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J Health Soc Behav. 2000 Sep;41(3):276-94.

Alcohol and employment in the transition to adulthood.

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  • 1Institute for Social and Behavioral Research, Iowa State University, Ames 50010-8296, USA. mcmorris@iastate.edu


We elaborate the relationship between work hours and alcohol use during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Both hours of employment and drinking may be products of weak bonds to school and family. Alternatively, work may exert an independent effect on alcohol use by exposing adolescents to opportunities and associates that facilitate drinking. Using longitudinal data from the Youth Development Study (YDS), we present static score regression models showing that long work hours increase levels of drinking during high school. These effects are mediated in large part by work-derived independence from parents, suggesting that a precocious transition to adult roles may be the mechanism connecting work hours and alcohol use. Work effects on drinking are short-lived, however, as adolescent hours of employment do not significantly influence alcohol use after high school.

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