Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Family Sciences (MSFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Nichole Huff

Second Advisor

Dr. Ken Culp III


This 4-H case study takes place in a psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF) in Kentucky. The PRTF provides clinical services to youth that are not able to be safely maintained in their homes due to having demonstrated unsafe or harmful behaviors. Youth admitted to the PRTF stay for an average of three to six months while they receive intensive therapeutic and psychiatric care as well as medical treatment and public schooling. The current case study incorporates programming from 4-H, which is the youth development program of the Cooperative Extension System (CES) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), into the treatment plans of four PRTF youth. The four-week 4-H program was facilitated by 4-H personnel who adhered to the principles of positive youth development and the Circle of Courage model (Brendtro, Brokenleg, & Van Bockern, 2014). The primary aims of this study were to assess the impact of 4-H youth development programming within a PRTF setting and to demonstrate how the Circle of Courage can be applied to PRTF programming to promote positive youth development. Qualitative findings suggest significant shifts in participants’ understandings of the Circle of Courage constructs following their 4-H participation.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

National 4-H Council - $1,500 - One disbursement received in November 2022.