Factors influencing students' self-perceived levels of civic responsibility during FFA sponsored civic engagement activities
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of involvement level, autonomy, and reflection during FFA civic engagement activities on students' self-perceived civic responsibility levels. The study utilized a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent comparison group design. The treatment consisted of two groups: an experimental reflection group and a control group. Four school-based agriculture programs agreed to participate, providing a time and place sample of 282 respondents. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed positive effects on reflection groupsubjects' self-perceived levels of civic responsibility. It was concluded that students in the reflection group had higher levels of self-perceived civic responsibility than control group students. Furthermore, simultaneous multiple linear regression models explained significant variance in students' levels of self perceived civic responsibility scores using a linear combination of involvement level, autonomy, and structured guided reflection. This study provides the first empirical support of structured reflection within FFA civic engagement programming. The reflection component enhanced youths' perceived connection with their community, their awareness of community needs, and their efficacy towards improving community issues. The reflection component of civic engagement can potentially serve as a valuable pedagogical tool within FFA programming and other youth development initiatives.
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