Negative Impacts

Although the duties arranged for young employees are straightforward and simple, there are still some hidden dangers. The dangers might cause bodily as well as psychologically harm. In particular, there are serious concerns about the impacts of working experiences on the youths' development. James R. Stone and Jeylan T. Mortimer emphasized in a 1998 article for the Journal of Vocational Behavior that early working experiences affect adolescents' mental health development in terms of adaptability. Many researchers have obtained both positive and negative outcomes of young employment. The most noteworthy result was that long working hours was particularly likely to cause negative impact on a youth's development. Adolescents who worked more than twenty hours a week were found to be more likely to have low academic standing, to abuse substances, and to be delinquent. Ellen Greenberger and Laurence Steinberg pointed out in their 1986 book When Teenagers Work that working adolescents engage in more deviant behaviors and school tardiness than adolescents who are not employed.

With reference to working adolescents' academic performance, M. R. Frone reviewed many articles and concluded that senior secondary students who spend more time working have poor results in their studies. The reason for this is that many of them cut down the time they spend on homework and study, as well as time spent participating in extracurricular activities. In essence, their school attachment declines, and the likelihood that they will pursue further education also declines, particularly for boys. The results of a 1995 study conducted by Linda P. Worley found that students working about three hours a week had good school results (an average grade point average [GPA] of 3.08). Those working ten to twenty hours a week achieved average grades (average GPA of 2.77). Students who worked more than twenty hours a week, however, had poor school results (average GPA of less than 2.5). Nevertheless, the students tended to deny the negative consequences. Out of 248 twelfth-graders, 62 percent said that working had no negative influence on their school results. Greenberger and Steinberg also found that the rate of school dropout was comparatively low for students who worked fewer than twenty hours a week. Twenty working hours a week, therefore, seems to be the threshold for the negative impact of employment on school adaptability.

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