High school students are active, busy members of our communities. Not only do they pursue their academic studies, but many are involved in activities such as volunteering, music, theater, sports, religious groups, and, often, part-time employment. After school jobs offer much to students beyond a paycheck. In an introduction to the work world, teen workers experience both the benefits as well as the difficulties of holding down a job. This guide offers students, parents, and school professionals resources geared toward gaining an understanding of the effects part-time work has on a student’s academic and personal life. There is much to consider when making the decision to take an after-school job, from its impact on grades to the health and safety of the teen. The sources listed below will help guide you as you decide whether or not after-school employment is the right fit for you and your family. -CH

Essential Question:
What is the effect, if any, of after school employment on student learning?
Researched and prepared by Monica Dennler.

KEYWORDS: Student employment, educational effects, achievement

Essential Question 2: How does after school employment have an effect on a student's organizational skills and level of personal responsibility?
Researched and prepared by Emily O'Dell
KEYWORDS: teens, jobs, employment, high school

Essential Question 3: What resources are available for students, their parents, and school professionals that provide guidance for a student seeking after school employment?
Researched and prepared by Carol Herb.

Keywords: [teen OR high school OR after school] AND [work OR job OR employment]

academic.JPGEffects of After School Employment on Student Learning

“Effects of after-school employment on academic performance." Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter 21
(2005): 3-3.
A Wisconsin study that looks at the academic performance of working verses non-working high school students. The study finds no significant difference between the two groups in the areas of absenteesim, truency, lateness or grades. It focuses on the postive effects of including responsibility, builiding positive relationships and a positive self image.

Hammond, Shawn. "Effects of Employment on Student Academic Success." Dec. 2006.
A report from the Brigham Young University office of Employment Services presenting information the optimal number of employment hours for a college student is 20 hours; More than 20 hours spent on employment can be detrimental to a students grade point average.

Kelly, Karen. "Working Teenagers: Do After-School Jobs Hurt?" Harvard Education Letter. July-Aug. 1998.
Research based evidence that points to employment unrelated to a school based program and that take up more than 15 hours a week of a student's time are in fact a detriment to a student's education. The theory is put forward that student's who work more than 20 hours a week were uninterested in school/ecuation to before the start of their after shcool employment.

Kusum, Singh, Mido Chang, and Sandra Dika. "Effects of Part-Time Work on School Achievement During High School." Journal
of Educational Research
101 (2007): 12-22.

A study that examines the the "relationship of part-time work with educational outcomes". Includes charts, tables and answers from students completed questionnaire on academic and social experiences associated with school. The authors of this student suggest that since part-time employment is unique to the United States more compared with other industrialized nations and since the United States scores relatively low compared to these other countries carful consideration must be given by parents and students toward part-time employment during the school year.

Quirk, Kimberly J., Timothy Z. Keith, and Jeffery T. Quirk. "Employment During High School and Student Achievement:
Longitudinal Analysis of National Data."
Journal of Educational Research 95 (2001): 4+.

A study that looked at the effects of employment on 10th and 12th grade High
School students and their Grade Point Averages. The determining factors seems to be the number of hours worked during a week. Students who work less than 13 hours a week in the 10th grade and less than 11 hours a week in the 12th grade perform better than students who do not work but once students exceed the number of hours per week there is a significant drop in their GPA's compared to non-working students.

Rothstein, Donna S. "High School Employment and Youths' Academic Achievement." Journal of Human Resources 42 (2007):

This updated study looks at new evidence as well as evidence of previous studies to suggest there is a negligible impact by after school employment on student test scores and grades.

Rothstein, Richard. "Linking poor performance to working after school." The New York Times 27 Oct. 1999. EPI. 2008.
Economic Policy Institute.

The author compares the decline in American student's’ profeciency in testing in high school because of the rise in afterschool empoyment in to other countries. Mr Rothstein attributes decline in student achievement to the number of hours worked and the type of jobs that employ students. The article suggests the most beneficial type of employment is "school-to-work programs" where employment can be coordinated with academic programs and monitored by educators.

