The purpose of the research described in this article was to determine if membership in 4-H enhances rural 11th graders' sense of belonging or social connection with their communities. Specifically, the study compared the levels of social connections of 4-Hers with those of their non-4-H counterparts. The results revealed that participation in 4-H programs is an avenue for young people to develop a sense of belonging in their communities. The 4-Hers were more socially connected with their communities than their non-4-H peers. The implications of the results for practice in the field of youth development are discussed.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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