Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


The problem investigated in this study was to test the effect of a non-competitive awards program on the motivation of 4-H members. The objectives of the study were to compare the results of the non-competitive awards program with those of a competitive awards program in four major areas. These were: (1) Completion of project records. (2) Project knowledge and skills acquired. (3) Plans to reenroll in 4-H. (4) Development of a more positive attitude about 4-H experience. Data on project record completion were compared according to grade in school, years in 4-H, sex, race, and place of residence to determine if results varied according to these characteristics of the members. The sample for the study consisted of 1,113 youth in 23 experimental 4-H clubs and 1,025 in 23 control clubs. Of these, 1,096 were in grades 4-6, 627 in grades 7-9, and 413 in grades 10-12. The sample was drawn by stratified random clusters proportionately distributed in the seven parishes of the Eastern Area in the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service. Statistical analysis was made using the chi-square test with significance set at the .05 level. Findings indicated significant differences between the experimental and the control members in 16 of the 43 comparisons tested. Indications were that the project completion award was most effective in encouraging project record completions with first year members and 4-6 grade level females, blacks and residents of towns and cities. It was found that members who completed project records reported learning more at all grade levels. Members who reported receiving project help had significantly greater project completions at the 4-6 and 7-9 grade levels. Plans for reenrollment were not significantly affected by the experimental awards program. A significant difference was found between grade level and liking 4-H contests. Although 81 to 93 percent of the youth at all levels indicated they liked contests, the greatest percent liking contests was at the 10-12 grade level. Members at all grade levels indicated in significant numbers a desire for an annual project completion award, with the greatest interest being shown by those at the 4-6 grade level.