|Abstract or Summary
- The primary purpose of this study was to determine which factors related to adult 4-H volunteer empowerment in 4-H youth development settings. This study examined the relationship of adult 4-H volunteers’ perceived leadership styles of Oregon 4-H Youth Development Educators (YDE) to the adult 4-H volunteer sense of empowerment. In addition, selected demographic and environmental variables of gender, years in role, alumni background, educational background, leadership training, and level of involvement were examined for their correlation to adult 4-H volunteer sense of empowerment. Bass and Avoilio’s Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (rater form), Spreitzer’s Psychological Empowerment Instrument, and a demographic/ environmental questionnaire were mailed to 498 randomly selected Oregon adult 4-H volunteers. There were 209 responses received for a 42% return rate. Participants
were described in terms of their demographics, perceived leadership styles, and sense of psychological empowerment. This study involved multiple variables, including the latent variables of transformational leadership style, transactional leadership style, and empowerment, so structural equation modeling (SEM) was used as the statistical analysis. SEM was able to test various models concerning the interrelationship between each of the independent variables (leadership styles and demographic/ environmental factors) and the dependent variable (empowerment). Preliminary analysis reported adequate Cronbach alpha reliabilities as well as appropriate convergent and discriminant validity. The confirmatory factor analysis with the two leadership style factors revealed a modest fit (CFI=0.846) and the confirmatory factor analysis with the empowerment factors revealed an excellent fit (CFI=0.99).
In the structural model, the only demographic/environmental variable to show a significant relationship to empowerment was years in role. The more years a volunteer had been in their leadership role, the more they expressed a sense of empowerment. A significant negative correlation (β= -0.693) was found when comparing transformational leadership style to transactional leadership style, meaning that 4-H YDE who are rated as using transformational leadership are very likely NOT to use transactional leadership. Finally, strong support was found for the hypothesis that transformational leadership style has a significant positive relationship (β= 0.031) to adult 4-H volunteer sense of empowerment. The 4-H YDE who are rated as using transformational leadership are very likely to be empowering adult 4-H volunteers.