Effects of Teenager’s Part-Time Employment: The Quantity and Quality of Work Make the Difference:
Traditionally, the problem of teenagers’ employment was very important. Obviously, teenagers have special needs and they cannot work as much as adult do neither they have access to work of such a quality as adult employees have. However, the government traditionally focuses on the problem of quantity of teenagers’ work while the problem of quality of such work often remains unnoticed and, therefore, out of the governmental control. In such a situation, it is very important to find out the correlation between quantity and quality of teenagers’ work and its effect on their school performance and personal functioning. This is exactly what the researchers Julian Barling, School of Business, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and Kimberley-Ann Rogers and E. Kevin Kelloway, Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, dedicated their work entitled “Some effects of teenagers’ part-time employment: the quantity and quality of work make the difference” to.
Basic goals of the research
Basically, the authors of the article focused their attention on the problem of teenagers’ employment, namely quantity and quality of work. At the same time, their ultimate goal was to find out the effect of teenagers’ employment, its quantity and quality on their school performance and personal functioning. To put it more precisely, the researchers attempted to trace the correlation and associations between teenagers’ part-time employment with their schooling, including amount of class cutting, homework, and average grades and their personal functioning, including self-esteem and time use.
Obviously, the problems raised by the researchers are really important because this field remains under-researched while the current policy is totally focused on the quantity of teenagers’ part-time work that, as the authors presuppose may be erroneous approach to teenagers’ employment. At the same time, the authors suggested hypothesis that the larger quantity of teenagers’ work can produce negative impact on their school performance and personal functioning, while quality of work could moderate these negative effects, to the extent that the negative effects of long hours work would be associated only with low quality work. In such a way, the researchers attempted to reveal the correlation and interdependence between quality and quantity of work, on the one hand, and its impact on their schooling and personal functioning, on the other hand.
In their research, Julian Barling, Kimberley-Ann Rogers and E. Kevin Kelloway conducted their study involving students in grades 10, 11, and 12. The subjects were predominantly white, urban Canadian high school students. The researchers obtained 533 questionnaires in which they attempted to analyze students’ part-time employment and its significance to them as well as the effect of work on students’ school performance and personal functioning the researchers attempted to find out the dependence of employment on students’ school performance and their personal development and state. In order to fulfill these tasks, the researchers used job-related scales to measure ambiguity, autonomy, and skill variety. Also, 8-item interrole conflict questionnaire was used to reflect time-based conflict between part-time employment and school studies. In order to assess school performance of students, the researchers used Steiberg and Dornbusch’s School Performance and Engagement questionnaire and a five-point Likert item scale. Finally, in order to analyze personal functioning of students, the researchers used Rosenberg’s 10-item global self-esteem scale and Britton and Tesser’s Short Range Planning scale, which was used to measure time structuring.
Results of the research
The results of the research basically supported the hypothesis suggested by the researchers. To put it more precisely, they found out that the quantity of time was associated linearly with the amount of class cuttings. This means that the longer working hours resulted in the larger amount of class cuttings. It is worthy of mention that another important finding of the researchers is the fact that the interaction of skill variety and quantity of employment significantly predicted self-esteem. To put it more precisely, the higher is the quality of job and the more time students dedicate to this job the higher is their self-esteem. At the same time, the researchers also revealed the fact that the quality of work can minimize the negative effects of the longer working hours. In fact, the researchers arrived to the conclusion that the quality of work may even improve personal functioning of teenagers, increasing their self-esteem, for instance, while low quality work, even though its quantity is not very large can produce a negative impact on both teenagers’ personal functioning and school performance.
In such a way, the research has revealed a very significant role the quality of work plays in part-time work of teenagers and, what is more important, its effects on their school performance and personal functioning. In this respect, it should be said that these findings are really important since, as the researchers conclude, they draw the attention of specialists and government to the correlation between quality and quantity of employment and school performance and personal functioning. It is necessary to underline that the researchers argue that the quality of work is of a paramount importance since by means of increasing quality of teenagers’ employment it is possible to reduce negative effects of longer working hours and, at the same time, contribute to the personal development of students and motivate their school performance. In such a situation, the researchers are very skeptical about the current approach to teenagers’ employment which is based on the quantity but not quality of employment, while the latter as the researchers prove may be not less or even more important than the former.
Critical evaluation of the research
On analyzing the research conducted by Julian Barling, Kimberley-Ann Rogers and E. Kevin Kelloway, it is necessary to point out that the problem raised by the authors is really important because it provides an opportunity to view the problem of teenagers’ employment and its regulation from a different point of view, which varies consistently from the currently dominating attitude to students’ part-time employment. In fact, this research reveals the fact that the quality of employment is growing to be more and more important and this trend, in all probability, will progress in the future when the low- or semi-qualified jobs decrease and high qualified jobs, in contrast, progress.
In general, it should be said that the research was well structured and properly organized. The researchers attempted to use the effective tools to measure the interdependence between quantity and quality of part-time employment and their impact on teenagers’ school performance and personal functioning. They are analyze the results of their research critically and underline that this research cannot be by any means perceived as the ultimate conclusion concerning the problem of quantity and quality of teenagers’ work and its influence on their school and personal life.
Nevertheless, regardless all these positive aspects of the research, it is still necessary to point out that there are some limitations and drawback which actually lead to the conclusion that the further research of the problem raised by the authors is needed. To put it more precisely, the researchers did not specify the age of subjects while they analyzed the questionnaires, i.e. they did not actually know what are the responses of the students of 10, 11, and 12 grades, while all of the responses were treated equally. At the same time, this approach may be erroneous since there exist an opportunity of job selection which may vary depending on the age of students. What is meant here is the fact that students of 12 grade have apparently larger job opportunities and opportunities for self-selection than students of 10 grade. As a result, it is highly probable that 12 grade students will have part-time employment of higher quality than 10 or 11 grade students. The same may be said about the quantity of part-time employment since it is quite natural that the older a student is the longer he/she can work, while younger students need to have a smaller amount of working hours because of physiological and psychological peculiarities. Unfortunately, the researchers did not pay attention to this nuance, which, though, may be very important to the extent that the results of the research could be different. However, it is necessary to admit that the major goal of the research was met and the authors revealed the interdependence between quality and quantity of employment and school performance and personal functioning of teenagers.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the research conducted by Julian Barling, Kimberley-Ann Rogers, and E. Kevin Kelloway concerning teenagers part-time employment and the effects of the quantity and quality of work on student school and personal life is really noteworthy since it raises a very important problem, which has been traditionally ignored by the government and many specialists, the problem of quality of teenagers’ employment. The latter, as the researchers found out should be treated as equal to the quantity of teenager part-time employment. Nevertheless, the results of this research should be critically evaluated and, what is more, the further research is needed to fully study this problem.
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