Open Access Dissertation
The majority of high school students, as many as 80%, have school-year employment prior to graduation (Steinberg, 1988). Many students who work at part-time jobs during the school year are putting in increasingly more hours, some in excess of 20 hours per week (D'Amico, 1984; Steinberg & Dornbusch, 1990). The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of the part-time employment of high school students as it relates to the following measures of academic involvement: GPA, time spent on homework, time spent in extracurricular activities, attitude toward school, classroom engagement, enrollment in math and science courses, and future plans for education. The study investigated three aspects of employment status: work intensity (number of hours worked per week), work situation (working at a job for pay or working at the family farm or business), and work time (working during the week or working only on weekends).
Thirty Iowa high schools were selected at random for participation in this study, and from each of the schools, one section of a junior English class was selected to complete the study's questionnaire. A total of 625 students were included in the study.
The data were analyzed with the use of both multivariate and univariate statistics. Students were categorized into three groups: non-employed students, students who worked less than 20 hours per week, and students who worked 20 or more hours per week. A discriminant analysis was employed to determine whether a linear combination of the measures of academic involvement could be used successfully to predict a student's membership in one of the three work intensity groups, and to provide a means to discriminate those measures that were more closely associated with the work intensity variable. A series of two-way ANOVAs, ANCOVAs, Chi square tests, and t tests were employed to determine whether there were differences in the measures of academic involvement as a function of work intensity, work situation, and work time. In addition to the inferential analysis, a descriptive analysis of other employment features concerning both the employed and the nonemployed students provided information about students' perceptions of the impact of their employment on school-related variables, students' spending and/or saving habits, types of jobs, and attitude toward work, as well as students' reasons for not having or not wanting a part-time job.
Significant differences were found in all of the measures of academic involvement between those students who worked 20 or more hours per week and those students who were not employed or who worked less than 20 hours per week. The tests revealed no significant differences between the non-employed group of students and those students who worked less than 20 hours per week. No significant differences were found in the measures of academic involvement as a function of work situation and work time.
The findings of this study suggest that the part-time employment of high school students is not associated with lower scores on the measures of academic involvement until the level of work intensity exceeds 20 hours per week.
Year of Submission
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
1 PDF file (ix, 102 pages)
©1993 Larry G. Eggink
Eggink, Larry G., "The part-time employment of high school students: Relationship to school-related variables" (1993). Theses and Dissertations @ UNI. 919.