Sense of belonging is an essential element of a high-quality 4-H program. However, little research exists quantifying sense of belonging among 4-H club members. We measured perceived sense of belonging among Florida 4-H members in middle and high school as well as seven factors that influenced continued participation in 4-H. Parental involvement, 4-H events, and interactions with friends were factors important to participants' continued enrollment. Interaction with a caring adult was the factor most strongly positively correlated with perceived sense of belonging, suggesting the importance to retention of providing a framework that allows a new 4-H member to develop a positive relationship with a caring adult in a safe and inclusive environment.
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DeCubellis, C., & Barrick, K. (2020). Sense of Belonging as Perceived by Youths Who Continue Participation in 4-H. The Journal of Extension, 58(3), Article 19. https://doi.org/10.34068/joe.58.03.19