FFA participation and personal development as perceived by Iowa vocational agriculture seniors

Townsend, Christine
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Agricultural Education and Studies

The purpose of the study was to describe the relationship between participation in FFA activities and a member's personal development. The population consisted of Iowa twelfth grade vocational agriculture students who were members of the FFA. A cluster sample was utilized to randomly select 426 students in 54 schools in Iowa. The students were administered two instruments--the Personal Development Inventory (PDI) and the FFA Activity Participation Inventory;The PDI was a self-assessment instrument consisting of 10 personality scales: leadership, self-confidence, occupational choice, home surroundings appreciation, agricultural orientation, citizenship, cooperation, thrift, scholarship, and health and Leisure Studies; Each scale mean yielded a score for the related trait and together the scales constituted a total personal development score. An FFA activity participation score was calculated from the second instrument with each activity weighted by a jury as to its quality and importance in a student's membership. The PDI scale scores and FFA activity participation scores were statistically analyzed using Pearson correlation and single analysis of variance. T-tests were used to compare unweighted FFA activities with the 10 scale scores and total PDI;The major findings of the study were as follows. (1) Eighty-one significant positive relationships were found where participants of FFA activities had higher PDI scale scores than nonparticipants. (2) Twenty-four significant relationships were found where participants of FFA activities had lower PDI scale scores than nonparticipants. (3) The remaining 302 relationships between participation groups of FFA activities showed no significant difference in the PDI scores of the two groups. (4) Local FFA activities had the greatest number of positive relationships to participants' PDI scores as illustrated by the banquet and fund raising activities where PDI scores were significantly higher on 11 and 10 scales respectively. (5) The leadership scale had significantly higher scores for participants of 18 activities while self-confidence had significantly higher scores for participants of only three activites. From this study, it was concluded that FFA activities assisted in the leadership and personal development of the members particularly during local level participation.