Whilst Western societies argue vehemently against child labour, there seems to be a very different attitude to adolescents partaking in the work force.
One in five American high school students work more than 15 hours a week alongside their schooling and, whilst this can lead to positive outcome regarding self-management, there are several downsides associated with teen labour.
Steinberg et al. (1982), found that teenagers who take on part-time jobs alongside their education:
1 – Develop cynical attitudes to work
2 – Are likely to partake in unethical business practices
3 – Suffer in their school achievements
4 – Experience negative implications on their friendships and family relationships
Follow up studies have supported Steinberg et al.’s results, adding that part-time work in adolescence can expose teenagers to unnecessary work-related stress, which can affect sleep, exercise and enjoyment of leisure activities.
Researchers do highlight a strong role for cultural and individual differences in their research findings.
Read the original paper here: Steinberg, L. et al. (1982), High School Students in the Labor Force