Employment during middle school: The effects on academic achievement in the U.S. And abroad

David Post, Suet Ling Pong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


An international debate over student employment turns on the question of whether work generally helps or harms children's development. This article focuses on two indicators of child development that are goals in all education systems: math and science achievement. After reviewing the major theoretical perspectives on school achievement and employment, we propose a general framework for analyzing their relationship. We then present the results of our cross-national study. From the U.S., we use cross-sectional and longitudinal NELS data. In the U.S. and in 22 other nations, we use cross-sectional TIMSS data to examine the effects of after-school work during the eighth grade. Our findings from each investigation are consistent: For boys, and to a lesser extent for girls, there are negative effects on math and science achievement that are associated with adolescent employment, even after controlling for family background and, in the NELS, after controlling for prior achievement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-298
Number of pages26
JournalEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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