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NCJ Number: 220281 Find in a Library
Title: Working in High School and Adaptation in the Transition to Young Adulthood Among African American Youth
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:36  Issue:7  Dated:October 2007  Pages:877-890
Author(s): Jose A. Bauermeister; Marc A. Zimmerman; Tracey E. Barnett; Cleopatra Howard Caldwell
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
Grant Number: R01-DA07484;P30-MH43520
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the effects of employment on African-American adolescence.
Abstract: The results supported the works benefit perspective that working during adolescence may not have negative health consequences for African-American youth. This study examined the association between work and problem behaviors among African-American youth (N=592; 53 percent female; average age= 4.8 years). The effects of work during adolescence were conceptualized from two perspectives: work benefits and work consequences. The work benefits perspective suggests that adolescents who work during high school learn social skills, such as time management and responsibility that help them successfully negotiate their transitions into adulthood. Working youth may be less inclined to engage in problem behaviors, such as drugs and alcohol because they value their earned money, they have positive adult influences, and they have fewer opportunities to use substances. The work consequence perspective on adolescent work suggests that working might expose youth to adult-like roles and responsibilities that might place them at risk of increased behaviors such as cigarette, marijuana, and alcohol use. Youth who worked during adolescence self-reported less marijuana use over time than adolescent nonworkers. Working with greater intensity seemed to improve adolescents’ self-acceptance as they transition into young adulthood when compared to their nonworking counterparts. Researchers found variation in self-esteem over time and acknowledged that not all youth experienced an increase in self-esteem. Having a job might help adolescents overcome some of the challenges of a negative neighborhood environment, which in turn enhances their sense of self-worth. Data were collected from 850 adolescents beginning ninth grade in 4 public high schools in a midwestern city. African-Americans constituted 80 percent of the sample in Wave 1 (n = 681). Tables, figures, references
Main Term(s): Black/African Americans; Minority employment
Index Term(s): Behavior; Behavior typologies; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Employment; Mental health; Youth development; Youth employment
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