Early Work Experiences and the transition to Adulthood

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This application is in response to notice HD-01-004 regarding the NICHD Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) in Population Research. Although the vast majority of teenagers work in paid jobs, past research offers contrary evidence as to whether paid work during adolescence is a cause, consequence, or spurious correlate of changes in health and well-being, risk behavior, and achievement during the transition to adulthood. My goal is to better address the controversy surrounding teenage employment. To accomplish this goal my first objective is to pursue coursework in demography and rigorous mentorship with key scholars in demography, sociology, criminology, and developmental psychology. This career development plan will involve: working with my mentors and advisory committee toward developing an interdisciplinary approach to paid work as it relates to health, achievement, and risk behavior during adolescence and early adulthood;eight courses in demography through the Population Research Institute at the Pennsylvania State University;paper presentations at conference meetings and the submission of manuscripts to academic journals;and the preparation and submission of a R01 grant proposal. My second objective, using longitudinal data from the Monitoring the Future study, is to address four research aims regarding this controversy: to study the role of early work experiences in the process of socioeconomic attainment;to study the effects of early work experiences on social, psychological, and behavioral development during adolescence and early adulthood;to document variation in early work experiences by gender, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic background;and to document cohort variation in early work experiences. The proposed research plan will be based on two major sources of data collection from the ongoing Monitoring the Future (MTF) study. Based on a cohort-sequential design, this ongoing project continues to collect data on large (approximately 17,000 students per grade), nationally representative samples of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders each year, with biennial follow-up surveys of sub-samples from each 12th grade cohort and a limited number of 8th grade cohorts. The 12th grade cohorts have been followed into adulthood since 1976;three 8th grade cohorts - 1991-93 are also followed biennially into young adulthood (ages 26-28).
Effective start/end date9/13/078/31/13


  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $138,728.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $135,978.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $131,995.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $141,631.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $142,947.00


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