"Working After School." Gifted Child Today 21 (1998): 8-8. Sept.-Oct. 1998.
Results from three year study, from 1987 to 1990 that included 20,000 students, on the effects of after school employment and student achievement. A coorelation was established between the number of hours worked, over 20, and the negative effect on student learning.

responsible.JPGAfter School Employment and Its Effect on Students' Organizational Skills and Level of Personal Responsibility


Bashe, Philip. American Academy of Pediatrics Caring for Your Teenager. Ed. Donald E. Greydanus. New York: Bantam, 2003.

Sets practical limits for parents on how many hours teenagers should spend on after school jobs, broken down by age category. Lists some of the pitfalls of working too many hours, such as a drop in grades. Advises parents about some of the practical and safety issues that can arise during certain types of employment.

Bolles, Richard N., and Carol Christen. What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens Discovering Yourself, Defining Your Future.
New York: Ten Speed P, 2006. 54-69.

Gives teens guidelines for planning their future careers, while using part time work to gain experience. Provides suggestions on work experience that will benefit them later, as well as using current jobs to explore interests. Stresses the importance of education over part-time work in achieving long-term goals.

Bradley, Michael J. Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy! : Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your
Mind. New York: Harbor P, Incorporated,
2003. 251.

Provides guidelines for parents in deciding how much time their teens spend on after school jobs and how to strike the correct balance between obligations. Lists specific DOs and DONTs for prioritizing schoolwork vs. work responsibilities. This book has very limited information on after school jobs, but provides important background information to help parents learn what their teens are thinking, and cope with the changes in the family dynamic.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly, and Barbara Scneider. Becoming Adult:
Teenagers Prepare for the World of Work. New York: Basic
Books, 2000.

A highly analytical work studying the effects of work on teenagers growth, happiness and ultimate success. Contains numerous charts breaking down job saitisfaction, learning opportunities and risks to future success by sociological and economic categories. This work is geared towards education professionals, but would be of interest to some parents, It delves into the individual differences, which can shape each student’s experience of education, part-time work, and eventual preparation for a career.

Gluck, Beth R., and Joel Rosenfeld, eds. How to Survive Your Teenager : By Hundreds of
Still-Sane Parents Who Did and Some Things to Avoid from a Few Whose Kids Drove Them Nuts. New York: Hundreds of Heads Books, Incorporated, 2005. 123-42.
Provides quotes from parents on how they have handled specific situations, which required a choice between work and school responsibilities. A guide for parents to learn that they are not alone, and learn how others have handled some common situations. Acknowledges that parents do not always have control over teenagers, and gives common sense suggestions to learn to let go and let them learn from their own mistakes.

Morgenstern, Julie, Jessi Morgenstern-Col, and Janet Pedersen. Organizing from the
Inside Out for Teens : The Foolproof System for Organizing Your Room, Your Time, and Your Life. New York: Owl Books, 2002. 176-93.
Helps teens set their own guidelines and schedule their time through worksheets and exercises, which list commitments and responsibilities. Stresses that teens must take charge of their own lives by deciding what is most important both in the present and to achieve long term goals. The presentation is a combination of checklists, questionnaires and personal narratives geared towards helping the teens manage time more efficiently.

Pilar, Bella, and Sarah O. Burningham. How to Raise Your Parents : A Teen Girl's Survival
Guide. New York: Chronicle Books LLC, 2008. 104-16.
Gives teens advice on deciding whether or not to work, how to find a part time job, and alternatives to a job, such as relying on allowance and using barter. Quotes from real life teens about their experiences and the pros and cons of working for extra money as it affects their schoolwork and other aspects of their lives. This book is aimed specifically at girls, but the advice on jobs would apply equally to both sexes.

Journals and Periodicals

Baum, Richard L., and Charles L. Baum. "An Examination of College-Bound High School Students' Labor Market Behavior: Why
some Students Work and Why Some Do
Not." Education 121 (Summer 2001): 787-95.

Examines why high school students work, and the percentage of working teens who fall into several demographic categories. Finds that most high school seniors do work during the school year, and many work over 20 hours per week. This study found that working during the school year is usually detrimental to academic success, but that limited working hours can have a positive impact on academics.

"Employment Opportunities for Teenagers." Employment Spot. Hayden, Kellie. "Teens Employed and Stressed." 17 Feb. 2008.
Suite 101.com.

Lists possible jobs for teens with varying levels of experience. Gives tips on how to get different types of job experience, and what personality types would be best suited for each job. Weighs the short-term benefits (salary, opportunity to spend time with friends) of each type of job against the long-term gains (more experience for future career, looking good on college applications.)

Lacey, Jill N. "High School Students' Work and Time Use." Occupational Outlook Quarterly 51 (Spring 2007): 18.
Studies how both working and non-working high school students spend their time. Concludes that the amount of time spent on classes and homework is basically the same between the two groups, and leisure time pursuits are what students must sacrifice in order to work after school.

Shellenbarger, Sue. "Work-Life Issues Are Starting to Plague Teenagers With Jobs." The Wall Street Journal 15 Oct. 1997: B.1.

tudies the effects of working after school jobs, particularly those that require more than 20 hours a week. Concludes that this type of work schedule is detrimental to academic success, even while controlling for other variables, such as economic and family stresses. Finds that teens are more susceptible than adults to on-the-job stresses, and a negative work experience can have long lasting effects. Overall, the conclusion of this article is that it is not worth the risks for teens to hold time-consuming after school jobs.

Springen, Karen. "Should Your Teen Work?" Newsweek 28 Jan. 2008: 61.
Gives pros and cons of after school work experience for teens. Concludes that work experience is valuable as long as academics remain the top priority. Is ambiguous about whether after school experience is well regarded by college admissions offices. It depends on the teen, and the way the students describe their experience and its effect on their lives.

Tahmincioglu, Even. "Teen Jobs: The Big Payoff." Good Housekeeping.

Describes the trend away from part time work as parents stress academic success over short-term financial gain. This article concludes that students who do not work part time are missing out on both short and long term benefits, and urges parents to encourage self-sufficiency and financial responsibility by encouraging their teens to work during high school.

"Teens Test Their Work Ethic at After-School Jobs." New York Amsterdam News 21 Feb. 2008: 22.
Since this study finds that most teenagers to work after school jobs, this article cites several teenagers and their work experience and the reasons they chose particular jobs. The students describe their job responsibilities and what they have learned from the experience.

resources.JPGResources for Providing Students, Parents, and School Professionals with Guidance When Students Seek After School Employment

Chao, Jamie, et al. Youth at Work. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. <http://youth.eeoc.gov/>.

Unfortunately, students are not immune to the possibilities of discrimination in the workplace. To educate students, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission developed “Youth at Work.” This focuses on explaining what employment discrimination is, what young employees can do when they find themselves faced with it, and even an online quiz to test a student’s understanding of the issue.

Cortellessa, Chris, M.Ed., rev. “Finding a Summer Job or Internship.” Kids Health for Parents website. May 2008.

For many students, the desire to find a part-time job and knowing how to go about getting one are two very different things. As a beginning point, the author of this article encourages students to consider their interests and goals and going from there. Tips for writing a resume and interviewing are included as well.

Gavin, Mary L., MD., rev. “Making Sure Your Teen’s Job is Safe.” Kids Health for Parents website. October 2008.

McCarthy, Laura Flynn. “Labor Daze: Part-Time Summer Jobs.” Family Circle. May 2008.
While an after school job can be an invaluable life-lesson for a high school student, there are precautions that are necessary in order to ensure a safe experience. These two articles described steps parents can take to help their child assess a work situation and determine if it is a safe work environment.

SnagAJob. SnagAJob.com, Inc. 2008. <www.snagajob.com>.
While the “big” job search engines, such as www.monster.com, www.careerbuilder.com, and www.hotjobs.com all include listings for hourly employment, SnagAJob.com focuses on this type of position. With listings all around the country with well-known companies (including Home Depot, Brunswick Bowling, and the Cheesecake Factory), students can search for a wide range of local positions. Tips and suggestions are offered under “Job Articles,” and some fun content makes this appealing to younger workers.

Youth Rules! Preparing the 21st Century Workforce. U.S. Department of Labor. <http://www.youthrules.dol.gov/>.
“Youth Rules!” is an initiative by the U.S. Department of Labor designed to “assist America’s youth in preparing to enter [the] workforce.” Sections dedicated to teens, their parents, school professionals, and employers provide essential information, such as what hours teens are permitted to work and what types of jobs are considered too dangerous for teens to have. Because certain employment laws vary by state, the site also provides links to that information as well.