Working Too Hard Could Put Teens at Risk For Negative Behavior

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Having a part-time job is great -- you get real-life working experience and extra money in your pocket. However, a new study shows that high school students who work too hard could be at risk for academic and behavioral problems.

According to U.S. News and World Report, researchers analyzed data from the '80s, which involved 1,800 middle-class sophomores and juniors, including those who had jobs and those who didn't. The study found that teens who logged more than 20 hours per week during the school year were also associated with negative behaviors like a disinterest in school and lowered ambition for extended education.
The data also showed that those who worked more hours had an increase in illegal behavior like "stealing, carrying a weapon, and using alcohol and illicit drugs," and the behaviors continued even after the teens reduced their hours or stopped working altogether.

However, the study found that teens who worked less than 20 hours per week during the school year experienced little to no academic or behavioral effects.

Study leader Kathryn C. Monahan, a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Washington, said that working law-abiding high schoolers are unlikely to turn into criminals, but the effects shouldn't be discounted. In fact, she hopes that parents and policymakers will work to monitor and limit working hours for students.

Do you have a job at which you work more than 20 hours per week? Do you think it has an effect on your academic and/or personal life? Let us know in the comments. %Poll-59802%


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