Schoolchildren not disadvantaged by part-time work

NZ schoolchildren not disadvantaged by part-time work

Schoolchildren who combine schoolwork with a part-time job do not appear to suffer from any long-term disadvantage, University of Otago research suggests.

Researchers analysed data from the long-running Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study and found that the paid employment of schoolchildren was not associated with any long-term harmful effects on their wellbeing, education or with increased drug use.

The Dunedin Study has followed the progress of 1000 people born in 1972-73 through to age 38. The new research, which appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health, includes data up to age 32.

Lead author of the research, Dr Ella Iosua, says the researchers found that many children in the Study did do part-time work while they were . At age 11 just over 5% did such work, while 26% and 42% worked part time at ages 13 and 15, respectively.

"Study members who had part-time jobs between ages 11 and 15 years were not more likely to suffer negative outcomes in psychological wellbeing or academic qualifications by age 32. Nor did such work make them more likely to smoke, drink alcohol excessively, or regularly use cannabis in adulthood," Dr Iosua says.

New Zealand is one of the few countries that have not ratified the United Nations' recommendations to prevent children from having a part-time job before the legal school-leaving age of 16 years.

Dr Iosua says the study findings support the New Zealand government's position that children are adequately protected by the current legislation.

Despite concerns that this may interfere with schoolwork and expose children to harmful behaviours such as smoking, drinking and drug use, many parents and children hold the view that having part-time work is beneficial.

"Our findings can help provide reassurance that moderate part-time work is unlikely to be detrimental in countries like New Zealand," she says.

Dr Iosua cautions, however, that this may not apply to long hours of work or unsafe working conditions in societies with lower levels of child protection.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

10 hours ago

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

12 hours ago

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

12 hours ago

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments