Eagle Scout Study conducted at Baylor University

Study Questions and Methodology Overview

Previous studies have shown that participation in Scouting produces better citizens.  And, there is no shortage of examples or anecdotal accounts that would affirm these findings.  Surprisingly, however, there is very little scientific evidence to confirm the prosocial benefits associated with Scouting or earning the rank Eagle Scout.  Thus, the central question of this study is to determine if participation in Scouting and ultimately becoming an Eagle Scout is associated with prosocial behavior and positive youth development that carries over into young adulthood and beyond.

Do youth participating in Scouting receive character-building advantages over youth that have not participated in Scouting?  More specifically, do Eagle Scouts, because of the additional commitment and effort required to reach this rank, experience additional positive attributes that provide advantage and benefits to them over non-Scouts as well as other Scouts who never attain the rank of Eagle?

To obtain the answers to these research questions, a major research grant from the John Templeton Foundation was awarded to Baylor University’s Program on Prosocial Behavior.  Through this funding, a survey was conducted by the Gallup Organization from October 12, 2010 to November 20, 2010.

The following provides a brief description of the survey methodology:

  • Gallup recruited potential respondents through nationwide random-digit dialing sampling and a multi-call design.
  •  A total of 81,409 potential respondents were contacted by the Gallup Organization.
  • Among those who agreed to be re-contacted, 2,512 were randomly selected and completed the telephone survey.
  • This study is based on data collected from the random sample of 2,512 adult males and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
  • Among the 2,512, 134 were identified as Eagle Scouts, 853 were identified as Scouts, and 1,502 were identified as non-Scouts

One finding of the survey:

Eagle Scouts are significantly more likely to report they agree they find a spiritual presence in nature.  Specifically, Eagle Scouts are roughly 44 percent more likely than Scouts to agree they find a spiritual presence in nature.  Also, Eagle Scouts are 50 percent more likely than non-Scouts to agree they find a spiritual presence in nature.

1 Comment

One Comment

  1. What you don’t mention here is that there are A LOT of things different about an Eagle Scout. See http://blog.myscoutstuff.org/2012/05/baylor-finds-merit-beyond-the-badge-in-eagle-scouts/

Leave a Reply