Date of Award
Master of Science
Cecil E. Carter Jr
Robert S. Dotson, George Foster, Frank Leuthold
This descriptive study was concerned with the problem of decreasing 4-H Club enrollment among senior 4-H Club youth in Tennessee. Data were collected from all ninth and tenth grade girls in Greene County, Tennessee, who were present on the day the interviews were conducted in each school. A total of 407 interview schedules were judged to be accurate and were used in the analysis. For purposes of analysis, data from the 407 girls were classified into three groups according to the 4-H Club membership status of the interviewees: (1) girls who were 4-H Club members at the time of the interview (members); (2) girls who had been but were not 4-H members in 1970 (dropouts); and (3) girls who had never been 4-H members (nonmembers). Of the 407 girls interviewed, 17 were 4-H members, 281 were dropouts, and 108 were nonmembers. The purpose was to compare the 4-H members, dropouts, and nonmembers as to their personal characteristics, parental and family characteristics, the extent to which they partici-pated in various youth organizations, and the tasks in which they were interested in learning to perform. Thirty-three independent variables were identified and used as a basis for comparing 4-H members, dropouts, and nonmembers (dependent variables). Contingency tables were used to show the relation between the dependent and independent variables. Chi square statistical analysis was made to show the significant level of relations obtained. Chi square values which achieved the .05 level were accepted as statistically significant. Computations were done by The University of Tennessee Computing Center. Major findings of the study were: 1. The girls' place of residence was related to their 4-H member-ship status« There was a tendency for those girls who joined 4-H to live on farms, while those who never joined and those who dropped out of 4-H tended to live in town. 2. The girls' age when they first joined 4-H was related to their 4-H membership status. There was a tendency for the 4-H members to enroll at an earlier age than either the dropouts or nonmembers. 3. The number of years the girls were in 4-H and their 4-H membership status were related. As might be expected, the longer a girl had been a 4-H member, the more likely it was that she would remain in 4-H for another year. 4. The girls' grade in school was related to their 4-H membership status. There was a tendency for the members to join 4-H earlier in their school years than the dropouts, 5. The age the girls first dropped out of 4-H was related to their 4-H membership status. As might be expected, once the girl had dropped out, there was little chance that she would join 4-H again. 6. The girls' frequency of attendance at church activities was related to their 4-H membership status. There was a tendency for 4-H members to attend church activities more frequently than either dropouts or nonmembers. 7. The occupation of the girls' fathers was related to the girls' 4-H membership status. The members were more likely to be daughters of farmers than were either dropouts or nonmembers. 8. The mothers' membership in clubs or organizations was related to her daughter's 4-H membership status. There was a greater tendency for more of the members' mothers than either those of dropouts or nonmembers to belong to clubs or organizations. 9. The fathers' attitudes toward their daughters' joining 4-H and the daughters* 4-H membership status were related. Girls who remained in 4-H felt their father was "very pleased" when they first joined 4-H, while those who dropped out of 4-H tended to feel their father was uninterested. 10. The mothers' attitudes toward their daughters' joining 4-H and the daughters' 4-H membership status were related. The data showed a tendency for a higher percentage of the members' mothers than of either the dropouts or nonmembers to be interested in their daughters' joining 4-H. 11. The number of school clubs in which the girls held active membership and their 4-H membership status were related. The 4-H members tended to belong to more school organizations than either the dropouts or nonmembers. 12. The number of out-of-school organizations to which the girls belonged was related to their 4-H membership status. The 4-H members tended to belong to more out-of-school organizations than either the dropouts or nonmembers. 13. The number of events and activities in which the girls participated was related to their 4-H membership status. Girls who remained in 4-H participated in a larger number of 4-H activities and events in any one year than did the dropouts when they were 4-H members. 14. The girls' attitude toward the public announcement of awards and honors and their 4-H membership status were related. There was a tendency for the 4-H members to be more satisfied than the dropouts with the recognition given 4-H winners. 15. The girls' perception of their peers' attitudes toward 4-H members and the girls' 4-H membership status were related. A higher percentage of the dropouts and nonmembers felt their peers viewed 4-H members favorably, while the members perceived their peers as having unfavorable attitudes toward 4-H members. The girls' age at the time of the study, the school grades they received most often, their future plans for attending college, their frequency of dates, and whether or not they were "going steady" were personal characteristics that were not significantly related to the girls' 4-H membership status. Family characteristics that were not significantly related to the girls' 4-H membership status were such factors as the marital status of the parents, annual family income, and the girls' mothers working outside the home. Other independent variables not significantly related to the girls' 4-H membership status were the girls' attitudes toward competition, 4-H record books, and the awarding of ribbons, their feelings concerning their free time, and the number of hours they spent watching television and listening to the radio. There was a tendency for a higher percentage of the 4-H members than either dropouts or nonmembers to know how to perform more of 21 selected interest tasks. A higher proportion of the dropouts and nonmembers than of the 4-H members liked to perform the tasks they had tried. Also a higher percentage of the dropouts and nonmembers said they had not tried but did not think they would like to perform the 21 interest tasks. Implications and recommendations were also made.
Hamilton, Shirley Kay, "Factors related to 4-H membership status of ninth and tenth grade girls in Greene County, Tennessee. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1970.