Girl Scout Research Institute

What’s it like to be a girl in today’s world?

The Girl Scout Research Institute helps to deliver customer-centric, data-driven insights across the Girl Scout movement and beyond. Our team measures the impact of Girl Scout programming and leads national conversations about girls and their development via groundbreaking original studies. These findings are then used to inform program, public policy, and advocacy for Girl Scouting—and we’re happy to share them with you.

Studies About the Impact of Girl Scouting

Photo montage: Studies About Girls in the United States

Girl Scouts Alumnae by the Numbers (2015)
This fact sheet summarizes stats and impact of the Girl Scout experience on Girl Scout alumnae in the U.S. 

Download (PDF) Fact Sheet

How Girl Scouting Benefits Girls (2014)
This compilation of findings from the Girl Scout Research Institute addresses the benefits of participation in Girl Scout programming.

Download (PDF) Full Report

More Than S'mores: Successes and Surprises in Girl Scouts' Outdoor Experiences (2014)
Among key findings of this study are that girls' outdoor experiences are positively linked to their challenge seeking, problem solving, and environmental stewardship. Additionally, when girls get outdoors on a monthly basis in Girl Scouts, doing even casual outdoor activities, they are much more likely to agree that they've learned to recognize their strengths, to do something they thought they couldn't do, and to gain skills that will help them do better in school. 

Download (PDF) Full Report | Executive Summary | Infographic

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience: Delivering Fun with Purpose  (2014)
This summary of findings, which draws on data from national surveys of over 10,000 Girls Scouts in grades K–12, shows that the Girl Scout Leadership Experience delivers "fun with purpose" by helping girls gain valuable life skills and amazing new experiences while having fun and building friendships.

Download (PDF) Executive Summary

Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study (2012)
This study, conducted in conjunction with Fluent, an independent research firm, reached the following conclusion: women who were Girl Scouts display positive life outcomes pertaining to  sense of self, community service, civic engagement, education, and income to a greater degree than women who were not Girl Scouts. This is the case for all alumnae, across generations, class, and race.

Download (PDF) Full Report | Executive Summary | Overview

The Girl Scout Cookie Program: Teaching Essential Skills for a Lifetime (2012)
This study examined the benefits of the Girl Scout Cookie Program, the largest girl-run business in the world, and the essential skills the program helps girls develop: goal setting, money management, people skills, decision making, and business ethics. The findings show how the experience empowers girls to become successful entrepreneurs while gaining valuable and transferable skills that can last them a lifetime.

Download (PDF) Summary - English | Summary - Español

Linking Leadership to Academic Success: The Girl Scout Difference (2012)
The findings from this report demonstrate how Girl Scouting supports academic engagement and achievement, with an emphasis on the role of Girl Scout processes and leadership outcomes in helping girls succeed in school. The findings also reveal that, in some cases, Girl Scout programming has greater benefits for lower-SES girls—that is, girls whose mothers have less than a college education. A set of Research to Action tip sheets accompanies the report, highlighting how results may be used to enhance program delivery, volunteer training, membership growth, and fund raising.

Download (PDF) Full Report | Summary - English | Summary - Español | Tip Sheet

Mapping the Girl Scout Leadership Experience Outcomes to the Search Institute's Youth Developmental Assets (2012)
By establishing the links between the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and positive youth development, this toolkit allows users to identify broader connections between Girl Scout programming and the goals of funders and other community partners that use the Youth Development Assets framework.

Download (PDF) Full Report

Studies About Girls in the United States 

Photo montage: Studies About Girls in the United States

The State of Girls: Unfinished Business (2013)
This groundbreaking national report, the most comprehensive of its kind, explores the issues and trends affecting girls’ wellbeing in America. The takeaway: while there is promising news for girls, many are being left behind.

Download (PDF) Full Report | Executive Summary  | Fact Sheet  | Slideshow

The State of Girls: Thriving or Surviving? (2014)
Examining girls' well-being across each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, this report ranks each state based on an index of girls' well-being. Five indicators are considered: physical health and safety, economic well-being, education, emotional health, and extracurricular/out-of-school-time activities.

Download (PDF) Full Report | Infographic

Having It All: Girls and Financial Literacy (2013)
While lack of financial literacy is a growing concern for everyone today, relatively little research has been done on how young people think about money, and even fewer studies focus on girls specifically. The revelation: while 90 percent of girls say it is important to learn how to manage money, only 12 percent feel "very confident" making financial decisions.

Download (PDF) Full Report and Tip Sheet for Adults English | Español | Study Summary | Infographic

Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (2012)
This national report investigates girls' interests in STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math. The study finds that girls are interested in these subjects and aspire to pursue careers in related fields, but they need further exposure and education.

Download (PDF) Full Report | Study Summary | Tips for Adults | Tips for Girls

Order (Book) Executive Summary

Running for a Change: Girls and Politics Pulse Poll (2014)
Examining girls' interest in politics today, this national poll reveals that girls have an array of political and civic engagement experiences both in and out of school—but their interest and experience doesn't necessarily lead to a future political career. They believe women are capable of pursuing political careers but realize that girls need more guidance, opportunities, and general support to further their interest in politics.

Download (PDF) Fact Sheet

The Resilience Factor: A Key to Leadership in African American and Hispanic Girls (2011)
This discussion paper, generated from national leadership research conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute, explores the concept of resilience as a framework for developing leadership skills based on recent literature focused on African American and Hispanic girls.

Download (PDF) Full Report

Beauty Redefined: Girls and Body Image Survey (2010)
This nationwide survey, conducted in conjunction with the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, finds many girls consider the body image sold by the fashion industry unrealistic, creating an unattainable model of beauty. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed say the fashion industry (89 percent) and/or the media (88 percent) place a lot of pressure on them to be thin.

Download (PDF) Fact Sheet

Who's That Girl?: Image and Social Media Survey (2010)
This nationwide survey, which included more than 1,000 girls ages 14 to 17, finds the increased exposure to social media puts teenage girls in a confusing situation where a girl's image is not always what it seems. Nearly 74 percent of girls believe that most girls use social networking sites to make themselves "cooler than they really are," and the survey also finds that girls downplay positive characteristics—including intelligence and kindness.

Download (PDF) Fact Sheet | Tips for Parents | Tips for Girls

Disclaimer: Statistical data collected by the Girl Scout Research Institute is presented for informational purposes only and does not necessarily imply a specific position by Girl Scouts of the USA on a given issue.


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