Adolescent Employment and Social Capital: The Impact of Working with Family on School Performance

Jennifer C. Lee, University of Minnesota

Despite the increasing attention researchers have devoted to adolescent employment, specifically number of hours worked, there is little research that addresses how context of employment affects school performance. However, some studies of job quality highlight the importance of moving beyond a time trade-off perspective in explaining the association between employment and schooling outcomes. Coleman's research on social capital suggests that intergenerational closure has a positive impact on academic achievement by reinforcing high educational values and expectations. This paper extends these ideas to the workplace by analyzing how working for or with family members impacts grades in high school. Using data from the University of Washington Beyond High School project, I investigate racial and ethnic differences in employment context and to what extent they mediate the association between race/ethnicity and school performance.

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Presented in Session 109: Child Work and Schooling II