Working more than 20 hours a week in high school can lead to academic and behavior problems, a new analysis suggests.
Researchers re-analyzed data collected during the 1980s on more than 1,800 10th graders as they moved through high school. Using statistical techniques created since the original study, researchers this time were able to account for personal characteristics or academic differences among groups of working and nonworking students that might skew the results.
Their re-analysis showed that students who worked more than 20 hours a week were more likely than similar, nonworking teenagers to become less engaged in their school over time.
They also became more likely than nonworkers to exhibit problem behaviors, such as stealing, smoking, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs.
The study was published in the January/February issue of the journal Child Development.
A version of this article appeared in the February 23, 2011 edition of Education Week as After-School Jobs