Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Working more than 20 hours a week in high school found harmful

Date:
February 4, 2011
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
A new shows that among high school students, working more than 20 hours/week during the school year can lead to academic and behavior problems. The researchers used advanced statistical methods to reanalyze longitudinal data collected in the 1980s on 1,800 middle class teens in 10th and 11th grades. The researchers also found that things didn't get better when teens who were working more than 20 hours/week cut back their hours or stopped working altogether.

Many teens work part-time during the school year, and in the current economic climate, more youths may take jobs to help out with family finances. But caution is advised: Among high school students, working more than 20 hours a week during the school year can lead to academic and behavior problems.

That's the finding of a new study by researchers at the University of Washington, University of Virginia, and Temple University. It appears in the January/February issue of the journal, Child Development.

In a reanalysis of longitudinal data collected in the late 1980s, researchers examined the impact of getting a job or leaving work among middle-class teens in 10th and 11th grades. Drawing from the full sample of about 1,800 individuals, the researchers compared adolescents who got jobs to similar teens who didn't work, and adolescents who left jobs to similar teens who kept working.

Using advances in statistical methods, the researchers matched the teens on a long list of background and personality characteristics that are known to influence whether or not a young person chooses to work; using this technique allowed more certainty in estimating the effects of working on adolescents' development than in the original analysis of the data.

The researchers found that working for more than 20 hours a week was associated with declines in school engagement and how far adolescents were expected to go in school, and increases in problem behavior such as stealing, carrying a weapon, and using alcohol and illegal drugs. They also found that things didn't get better when teens who were working more than 20 hours a week cut back their hours or stopped working altogether. In contrast, working 20 hours or less a week had negligible academic, psychological, or behavioral effects.

"Working part-time during the school year has been a fixture of American adolescence for more than 30 years," notes Kathryn C. Monahan, a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Washington, who led the study. "Today, a substantial proportion of American high school students hold part-time jobs during the school year, and a large number of them work more than 20 hours each week.

"Although working during high school is unlikely to turn law-abiding teenagers into felons or cause students to flunk out of school, the extent of the adverse effects we found is not trivial, and even a small decline in school engagement or increase in problem behavior may be of concern to many parents," she adds.

The bottom line, suggests Monahan: "Parents, educators, and policymakers should monitor and constrain the number of hours adolescents work while they are enrolled in high school."

The study was supported, in part, by the U.S. Department of Education.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kathryn C. Monahan, Joanna M. Lee, Laurence Steinberg. Revisiting the Impact of Part-Time Work on Adolescent Adjustment: Distinguishing Between Selection and Socialization Using Propensity Score Matching. Child Development, 2011; 82 (1): 96 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01543.x

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Working more than 20 hours a week in high school found harmful." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110204091248.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2011, February 4). Working more than 20 hours a week in high school found harmful. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110204091248.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Working more than 20 hours a week in high school found harmful." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110204091248.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins