Students Working More Than 20 Hours Face Academic and Behavioral Problems

A new study conducted by the researchers of the University of Washington, the Temple University and the University of Virginia, states that high school students who work for more than 20 hours in a week can face behavioral and academic problems. Samples of about 1,800 10th and 11th graders were compared for the study. Analysis was made by comparing the students who got the jobs to those who did not get the job and students who left their jobs to teens who continued working.

Advanced statistical methods were used to match the teens on the basis of their personality and background. The researchers noticed that teens who worked for more than 20 hours in a week showed a decline in school engagement and increase in the behavioral problems. They even resorted to substance abuse, stealing, possessing guns etc. Things did not change for the better even when these teen cut back on their working hours or left the job all together. On the contrary, students working for less than 20 hours a week did not face such psychological, academic or behavioral problems.

Kathryn C. Monahan, research scientist at the University of Washington and the lead researcher of this study, suggests that parents, policymakers and educators should monitor the number of working hours of the students. The study is published in the journal, Child Development (January/February issue)

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