H membership status of the interviewees; (1) girls who were 4-H Club members at the time of the interview (4-H members); and (2) girls who had been but were not 4-H in 1970 (dropouts). The purpose was to determine the relation between the 4-H membership status of these girls and selected factors concerning personal and family characteristics, interests, and participation in youth organizations and 4-H activities and events. Forty-two independent variables were identified and used as a basis for comparing 4-H members and dropouts. Contingency tables were used to show the relation between the dropouts and independent variables» Chi square statistical analysis was made to show the significance level of relations identified. Chi square values which at least achieved the .05 level were accepted as statistically significant. Computations were done by The University of Tennessee Computing Center.
Major findings of the study which were significantly related to membership status were:
1, Grade in school—a larger proportion of the dropouts than the 4-H members were in the ninth grade, 4-H members tended to be in the tenth grade.
2. Grade in school when first joined 4-H—girls who were 4-H members joined when in a lower grade than did the dropouts.
3. Number of years of membership—girls who were 4-H members had been members longer than the dropouts. The longer a girl had been in 4-H, the more likely she would be to remain in 4-H for another year.
4. Plans for college attendance—girls who were 4-H members had more definite plans to attend college than did the dropouts.
5. Regular church attendance—girls who were 4-H members also attended church regularly.
6. Mothers' education level—mothers of girls who were 4-H members tended to have more formal education (i.e. high school or better) than the mothers of dropouts.
7. Mothers' membership in clubs or organizations—girls who were members mothers were members of one or more clubs or organizations. When mothers were not members of any club or organization there was a greater tendency for the girls not to be members of 4-H.
8. Fathers'.attitude toward daughters joining 4-H the first time—girls who remained in 4-H felt their fathers had a more positive attitude (i.e. were very pleased) toward 4-H membership than the fathers of dropouts.
9. Mothers attitude toward daughters joining 4-H the first time—girls who remained in 4-H perceived their mothers had a more positive attitude toward 4-H membership (i.e. were very pleased) than did the dropouts' mothers.
10. Fathers' attitude toward 4-H—girls who remained members felt their fathers were more interested in 4-H than the dropouts' fathers. Girls who remained in 4-H felt their fathers wanted them to devote more time to 4-H.
11. Free time—girls who were 4-H members felt they had more free time than the dropouts.
12. Membership in school organizations—girls who were 4-H members belonged to more school organizations than the drop outs.
13. Membership in out-of-school organizations—girls who were 4-H members belonged to a larger number of school organizations than the dropouts.
14. Membership in all organizations—girls who were 4-H members belonged to a larger number of organizations (i.e. in and out-of-school) than the dropouts.
15. Participation in school athletics—girls who were 4-H members were more active in school athletics than the dropouts.
16. Feelings about why others dropout—girls who were 4-H members felt that other girls dropped out of 4-H because it required too much time and responsibility.
Byerley, Maxine, "Factors which influence the Four-H membership status of the ninth and tenth grade girls in Bradley County, Tennessee. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1972.