skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 201570 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Fruits of Good Work: Early Work Experiences and Adolescent Deviance
Journal: Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:40  Issue:3  Dated:August 2003  Pages:28-263
Author(s): Jeremy Staff; Christopher Uggen
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Bethesda, MD 20892-2425
National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: HD44138;MH42843
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study considered the relationship between delinquency and several dimensions of adolescent employment, including learning opportunities, freedom and autonomy, social status, demands and stress, wages, and compatibility between work and school.
Abstract: The study analyzed data from the Youth Development Study (YDS), a longitudinal survey of adolescents and their parents in St. Paul, MN. Beginning in 1988, a randomly selected panel of 1,000 St. Paul high school students completed follow-up surveys each year to assess the effects of adolescent work on mental health, educational attainment, work attitudes, and developmental maladjustment. Valid work-dimension and deviance scores were available for 652 adolescent workers. Three indicators of adolescent deviance were considered: school deviance, alcohol use, and arrest. These variables were used to examine the robustness of the work effects. For 12th-grade youth, school deviance, alcohol use, and arrest were lowest among adolescents whose jobs supported rather than displaced academic roles and provided opportunities for them to learn new tasks and gain new knowledge. In contrast, many qualities of work considered desirable for adults, such as autonomy, social status, and wages, apparently increased delinquency in adolescence. These findings suggest the importance of matching employment opportunities to the ages of the workers. Future research should focus on identifying the particular life-course stage when the effects of wages, status, and autonomy reverse course and begin to reduce rather than increase crime and deviance. 8 tables, 1 figure, 7 notes, and 49 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Deviance; Employment-crime relationships; Youth employment
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.