DOI: 10.1111/jora.12915 ISSN: 1050-8392

Taking the long view of adolescent work quality

Jeremy Staff, Jeylan T. Mortimer
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Cultural Studies


Following Schulenberg's research on teenage employment and vocational development, we ask to what extent do job dimensions reflecting the quality of work experience during mid‐adolescence (e.g., work stress, autonomy, learning and advancement opportunities, hourly pay, wage satisfaction, and work hours) predict the same work experiences during the ensuing occupational career? Using longitudinal data from the Youth Development Study (N = 711 individuals over 3164 occasions), and hybrid panel models to control for unobserved time‐stable selection influences, we find a high level of continuity of work quality from adolescence to mid‐life. Multiple dimensions of adolescent work quality are associated with the same dimensions of work quality in adulthood, even after controlling for educational attainment and other time‐varying adult confounders.

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