University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program

Self-Reflection Skills

girl @ computer
The concept of self-reflection is at the core of the 4-H club program delivery model. Guiding youth toward reflecting on self is inherent in 4-H Record Books, club based activities and youth leadership development components of programming, but the largest opportunity for growth through self-reflection is within the context of a strong youth-adult partnership.

Adults facilitate dialogue in the project setting around the "Six C’s" of youth development defined by the research of Dr. Richard Lerner at Tuft University’s Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development.

The Six C's

The six C's theory of positive youth development identifies six important characteristics that help young people grow into thriving and successful adults.  Research has demonstrated that youth who have higher levels of these Cs tend to have more positive behaviors and developmental outcomes compared with youth who have lower levels.

  1. Competence: Positive view of one’s actions in specific areas, including healthy habits, life skills, love of learning, emotional competence, and social skills.
  2. Confidence: An internal sense of overall positive self-worth, persistent resourcefulness and self-efficacy.
  3. Connection: Positive bonds and relationships with people and institutions including faith-based communities.
  4. Character: Respect for societal and cultural norms, possession of standards for correct behaviors, a sense of right and wrong (morality), and integrity.
  5. Caring: A sense of sympathy and empathy for others.
  6. Contribution: Giving to self, family and the institutions of a civil society.


  • 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development, Tufts: This report uses the original five C's when analyzing the findings from the first four years of the 4-H study of positive youth development. From the original five C's sprang the 6th: Contribution. This longitudinal study follows young people over a significant period of time and records important changes within individual participants, as well as critical differences between participants.
State 4-H Office | Sign-Up for Updates
The 4-H name and emblem service marks are protected under 18 U.S.C. 707.
Webmaster Email: