The Effects of the Green Brigade Program on Horticultural Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavioral Changes of Juvenile Offenders

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX 77843-2133

The Green Brigade, organized by the Bexar County Agricultural Extension Service in San Antonio, Texas, is a community-based horticultural program for juvenile offenders based on the earn while learning philosophy. This study determined if participation in the Green Brigade Program improved self-esteem, locus of control, interpersonal relationships, and attitudes toward school, toward gardening and toward the environment as well as decreased recidivism of juvenile offenders. To measure psychological variables, a pre-test, post-test design was implemented using the Self-Report of Personality from The Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC). A questionnaire, developed by the researchers, measured environmental attitudes as well as basic horticultural knowledge. Youths participating in the Green Brigade were pre-tested on the first day of the session and post-tested on the final day of the 6-month session. Comparisons were made between children based on age, ethnic background, gender, and session of the Green Brigade in which they participated. Results determined the relationship between participation in the Green Brigade and the dependent variables mentioned previously.

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