paid jobs while attending high school. For minority youngsters with jobs, their number of hours worked are similar to those for whites (Ruhm, 1997; Steel, 1991). Similarly, for poor youngsters, their hours worked are similar to those worked by more affluent youngsters (data from National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health).
Race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status also appear to affect the types of jobs young people get. Although retail establishments provide the greatest number of first jobs for all youth, a greater percentage of minority than white youngsters are employed in services, such as janitorial work (Ahituv et al., 1997). And low-income youth, when employed, are more likely than more affluent youth to work in hazardous industries, such as agriculture, manufacturing, and construction (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1991).
About 12 percent of those between the ages of 15 and 21 are considered disabled, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (Public Law 101-336), which includes those whose actions or activities are limited because of physical, mental, or other health conditions (McNeil, 1997). About 10.5 percent of school-age children have disabilities as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (U.S. Department of Education, 1996). These are children with impairments caused by physical, mental, or other health conditions requiring the provision of special education and related services. Slightly more than half (51.2 percent) of disabled school-age children have specific learning disabilities, 21.8 percent have speech or language impairments, 10.9 percent are mentally retarded, and 8.7 percent have serious emotion disturbances; the remaining 7.5 percent suffer have disorders or conditions, such as autism, deafness, blindness, hearing impairments, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairments, other health impairments, traumatic brain injuries, or visual impairments (U.S. Department of Education, 1996).
Work-force participation is lower for disabled people of all ages, adolescents and adults, than for the general population; disabled women have particularly low rates of employment. The rate of employment for all disabled individuals over the age of 15 is about 67 percent for men and 21 percent for women (compared with 71 percent for men and 57 percent for women aged 16 and over in the