Column One: Students

January 29, 1992 1 min read
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Teenagers who work are more susceptible to social problems, such as criminal activity, drug abuse, than those who do not & two studies suggest.

One study, conducted by a sociologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder and based on a national sample of teenagers, found that high-school students who have jobs are one-and-a-half times more likely than nonworkers to have committed criminal offenses and to have used alcohol, and are twice as likely as nonworkers to have used marijuana.

In the other study, of 7,400 students in Indiana, three-fifths of the employed students said they used alcohol on a regular basis, and 70 percent said they had driven cars while under the influence of alcohol.

“Most students are not working because of strictly economic needs, such as saving for college,” said Jay C. Thompson, a professor of educational leadership at Ball State University who coordinated the Indiana study. “They are working to buy material goods. And these goods include alcohol, marijuana, and cigarettes, as well as clothes, stereos, and cars.”

Despite pessimistic views to the contrary, low-income African-American families can exhibit “strength, persistence, trouble, and passions” in their involvement in their children’s schooling, a new book concludes.

“Helping Dreams Survive,” published by the National Committee for Citizens in Education, documents a four-year effort working with residents in a poor, inner-city neighborhood of Baltimore.

It cautions, however, that the project’s successes were hard to come by. Encouraging parents to influence the educational outcomes of their children, the book notes, requires persistence and attention to their basic survival needs.

Copies of “Helping Dreams Survive” are available for $24.95 each, plus $2 for shipping and handling, from the N.C.C.E., 900 2nd St., N.E., Suite 8, Washington, D.C. 20002.

To help students become safer drivers, the Sony Corporation of America and the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association have published an educational pamphlet.

The 25-page booklet, written by the U.S. Department of Transportation, is available to high-school driver-education teachers. It includes a lessen plan and tips on driver safety.

Those interested in obtaining copies should write to: Sony/ A.D.T.S.E.A. Driver Safety Program, Golin/Harris Communications, 666 3rd Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017. --R.R.

A version of this article appeared in the January 29, 1992 edition of Education Week as Column One: Students


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