Purpose: To examine the association between paid part-time employment among schoolchildren, and adult substance use, psychological well-being, and academic achievement. Methods: Longitudinal data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study were used to evaluate the association between employment at each of 11, 13, and 15 years and adult smoking, regular alcohol binge drinking, regular cannabis use, sense of coherence, social participation, positive coping style, prosociality, no formal qualifications, and university degree. Associations were initially assessed using unadjusted regression analyses and then adjusted for the potential childhood confounders intelligence quotient, reading development, Student's Perception of Ability Scale, socioeconomic disadvantage, family climate, harsh parentechild interaction, parental opinion of their child's attitude to school, and child's personal attitude to school. Results: Employment at 11 years of age was associated with a lower odds of adult smoking; the odds of subsequent regular alcohol binge drinking were greater for those who were employed at age 13; and higher adult rates of social participation and prosociality were identified for adolescents who were employed at 15 years of age. When the potential confounders were controlled, employment at age 13 was predictive of both adult smoking and regular binge drinking, and working at 15 years of age was protective against regular cannabis use and associated with greater social participation. Conclusions: There is no consistent evidence that exposing schoolchildren to part-time employment compromised subsequent health, well-being, and education in a developed country.
Iosua, E. E., Gray, A. R., McGee, R., Landhuis, C. E., Keane, R., & Hancox, R. J. (2014). Employment among schoolchildren and its associations with adult substance use, psychological well-being, and academic achievement. Journal of Adolescent Health, 55(4), 542–548. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.03.018