. "4 Work's Effects on Children and Adolescents." Protecting Youth at Work: Health, Safety, and Development of Working Children and Adolescents in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1998.
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Protecting Youth at Work: Health, Safety, and Development of Working Children and Adolescents in the United States
Wise, 1979; Marsh, 1991; Meyer and Wise, 1982; Mihalic and Elliott, 1997; Mortimer and Finch, 1986; Ruhm, 1995; Ruhm, 1997; Steel, 1991; Stern and Nakata, 1989). In a study of students with and without disabilities in Oregon and Nevada, Benz and colleagues (1997) found that having had two or more work experiences during the last 2 years of high school was positively related to being employed 1 year after high school. Among Canadian young people not attending post-secondary school, those who had worked during high school had more months of full-time employment, but not higher wages, in the second year after leaving high school than those who had not worked during high school (Lowe and Krahn, 1992). Marsh (1991) reports that working while attending high school reduces the risk of unemployment during the 2 years following high school. Steel's (1991) analysis of National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data finds that hours per week of high school employment are positively related to weeks of employment for whites for 2 years following high school; for African Americans and Hispanics, however, the relationships between hours worked and employment after high school were not statistically significant.
Some analysts have expressed concern that the gains by teenagers who were employed during high school may be temporary. Several authors have used the same study, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, to try to address this concern. Carr and colleagues (1996) report that the gains persist for as long as a decade following high school. Adjusting statistically for the background factors and educational attainments that were available, employment in high school was shown to have positive effects on employment and wages nearly a dozen years later. Using data from the same study (NLSY), Ruhm (1997) reported that 6–9 years after high school graduation, students who had worked during their senior year had greater economic attainment, including higher earnings, wages, occupational status, and fringe benefits, despite a small decrement in completed schooling that was associated with time on the job. Future economic gains were greater for students who had invested more hours in work. The greatest economic gains were found among students who worked 21 to 24 hours per week during high school; at the same time, decreases in educational attainment were substantial for those who worked more than 20 hours per week (Ruhm, 1997). This analysis controlled for other factors that might explain the findings,