Volume 36 - Number 2 - 1995 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.1995.02028
In agricultural education, both 4-H and FFA have identified leadership development as central to their mission. Many Cooperative Extension Service and agricultural educators, members, and alumni think these organizations provide effective leadership programming. However, there is little research to support that viewpoint. The purpose of this study was to develop a valid, reliable scale to measure youth leadership life skills development. The first phase involved the conceptualization and operationalization of youth leadership life skills development (YLLSD). YLLSD was conceptualized as having seven sub-domains (Miller, 1976) and operationalized with 68 indicators. Each indicator used a four point Likert-type subscale. Face and content validity were assessed by a panel of experts. In the second phase, construct validity, reliability, and dimensionality were assessed. Data were collected during September and October, 1992, following the Dillman procedure. The target population was 6,388 senior 4-H and FFA members from New Mexico. A random sample of 400, stratified proportionally to ensure organizational representation was generated. A usable return rate of 66% was obtained. No differences were found between respondents and nonrespondents. During construct validity assessment, indicators of youth leadership life skills development were eliminated through item analysis, internal structure relationships, and cross-structure relationships. The final summated scale of 30 indicators had a Cronbach's alpha reliability coefficient of .98. Factor analysis was used to assess dimensionality. Although the final scale contains indicators from the seven original conceptual domains, youth in the study perceived the construct to be unidimensional.