About the 4-H Thriving Model

The 4-H Thriving Model is a tested, predictive model of how the participating in the 4-H program positively impacts the lives of youth. The model predicts that youth who participate in high quality 4-H programs that provide a positive developmental context, thrive. Thriving youth possess growth mindsets, are open to challenge and discovery, are hopeful and purposeful about their future, behave in pro-social ways, have a transcendent awareness that affects their moral and ethical choices, can manage their emotions, and set and manage goals effectively. The 4-H Thriving model shows that youth who thrive achieve key developmental outcomes, such as positive academic attitudes, social competence, high personal standards, connection with others, personal responsibility, and connection with others.

The 4-H Thriving Model is based on a synthesis of research in adolescent and youth development, and has been tested for structural validity. For more information on the model please check out the 4-H Thriving Model website.


Mary E. Arnold, Ph.D.

Professor and Youth Development Specialist

School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences

College of Public Health and Human Sciences

Oregon State University